RIngworm – Tinea

Ringworm or Tinea is a fungal infection that can appear anywhere on the body but is often found on the damp areas of the body. It is a very stubborn problem to deal with and as such is not easily “cured” but is only managed. Once it seems to have been taken care of then it may reappear weeks or months later.

It can be transmitted to other persons and from pets through close contact but it isn’t especially “contagious”.

Tinea is often very itchy and has a number of popular names depending on the location such as “crotch rot”,, “jock itch” and “athletes foot”,



In Chinese Medicine the Dermatology Speciality has traditionally included not only skin conditions but also sores, gouts, many cancers and sexually transmitted diseases and sexual dysfunctions. Skin conditions can certainly be helped with acupuncture, dermatology  tends to be more an herbal thing.

In Chinese Medicine, the categories of the diseases may follow in different places than Western textbooks. Modern textbooks obviously  tend to follow more the western categories while older books follow categories that seem more generalized. Or at least it appears that way to me.

The other thing to remember is that as in all Chinese medicine treatment follows the underlying patterns or heat and cold, damp and dryness. This means that two cases of eczema and psoriasis which both look and feel inflamed and itch will be treated more the same than two cases of psoriasis in which one is pale and the other is red and inflamed.

HERBAL-MASK-NEGsmallIn 2002, I spent a month in the Dermatology Department at the Beijing First TCM Hospital . Then a few years later in 2004,  I was there another 2 weeks. Since then I have been learning and perfecting herbs for dermatology. For the most part in Beijing I saw few of the more serious, esoteric or complicated cases but concentrated on the more common skin problems such as those listed below:.

Psoriasis – 白疕 báibǐ & Eczema –  湿瘡 shī chuāng

RIngworm – tinea – 癣 xuǎn

Acne – 粉刺 fěncì

Rosacea – 酒渣鼻 jiǔzhābí





Psoriasis and Eczema

In Chinese Medicine, the categories of the diseases may follow in different places than Western textbooks. This means that two cases of eczema and psoriasis which both look and feel inflamed and itch will be treated more the same than two cases of psoriasis in which one is pale and the other red and inflamed.

Psoriasis and eczema may look very much alike. In Chinese Medicine we treat them with the same principles but some variations.

Psoriasis – 白疕 báibǐ means “white sores”

Psoriasis in an auto-immune disease which means it usually is harder to “cure” completely. It usually has white “scales” which are the result of the overproduction of skin cells that then collect on the surface. It may be very itchy and may bleed in “punctiform hemorrhagic spots” underneath as it is scratched or the scales removed.

Psoriasis may affect younger patients and may get worse during the winter and better in the summer and thus psoriasis responds favorably to (sun light- UV) light therapy.

Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body but most often on the elbows and knees is common but can also be on the scalp where it becomes more difficult to treat. It is not contagious.
Psoriasis occurs because normal skin regenerates every 3 weeks and psoriatic skin regenerates in a week. This leaves a surplus on the surface that is uncomfortable but generally doesn’t itch so badly. The defining factor is the appearance of blood spots when the scales are taken off the surface of the body.

The most common type of psoriasis is called Plaque Psoriasis or Psoriasis Vulgaris.
A less common form is Psoriatic Arthritis, which as its name implies, comes with swollen joints usually confined to the fingers and toes but may spread to the spine. This can lead to very severe cases and may take patience to endure and to treat.
Erythrodermic psoriasis often comes from the topical use of corticosteroids.

Eczema – 湿疮 shichuāng is also known as dermatitis 皮炎 píyán (pí means skin and yán means scorching hot). The English word come from the Greek ekzema and means “something thrown out by heat.

While psoriasis is auto-immune, eczema is considered an allergic reaction. The skin rash is patchy or may be diffuse without clear edges to it. It is often bilateral indicating a systemic issue. It is often made worse if not caused by greasy foods. As such in the beginning the psoriasis may ooze fluids while chronic cases may be more dry and cause lichenification (becomes hard, dry and leathery).

Because eczema is an allergic reaction it is often associated with asthma. Children with eczema often develop asthma and adults with eczema often had childhood asthma.

Eczema/ dermatitis can be broken down into three types:
1) Contact eczema, as its name implies, comes from contact with an allergen such as a plant (poison ivy as a severe case), metals such rings and bracelets, fragrances and other chemicals.
2) Atopic eczema is a more generalized sensitivity that may be inherited. Many allergens in the general environment or in Chinese Medicine, the internal environment of heat and dampness may cause the eczema. It obviously is harder to treat than a contact eczema where the source can be more readily identified and then removed.
3) Irritant Eczema is much like contact eczema in that it is caused by clothing or work habits to a recurring irritant. This might be straps on a bra or too tight underwear and the skin becomes chaffed. Also being in the wind may dry out the face and lips.

Eczema shows up all over the body but particularily:
A) around and in the ears
B) scalp – this can get very bad and may tangle the hair, ooze and cause yellow scabbing
D) breast and nipples – usually more in females.
E) umbilicus (belly button)
F) Hands and fingers
G) Scrotum
H) Legs
I) “coin shaped” may appear in spots- round spots often surrounded by smaller spots, may be be red and itch severely.


Office Hours

Office Hours

I work mainly from 12 to 8 clinic outside 2on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. An appointment is always needed. Call 31O-403- 7O18.



If these times are not good you can contact me or one of the other practitioners in my office:

20151014_141128Other times are possible but I also teach some days at Emperors College. I simply don’t go to the office before noon because of other commitments.

My prices for cash, credit cards and checks at the time of treatment are very, very reasonable. I would really prefer not to do any insurance. I can write you a bill and you can submit it but I assume no responsibility for your coverage. Sorry, I don’t take Medi-Care or Medi-Cal.



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BABY TIANMEN luluTestimonials

“After my surgery, the doctors didn’t have any instructions on how to heal, so I took that matter into my own hands. When a trusted friend heard I was considering acupuncture, he gave Doug very high marks, and so I paid my first of many visits. I am always impressed with Doug’s mellow and light-hearted manner, as well as his present and authentic concern for mystate-of-being. I know I am getting top-notch treatment, because Doug is also a teacher of Chinese medicine, and is passing his knowledge to a new generation of practitioners. Doug asks me questions to remind me that I am an active participant in my healing, and that my intention is vital to the result. Thank you, Doug.”

– M Brems

“I thought you were kidding when you said to stop at the drug-store on the way home. I got my period later than night! It’s been several months of feeling very uncomfortable and I’m so thankful”

“My pain is gone! Finally I think I can sleep tonight for the first time in weeks!”

“At 42 I was too young for menopause, (with your treatments) the night sweating has gone away and the periods are more regular”

“I had been living with this stomach crap for years. I can’t believe it’s finally resolved itself after just a few treatments.”

“Basically, all the symptoms went away by the next day.”

“Just wanted to call to let you know I’m pregnant. You always said it was possible.”

And the less scientific:

“Acu-delic treatment, Doug”

“These needles feel like Jazz”

Links to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine related thingies:

Why we rock.


Douglas Eisenstark

Douglas Eisenstark L.Ac.

bike and child


Clinic Supervisor at Emperor’s College since 1999
externship supervisor: Venice Family Clinic, LA Free Clinic

Instructor: Emperor’s College and Yo-San University: Clinical Point Selection, Case Review, Advanced Formulas, Ear and Scalp Acupuncture, Acupuncture Techniques, Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine

Co-writer: Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine PMPH
PMPH Eisenstark Fundamentals

Editor and Translation:The Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine: Psoriasis & Cutaneous
Pruritis by Lu Chuan-jian, Xuan Guo-wei   ISBN 978-7-117-09242-5/R·9243 (2008)

Creator of Acuvideo: Finding the Acupuncture Points DVD with Huabing Wen  (2005)

Author: Acupuncture Microsystems: an Overview  (2009)

Caregiver Magazine 1998 (several articles)
The Fearless Caregiver (book, editor Gary Barg) ISBN-13: 978-1931868563

reviewer & past editor of
past moderator of Chinese Herb Academy, Yahoo Groups
Doug’s first career was an artist, photographer and video editor but for many years had an interest in Chinese Medicine. His interest grew while living for 12 years in New York City’s Chinatown.  After moving to Los Angeles he had the opportunity to start acupuncture school. Douglas has since gone to Shanghai and Beijing for 3 educational trips.
Douglas has been active in the larger acupuncture community, moderating the on-line TCM group: Chinese Herbal Academy as well as publishing articles in the Caregiver Magazine. With Huabing Wen he has made the DVD, Finding the Acupuncture Points and is a Continuing Education Provider for the State of California. He has been a past Examiner of the California State Acupuncture Exam.
He maintains a private practice in West Los Angeles.
Graduate ECTOM 1996
National and State Licenses 1996

Clinic Supervisor at Emperor’s College & Yo-San University
externship supervision: Venice Family Clinic, LA Free Clinic

Instructor: Clinical Point Selection, Case Review, Advanced Formulas, Ear and Scalp Acupuncture, Acupuncture Techniques, Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine


Advanced training:
2 months clinical internship at Hua San and Zhong San Hospitals, Shanghai, China
One month and one month advanced training: 1st Beijing Hospital departments: Oncology, Hepatitis, Dermatology

Acupuncturist: Turnabout Acupuncture Drug Treatment Program, Santa Monica
Herbalist: Yo-San University

MFA: Art Institute of Chicago (film and photography)
Whitney Museum Program (art)
University of Kansas
One person and group shows: film, video and photography: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles