For example, the eczema lesions may be very dry and red, with the skin and especially the scalp taking on a flaky and withered appearance. Essentially, so much inflammatory heat rages that it produces a chronic, deep dehydration. This is often, but not always, the most common manifestation of childhood eczema and, in TCM, it is called blood heat.
Cooling and moistening ingredients such as the roots of Chinese foxglove (Rehmannia elata) and peony are the main ingredients in a traditional herbal treatment compounded from 10 to 16 herbs. Other herbs are added according to the location of the lesions. These herbs act as “horses” to guide the medication to the right place in the body. Additionally, herbal antihistamines such as Japanese catnip (Schizonepeta tenuifolia) are used to subdue the intolerable itch. When the body is cooled sufficiently, it will no longer generate the inappropriate inflammatory response.
On the other hand, some eczema is not at all dry. It may present with wet, weepy lesions or fluid-filled blisters, as in the case of nummular eczema or some types of hand eczema. Such a patient is anything but dehydrated, and to apply the moistening treatment of the blood heat type would be ineffective.
The wetness of the lesions indicates that there is excess of moisture in the body, possibly the consequence of a poorly functioning digestive system. Poor digestion can produce mucus, and over time this may overflow to the skin. Alternatively, a congested liver and kidneys may not efficiently flush out waste. TCM calls this a damp heat type of eczema.
Herbs with a detoxifying, slightly drying and diuretic effect are the backbone of the prescription for damp heat eczema. They may include gentian root, a potent liver cleanser, or poria mushroom, which leaches out dampness. With open sores there is always the possibility of infection, for which the herbalist may use dandelion and common violet, two herbs that are also used in Western herbalism. Digestive dysfunction will be addressed by bitters such as coptis root or aromatics such as cardamom. In this way, the multi-herb prescription can simultaneously attack all the roots of the problem. Once digestion is functioning well and excess moisture has been removed from the body, eczema symptoms often disappear.
In all cases of eczema, the dried roots, bark, leaves, or flowers that have been prescribed are boiled to make a concentrated extract that is then taken daily. It is generally not sufficient to take herbal pills–the inflammation is often so tenacious that it requires the stronger dosage of raw herbs. The treatment may take up to six months to complete, especially in longstanding cases.
While some herb names have been given here, self-treatment is not recommended. Sometimes, diagnosing the eczema into the hot, dry, or damp presentations is not as straightforward as it seems and therefore requires considerable experience. A TCM practitioner with a good background in herbal dermatology should be able to help.
25 Goldhawk Road
London W12 8QQ
Tel: 0208 749 9004
Our doctors are speciaised in treating Eczema, and have hundreds of successful cases, we have lots of experience in treating Eczema. Our treatment are safe and effective.
Eczema is a type of skin disorder that is characterised by inflammation, itchiness, redness, flaky and dry skin. In more severe cases, sores, scabs, blisters and bleeding may occur. It is also referred to as atopic dermatitis.
The onset of eczema and the severity of its symptoms differ from person to person. In most cases, eczema tends to attack any part of the skin suddenly with symptoms such as flush, swelling of the skin, cluster of red papulae, blisters and intense itching at the affected area.
When the condition has been stabilised, the affected part of the skin may have crust formation, pigmentation, scales, blisters and exudation. In chronic cases, these symptoms may subside and recur periodically. The appearance of the affected skin may become dry, thick and rough, accompanied with scales, and dark red or brown pigmentation. Itchiness will become intense when there is contact with heat or before going to bed.
In TCM, eczema is a complex condition that can have many different manifestations. It is an allergic reaction that is caused by both internal and external factors. Internally, the main causes of imbalances are dampness, heat and wind. Other factors like stress, depression, climate and diet could also contribute to the cause.
The TCM therapeutic principle works by clearing away the heat and dampness through bowels, urine and skin; by expelling wind and detoxifying the body, as well as moistening the dryness and nourishing the Blood.
A combination of acupuncture treatment, external applications and the intake of herbal medication can bring about relief.
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MoonFlower - Traditional Chinese Medicines Clinic