Cracked Breast Skinaccording to TCM

What is Cracked Breast Skin?

Cracked breast skin is a condition characterized by fissures or cracks in the skin of the breast, often causing discomfort or pain. This condition can be due to various factors, including dry skin, friction, or as a result of breastfeeding.

Cracked skin around the breast area can be particularly problematic for nursing mothers, as it can lead to pain during breastfeeding and increase the risk of breast infections. Effective treatment and care are essential for healing and preventing further skin damage.

How Does TCM View Cracked Breast Skin?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches cracked breast skin as a symptom of an underlying imbalance in the body's energy systems. Unlike Western medicine, which often focuses on topical treatments, TCM seeks to identify and correct the root causes of skin issues.

This could involve addressing imbalances in Qi (life energy), Blood, Yin and Yang, and harmonizing the body's internal organs. TCM treatments often include herbal remedies, acupuncture, and dietary adjustments tailored to the individual's unique pattern of disharmony.

Root Causes of Cracked Breast Skin in TCM

In TCM, cracked breast skin can be caused by several patterns of disharmony. One common cause is Qi Stagnation, particularly Liver Qi Stagnation, where the free flow of Qi is impeded, leading to symptoms like breast skin cracks, chest distension, and mood swings.

Another potential cause is Heat, such as Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat, manifesting in symptoms like breast skin cracks and tooth pain. TCM also recognizes specific patterns like Blow Breast (Chui Ru), characterized by symptoms like breast skin cracks, pain, and mastitis. These patterns illustrate the TCM principle that external symptoms are reflections of internal imbalances.

Explore below more details about what might cause Cracked breast skin according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Heat
  • Liver
  • Stomach
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Stagnation

Qi Stagnation in TCM is like having a traffic jam in your body's energy system. Qi, the vital life force that flows through your body, is supposed to move smoothly to maintain health and balance. But with Qi Stagnation, this flow gets blocked or slowed down, like cars stuck on a highway. This can lead to symptoms like feeling stressed, emotional mood swings, and physical discomfort, often described as a feeling of fullness or tightness, especially in the chest or abdomen. It's as though the body's internal energy circulation is disrupted, causing various issues. TCM sees this as an energy flow problem, different from modern medicine's focus on specific physiological processes.... see more

Qi Stagnation Patterns That Can Lead to Cracked Breast Skin

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Qi Stagnation Breast skin cracks, Hypochondriac distention, Chest distension, Upper abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Sighing, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Irregular periods, Globus sensation, Pre menstrual breast distension, Pre menstrual tension, Anxiety, Anger... see more Gua Lou San | Xia Ru Yong Quan San | Xiao Yao San | Yue Ju Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Heat

In TCM "Heat" signifies an excess of Yang energy, leading to an imbalance where heat predominates over the body's cool Yin aspects. This condition is metaphorically akin to an internal over-heating. Symptoms indicative of Heat can include feelings of warmth, fever, sweating, irritability, red face, thirst with a preference for cold drinks, and a rapid pulse. The tongue may appear red with a yellow coating. Unlike the common interpretation of heat in terms of temperature, in TCM, it represents a state of hyperactivity or inflammation in the body.... see more

Heat Patterns That Can Lead to Cracked Breast Skin

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat Breast skin cracks, Tooth pain, Headaches, Stomatitis, Periodontitis, Glossitis, Trigeminal neuralgia, Diabetes, Viral myocarditis, Breast engorgement, Breast lumps... see more Gua Lou San
Detailed description of the cause

Liver

In TCM the Liver is viewed as the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, Blood, and emotions throughout the body. It plays a key role in regulating mood, storing blood, supporting digestion, and ensuring the health of tendons and eyes. When the Liver malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues such as irritability, mood swings, menstrual irregularities, eye problems, and muscular stiffness or pain. A malfunctioning Liver in TCM reflects not only physical disturbances but also emotional and mental disharmony, emphasizing the holistic approach of TCM in addressing health and wellness.... see more

Liver Patterns That Can Lead to Cracked Breast Skin

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Qi Stagnation Breast skin cracks, Hypochondriac distention, Chest distension, Upper abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Sighing, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Irregular periods, Globus sensation, Pre menstrual breast distension, Pre menstrual tension, Anxiety, Anger... see more Gua Lou San | Xia Ru Yong Quan San | Xiao Yao San | Yue Ju Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Stomach

In TCM the Stomach is regarded as the "sea of nourishment," pivotal for digesting food and transforming it into Qi and blood. It works closely with the Spleen to distribute these essential nutrients throughout the body. When the Stomach is out of balance or malfunctions in TCM, it often leads to digestive problems such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, or a feeling of fullness. There may also be issues like acid reflux or a sour taste in the mouth. Emotionally, an imbalanced Stomach can contribute to excessive worry and overthinking, reflecting the TCM belief that physical and emotional well-being are deeply interconnected.... see more

Stomach Patterns That Can Lead to Cracked Breast Skin

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat Breast skin cracks, Tooth pain, Headaches, Stomatitis, Periodontitis, Glossitis, Trigeminal neuralgia, Diabetes, Viral myocarditis, Breast engorgement, Breast lumps... see more Gua Lou San

TCM Herbal Formulas for Cracked Breast Skin

TCM offers several herbal formulas for treating cracked breast skin, depending on the underlying cause. For Qi Stagnation, Gua Lou San, a formula that clears Heat and resolves toxicity with Snake Gourds (Gua Lou), and Xia Ru Yong Quan San, which invigorates Blood, are beneficial.

Stomach Fire or Heat can be addressed with the same Gua Lou San formula. For the Blow Breast pattern, Tuo Li Xiao Du San, which clears internal abscesses, is recommended. These formulas work on the principle of restoring balance and nourishing the affected areas to promote healing.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address cracked breast skin, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Heat
  • Formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity
  • Formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that promote qi movement

All Formulas Recommended for Cracked Breast Skin Caused by Qi Stagnation

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Gua Lou San Liver Qi Stagnation
Xia Ru Yong Quan San Liver Qi Stagnation
Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Stagnation
Yue Ju Wan Liver Qi Stagnation

TCM Herbs for Cracked Breast Skin

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address cracked breast skin, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Cool herbs that transform phlegm and stop cough
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood

"Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency" recommended for cracked breast skin

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) Tuo Li Xiao Du San
Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Yue Ju Wan