Melasma and Chinese Medicine

Melasma is a skin pigmentation with brown patches on the face around the mouth, on the forehead, or nose typically. While this condition is not considered severe, it points to deeper, organ-level imbalances in Chinese medicine. It is thought to be caused by hormonal imbalances creating an increased stimulation of melanocytes secondary to estrogen and progesterone, ultraviolet light, thyroid dysfunction, and/or genetic predisposition. Studies have shown Chinese medicine and acupressure to be effective at clearing melasma by improving Yin and Yang balance, stimulating the free flow of blood and regulate body's immune and endocrine tasks in the body. For best outcomes using self-care, combine associated Aroma Acu-Sticks™ to acu-points, topical remedies, and good lifestyle practices.

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Acupressure Points for Melasma

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Causes of Melasma in Chinese Medicine

Typically, melasma would be a combination of these root imbalances:liver detox remedy with essential oils

Modern medicine found that patients with melasma tend to have hemodynamic abnormalities which corresponds to the Chinese term of Blood Stasis. It has been shown that melasma has certain relationship with the increase of blood viscosity and the microcirculatory disturbances. Acupressure addresses the underlying condition(s) and affects deeper physiological changes by facilitating the natural self-regulation homeostatic mechanisms of the body. 

  • The Lungs energetic organ system belong to the Metal Element and are the master of Qi dominating the skin and mucous membranes; so, Lung imbalances are always considered with skin conditions. 
  • Thyroid imbalances that can cause melasma are typically based on Kidney Deficiency.
  • There is no endocrine system in Chinese medicine; never-the-less, acupressure and herbs have been proven very effective in resolving women's reproductive problems. Typically, a Chinese medical doctor works on balancing the energetics of the Liver and Kidney to balance hormones. 

Location of dark patches can further help to pinpoint the underlying causes of melasma. For example:

  • The Gallbladder channel transports Liver Heat to the forehead over the eyes at GB14
  • The Stomach channel is traverses the cheek
  • The Large Intestine channel travels to the nose.

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Zhang X. J., Zhang C. Q. Observation of the therapeutic effect of auricular acupressure treatment in chloasma. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion2000;16(12):31–31.

Feng X.-J., Fu J.-Y., Liu F. Clinical observation on the combined use of acupuncture and herbal medicine for treatment of chloasma. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine2010;30(1):15–17. doi: 10.1016/S0254-6272(10)60004-0.

Lutfi R. J., Fridmanis M., Misiunas A. L., et al. Association of melasma with thyroid autoimmunity and other thyroidal abnormalities and their relationship to the origin of the melasma. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism1985;61(1):28–31. doi: 10.1210/jcem-61-1-28.

Chai Q., Fei Y., Cao H., Wang C., Tian J., Liu J. Acupuncture for melasma in women: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Acupuncture in Medicine2015;33(4):254–261. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2014-010633.

Wu X, Xiang Y. The Effects of Acupuncture Combined with Auricular Acupressure in the Treatment of Chloasma. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 22;2018:6438458. doi: 10.1155/2018/6438458. PMID: 29849716; PMCID: PMC5937619.

Tan P. X., Huang Y., Zhang G. F., Su P. Z., He G. X., Wang L. The clinical research progress of acupuncture treatment for melasma. Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine2011;28(1):81–84.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.