Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin disorder which causes the skin to become red, inflamed, intensely itchy, and in some cases blister. It is most commonly seen in children and often resolves on its own over time. But for some, eczema can persist into adulthood, and leading to chronic discomfort, itching, and for many insomnia.
Chinese herbs and acupuncture can often help. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine physicians have used acupuncture and herbs to help eczema. Chinese Medicine Diagnosis
Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to diagnosing eczema, considering physical, emotional, and environmental factors. By taking the pulse, asking in depth questions, and observing the tongue and the skin, I diagnose the what particular imbalance is causing the symptoms.
Often, that imbalance is due to too little energy or that the energy is not circulating in the body. Too much “heat” is a common cause of eczema, which leads to the irritation, itching, swelling, and papules.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Treatment
The treatment goal is to correct the root cause of the condition, which can lead to long term benefits, even long after the treatment has stopped. The treatment and diagnosis are tailored to each person’s symptoms. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may involve acupuncture, Chinese herbs, or both. Some conditions will clear rapidly, but others may take longer. In general, a treatment course is three to six months.
Every person is individually diagnosed to for their specific imbalance which is causing their symptoms. Most often, focusing on clearing heat, boosting the energy, and promoting circulation will help clear the lesions and stop the itching. This can help to treat the root of the disease as well as help resolve the symptoms. Clearing heat usually will include the acupuncture points of Large intestine 11, 5, and 4. Because the lungs are so often related to eczema, lung 5 and lung 6, on the front of the elbow are often added. Spleen 6 and Spleen 10 are effective at moving the blood.
Chinese herbs focused on clearing heat are effective such as sheng di huang (rehmannia) and jin yin hua (honey suckle) may be used to clear heat. If damp heat is present, often ku shen (sophroa) is efffective. Specifically for the itch, di fu zi (broom cypress) may be added. The goal of the treatment is to clear heat, dispel the wind and dampness, and move the blood to stop itch and promote healing.
A number of studies in England have shown that a Chinese herbal formula is effective in treating eczema . One double blind randomized crossover study treated 40 adults with chronic eczema with an herbal formula (in later studies, this formula is entitled Zemaphyte ). This study concluded that the herbal formula was effective for reducing skin lesions, redness, itching, and helped the patients sleep better. This same formula later showed to have immune system regulatory effects .
If you would like to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese herbs for the treatment of adult eczema, you can call us at 917-887-4946 to schedule an appointment or a complementary consultation.
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