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Dermatitis / Eczema

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic condition, causing scratchy, itchy, red, dry and sometimes cracked skin. In more extreme examples, the skin will become cracked, blistery, and leathery. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body.It is the most common inflammatory skin disease affecting at least 7% of North Americans.

Eczema can be triggered by allergic reactions, stress, and toxins in the environment. Common allergens include dairy products, eggs, wheat, nuts, strawberries, and shrimp, and airborne irritants such as dust mites and pollen.

ECommon substance irritants that are implicated in causing eczema include wool and synthetic fabrics, latex, detergents, chlorine-based products, plated earrings and jewelery, and a wide range of chemicals that are found in household materials.

Stress can trigger eczema. Moving, divorce or change of work can all cause flare-ups on the skin.

The most common treatment in conventional Western medicine involves the use of corticosteroids, which with prolonged use can cause extensive damage to the internal organs, especially the liver.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Approach to Eczema

According to TCM, eczema is generally considered a symptom of damp heat, which is caused by constitutional weakness and malfunctioning of the spleen and liver. In acute cases, it signals a weakness in heart function.

Acupuncture and herbal remedies help reduce skin inflammation and stop itching. They work to rebalance the body’s system by reducing those elements that exist in excess and by increasing those elements in the system that are deficient. Using topical Chinese herbal medicine soaks is very effective at reducing itching, and supports acupuncture treatments between visits to the clinic.

It generally takes 3 to 6 months of regular treatment with acupuncture and herbal medicine to permanently cure eczema. Without herbal medicine, treatments will take longer. It should be stressed that a cure will come quicker if the patient follows the dietary regime recommended by the clinic. After eczema symptoms have disappeared, treatments should continue for an additional month to consolidate the cure and make sure the symptoms do not reoccur. These treatments take longer than conventional Western medicine, which relies on topical and/or oral steroids to address the symptoms, but unlike steroids, which can cause liver damage and increase blood sugar levels, acupuncture addresses the root problem – imbalances within the body – and improves the patient’s overall health.