Eczema Diagnosis & Treatment:
Eczema According to Chinese Medicine
Even though eczema appears as a skin rash, eczema is considered an internal disharmony, usually a sign of Interior Heat and Dryness.
There are several different causes of eczema, making eczema treatment complex. Heat in the Blood, Yin Repletion Heat, Blood Deficiency Dryness are all causes of eczema.
Treating eczema requires herbs and acupuncture appropriate to the correct diagnosis. Curing eczema requires understanding the root causes.
Heat: A Common Cause of Eczema
In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Heat refers to heat you can measure, like a fever, or heat you can’t measure, like a hot flash. No matter the type or source of it, Heat sets matters in motion and triggers activity.
Heat appears as inflammation, hyperactivity, or over-stimulation. Heat can come from irritating chemicals, foreign organisms, or by the friction caused by the constrained flow of qi (energy). Heat is also the by-product of our metabolism and our digestion. Hormonal activity causes and is stimulated by heat. An overly stimulating diet can cause excess heat; so can a hyperactive mind or life style. Since friction, caused by the emotional constraint of qi, causes heat, frustration and emotional friction are considered to cause heat as well.
Our skin reflects heat as rashes, redness, pimples, boils, dryness, infections, and other skin inflammations. Sometimes heat is caused by Blood Deficiency. If blood is deficient, it can cause more problems than just dryness. Deficient blood cannot properly dilute normal cell wastes (toxins) which must be transported in the blood. Toxic Heat in the Blood will result. This condition will be diagnosed as many different inflammatory skin diseases. Eczema is often diagnosed when internal heat generates dryness in the skin.
Help in Clearing Heat
Common sources of heat and possible remedies include the following:
1. Excessively stimulating diet
Discover which foods are stimulating and reduce them
2. Yin deficient hormonal imbalance
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Circulation clears heat
4. Blood insufficient to moisten or dilute toxins
Women’s Precious Pills (Ba Zhen Wan)
5. Worry and agitated thoughts
Good Sleep and Worry Free Pill (Shui De An)
6. Hot weather
7. Constraint of emotions
Free and Easy Pills (Hsiao Yao Wan)
Dryness: Another Cause of Eczema
Dryness can come from heat, fluid deficiency, or a dry environment. Dry weather, wind, or the influence of drying substances can cause internal and external dryness. Dryness can also come from deficiency of blood or other fluids. Internal heat, whether from feverish disease or from fluid deficiency, will further scorch the fluids, causing more dryness.
For those unable to find professional help, the following formula treats heat and dryness, and can be helpful in many cases of eczema. It works best when heat from dietary sources is minimized. The formula is available as a concentrated powder, which is dissolved in water or other liquid. Normal dose is 6 grams per day. Normal course of treatment is one month at a time.
Eczema in babies and infants is quite common. About 20% of infants and children have eczema. 65% develop symptoms in before they are one year old. 90% develop their eczema within 5 years. About 60% persist into adulthood, although many babies with eczema improve before they are 2 yrs. old.
If you’re breastfeeding:
Baby eczema can also be aggravated by heat, and irritants contacting your baby’s skin. Wool, chemicals in soaps, lotions, and detergents, and your consumption of stimulating foods.
Psoriasis and Eczema
Psoriasis is often confused with eczema. However, psoriasis is a different condition altogether. Both conditions present with a skin rash. These rashes can appear similar at first, however the rashes are different. Psoriasis rash involves the scaling and flaking off of the skin at a later stage. Eczema does not. According to Chinese medicine, psoriasis involves stagnation and toxicity in addition to the heat and dryness which causes eczema.