Eczema is very common and and approximately 15 million people in the UK live with it at some point at some point in their lives. Eczema can develop at any time of life including adulthood and symptoms can range from mild to severe. It is often a long-term – chronic – condition, that cause the skin to become itchy and inflamed or to have a rash-like appearance.
Because of the desire to scratch the affected areas sleep can be affected and it can also take an emotional toll and affect confidence. In this article we will find out about Eczema from a Western medical perspective, discover how Chinese Medicine for Eczema can offer a natural solution.
Common Symptoms of Eczema
The main symptoms of eczema are itchy and dry, scaly, inflamed and irritated skin. Eczema can flare up and then subside – but then flare up again. Outbreaks can occur anywhere but the following areas are most affected:
- The arms and in the inner elbow folds
- Down the legs and on the back of the knees
- On the face – in particular across the cheeks
- Over the head and on the scalp
Western treatment approaches to eczema
There is currently no direct cure for eczema which may make it difficult for people living with this condition to cope both physically and emotionally. There are however a number of different treatments that can be used to control symptoms and manage eczema. These include regular bathing and moisturising of the affected areas. Treating the affected area with topical corticosteroids can also help to reduce swelling and itchiness.
Many people turn to Chinese Medicine for eczema as it is helpful at addressing the root cause of this condition and clears the condition from the inside out – often on a permanent basis. There is a huge preference to control symptoms of eczema through the use of natural remedies such as Chinese herbs, and by regulating their system through the use of acupuncture.
Chinese Medicine for Eczema
Causes of Eczema From a Chinese Medicine Perspective
In Chinese medicine, any skin condition indicates an underlying imbalance of Yin and Yang in the body. In order for the body to function harmoniously it is important that Yin and Yang are well balanced. There are many different causes of eczema from a TCM perspective, including Wind Heat, Damp Heat, Toxic Heat and Blood Deficiency causing Dryness and Wind.
1.A major underlying cause of eczema is stress which has a damaging effect on the body and mind and can undermine the body’s innate ability to achieve balance.
2.Weakness the Lung Qi: Eczema is closely linked with Lung function. Eczema is associated with Heat in the Lung which over time will weaken the Lung Qi, or energy. When the Lung Qi becomes weakened this has a negative impact on the immune system. This explains why people with eczema are often prone to develop secondary infections and why if left untreated, eczema can become a chronic condition.
3.Internal Dampness: Another factor that can cause eczema is Internal Dampness. Dampness is often rooted in overconsumption of foods that are very sweet, oily, or processed, as well as heavily dairy or carbohydrate based. These foods can overtax the Spleen – which finds it difficult to process – resulting in Dampness.
Pathology of Eczema according to TCM theory
External factors such as Wind, Damp, Heat, and Dryness are traditional TCM terms that illustrate the internal disharmony that can cause eczema.
Symptoms: This pattern is often manifested when eczema appears over the front of the legs and is red in appearance and itchy. The spread of the eczema may also affect the top of the head or appear all over the body, and it may change position regularly.
Aim of the treatment: This will be treated by Clearing Heat from the Lungs and the Large Intestine.
Symptoms: Here the skin will appear very red and feel hot to the touch.
Aim of the treatment: In this pattern the method of treatment will focus on cooling the Blood and Clearing Heat from the Heart and the Liver. It should be noted that the organs mentioned here describe a set of functions and acupuncture Meridians rather than the organs as they are understood in Western medicine.
3.Dampness and Heat
Symptoms: When a patient has Dampness and Heat as an underlying factor, the skin will appear red and will have blisters and it may appear very moist.
Aim of the treatment: Treatment here will be aimed eliminating Dampness and Heat by supporting the Spleen, and to eliminate excess heat from Sanjiao – which in TCM is how the body regulates its internal temperature.
Chinese Medicine Treatment For Eczema
Practitioners of TCM approach health in a different way to Western doctors. They take a holistic view of the patient and treat them as a whole person. This approach takes into account a patient’s lifestyle, diet, exercise, age and stress levels. By gently encouraging the body to return to balance from the inside out, they will help the symptoms of disease to reduce – and to sometimes disappear permanently.
Acupuncture for eczema
Recent research demonstrates that acupuncture is effective at helping to treat the symptoms of eczema – and in some cases it is more effective than Western medicine. Acupuncture treatment is helpful at reducing the occurrence of eczema flare ups, as well as reducing the size and spread of outbreaks. Many patients find that acupuncture is a helpful way of reducing stress and regaining confidence in their appearance. When it is practiced by a competent practitioner, acupuncture is perfectly safe for adults.
Herbal treatments for eczema
Lifestyle tips that may help to manage eczema symptoms
- Eczema can be triggered by reactions to some common food and drinks. You may find it helpful to avoid certain dairy products, citrus fruits, seafood, tea, coffee and alcohol.
- You may also benefit from switching to natural lip care products.
- Excessive washing or bathing and a lack of sleep can trigger flare ups so be mindful about this.
- Try to slow things down and take time to incorporate relaxation into your day.
- Try to avoid extreme of temperatures – try taking a showers at room temperature and not drinking drinks that are too hot.
- You may benefit from adding green beans, lotus seeds, winter melon and warm barley water to your diet
Peppermint or Bo He is a popular herb used widely worldwide for its great natural anti inflammatory properties. Peppermint by Ginsen is a high grade botanical extract which is specially formulated to relieve tension headaches, reduce stress, improve digestive health and promote a calm mind.
Natural Dandelion or Pu Gong Ying is a high grade botanical extract with natural antibacterial and antiviral properties along with promoting natural detox. A powerful antioxidant and natural diuretic, this herb has anti-inflammatory properties and also strengthens the immune system.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.