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Chinese Herbal Treatment For Eczema

Chinese Medicine For Eczema

Tips + Tricks for Eczema! | Dr. Shereene Idriss

Can Chinese medicine cure eczema? There is a wide range of wonderfully effective TCM treatments for eczema. Dont just take our word for it there is a mass of evidence that demonstrates that Chinese remedy for eczema helps to clear up eczema and provides long lasting relief from this condition.

Moxibustion is a relaxing Chinese herbal treatment for eczema where the herb Moxa or Mugwort in English is applied to the skin. When lit the herb releases warmth that is deeply relaxing and nourishing to the bodys energy. This Chinese herbal medicine for eczema can help to calm down irritated skin. A substantial amount of Research shows that moxibustion is a powerful Chinese eczema treatment.

Acupuncture for eczema is another very helpful treatment. This tcm treatment for eczema is very effective at drawing out excess heat from the body internal heat can be an underlying cause of this condition. During an acupuncture treatment single use, sterile stainless steel needles will be used to support the function of the Lung. Needles may be inserted into your hands, feet and perhaps along your back, and will not be placed into the site of the irritated skin. The treatments are profoundly relaxing and the best thing is that are safe, evidence based and effective.

Can Tcm Help Children With Eczema


When treating children with eczema, herbal medication, as well as pediatric massage, are typically used. As previously understood, herbal medication targets the childs body constitution and balances it, in turn reducing eczema flare-ups. Rest assured that the prescribed dosage of herbal medication would be less than that of adult counterparts.

Pediatric massage is commonly used to balance the childs body constitution. Through the use of different hand techniques, the massage improves the flow of Qi and Blood through the meridian channels thus restoring balance. As the treatment is non-invasive and very gentle on the skin, many parents choose this form of treatment for their young children. In fact, pediatric massage is a treatment method that has been recently gaining popularity even amongst non-eczema patients!

What You Need To Know

Since eczema impacts each person so uniquely, Friedman cautioned that no single medicine will fix everyones AD issues and all treatments take time to work.

A lot of people are looking for a quick fix, but I liken it to exercise in that you cant just go to the gym and do a few sit-ups and have a six-pack of abs. Herbs take time, so I always caution people that its not an overnight fix, she said. I usually tell my patients to give themselves three months, and you should see changes all along the way.

Even if you are a good candidate for herbal medicine, treatments can get expensive because TCM is not covered by most insurance companies. Some insurers might allow health spending accounts or flexible spending accounts to be used for appointments and herbs, but others may not.

Because people have to pay out of pocket, its not the easiest solution, and it can be financially hard for some, Friedman said.

Accredited TCM dermatologists like Friedman are a relatively small specialty, which can make it difficult to find a licensed practitioner. Thats why Friedman offers telemedicine video conferencing to see patients across the country who dont have access to a local provider.

I feel strongly that this medicine can offer help and hope to a lot of different people, she said, so my hope is that we can make this medicine more accessible.

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Wrap Up In Cold Weather

Cold, harsh winter winds can dry out the skin and cause eczema flares.

Keep the skin covered when temperatures are low. Also, consider covering the face with a scarf if eczema occurs in this body region.

While many home remedies are suitable for babies and children, always speak with a doctor before using them.

The following home remedies and tips may help:

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Traditional Chinese Medicine For Eczema

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Persistent atopic dermatitis more commonly known as eczema is a condition that makes your skin itchy and appear red or brownish gray in color. Eczema patches may have small raised bumps on the skin that leak and weep fluid when scratched. A variety of causes and conditions can induce flareups of eczema.

Alternative therapies for treatment

There is no known cure for the condition, so some patients seek traditional Chinese medicine for eczema, especially those who want to avoid the side affects of or have found little relief from more common Western medicine therapies. Research indicates that traditional Chinese medicine can safely and effectively treat the allergic condition and improve a patient’s quality of life.

Some natural methods of treatment include:

Research on eczema patients

One study of 14 patients with eczema evaluated the effects of treatment that included acupuncture, topical creams and Erka Shizheng herbal tea. Participants were treated at the Ming Qi Natural Health Center in Manhattan and researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York analyzed and presented study findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. After several months of treatment, the quality of life of the patients improved and the severity of the eczema had declined in the majority of patients.

Acupuncture for eczema

Other natural treatments

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What Does The Immune System Have To Do With Skin Issues

Chinese medicine moderates the immune system.

When it comes to atopic eczema, allergies and immunology could be at the root of it all. Scientists believe that almost all cases of atopic dermatitis are driven by autoimmune issues.

Research shows that Chinese herbs help moderate the immune system to keep it strong, while also preventing it from overreacting and harming healthy tissue.

Balancing The Skins Acidity Levels

Vinegar is highly acidic. The skin is naturally acidic, but people with eczema may have less acidic skin than others, which can weaken the skins defenses.

Applying diluted apple cider vinegar could help balance the skins acidity levels, but vinegar can cause burns if it is not diluted.

In contrast, many soaps, detergents, and cleansers are alkaline. They can disrupt the acidity of the skin, which can leave the skin vulnerable to damage. This may explain why washing with certain soaps can cause eczema flares.

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Natural Treatment Of Eczema: Babies & Children

When babies and children suffer with eczema it can be painful and frustrating for both child and parent alike. Its heartbreaking to see a small child or baby covered with scratch marks a tell tale sign of eczema. Babies and toddlers with eczema find it impossible not to scratch, and most will constantly wear mittens or socks on their hands to protect their delicate skin. Sleep is often restless, adding to the mounting frustration of itching, overall discomfort and over-tiredness.
Chinese herbal medicine can be highly effective in treating babies and children with eczema. We find that herb teas are most easily administered as baths or washes, followed by ointments or creams. For more severe cases and for older children, we prescribe internal herbs in the form of tinctures, herb powders, or herbal teas.

Whats Unique About My Babys Eczema?

In holistic dermatology, everyones case of eczema is unique. Chinese herbal treatment focuses on the underlying patterns of disharmony associated with each childs skin problems. How can we tell what patterns your child has? Read more

Why Go Holistic?

Holistic treatment for childrens eczema is highly effective with long-lasting results. Infants and toddlers have a naturally pure constitution they havent yet been exposed to loads of unhealthy foods and years of stress like most adults have. For the most part, they heal quite quickly. Read more

When Will My Child Be Better?

Does Herbal Medicine Really Work?

Some Helpful Healthy Skin Tips

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Many eczema sufferers find that they can help their condition by paying attention to following a Chinese medicine eczema diet. Try limiting gluten, sugar, and dairy products as these can cause inflammation.

As Eczema in Chinese Medicine is classified as a Hot condition, TCM eczema diet will advise you to limit your intake of warming spices such as ginger, cloves and cinnamon.

Make sure that you moisturise your skin regularly using a good quality product. Look out for moisturisers that are rich in shea butter and jojoba and limit your exposure to synthetic formulas such as those found in perfumes and deodorants.

Wherever possible avoid taxing the skin by wearing too much perfume however some natural essential oils such as chamomile and lavender can be very soothing to the skin and also have a nourishing effect on stressed out minds.

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Natural Remedies For Eczema: Acupuncture And Chinese Medicine

Biomedical treatments may temporarily reduce the itchiness of eczema, but natural therapies and solutions may offer the key to fully overcoming it.

Chinese medicine and acupuncture have been used for centuries to fight symptoms like itching, peeling, and flaking naturally all while restoring healthy skin from the root. Lets see how Chinese medicine and acupuncture could help you overcome your eczema naturally.

Theoretical Basis Of Chinese Medicine

In comparison with European herbalism, Chinese herbal medicine is complex. The use of just one herb , although not unknown, is uncommon almost always a mixture of herbs is used. We will return to this later. Also, most Chinese herbalists are wedded to an elaborate system describing the workings of the human body and the causes of disease, a system that is difficult to equate with the discoveries of modern physiology and anatomy. The complexities of Chinese medical theory and the apparent arbitrariness of the components in the therapeutic recipes are barriers for Westerners seeking to assess the value of CHM.

We will first consider the theoretical basis of Chinese medicine or what Sivin has called the doctrines of Chinese medicine.5 For centuries, Western medicine was conditioned by the theory proposed by Galen of the four humours but this has been long ignored. In contrast, the doctrines of Chinese traditional medicine are still alive and well. The latest edition of the official Chinese pharmacopoeia uses both the vocabulary of modern physiology and pharmacology as well as that of traditional medicine.6 Almost every popular book on Chinese herbal cures describes their properties using the traditional terms. If we are to take CHM seriously and to learn from the experiences of Chinese physicians acquired over many centuries do we have to subscribe to the doctrines as well?

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What Is Topical Steroid Withdrawal Topical Steroid Addiction And Red Skin Syndrome

Topical corticosteroids is one of the most widely and inexpensive drugs used in dermatology to manage eczema. They work by reducing inflammation in the body and are like the corticosteroids made biologically by the adrenal glands. Topical Steroid Withdrawal is a term used to refer to symptoms that arise in the days and weeks after an individual stops topical steroid usage. The symptoms include but are not limited to more pronounced burning, stinging or painful skin, a red sleeve pattern on the arms and legs that may be accompanied by swelling, and new areas of eczema that have never appeared before. It has been suggested that TSW is associated with the use of medium to high potency topical and/or oral steroids, but there have been exceptions to this as well. Given that TSW is still a relatively new area, much more research is still underway.

For individuals undergoing TSW, it can be unbearably exhausting on many levels physical, emotional, social and financial. Instances such as having to be homebound and in isolation be it for months or years are very real struggles. It is not an easy journey. With social support and the right treatments to rebuild the bodys system, individuals undergoing TSW can definitely be better supported in their journey of recovery.

Besides TSW, Topical Steroid Addiction and Red Skin Syndrome are also two other syndromes that patients experience. While these terms are sometimes used exchangeably, there are differences between them.

Regulation Of Herbal Remedies

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Although it was prescribed to a small number of patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Zemaphyte was never granted a licence and Phytopharm discontinued its research into developing the drug. A former consultant to the company explained that the main reason for this was that the manufacture of Zemaphyte resulted in a financial loss for Phytopharm.30 Prior to April 2004, European guidelines concerning the development and marketing of herbal medicines required only that the manufacturer compile a dossier containing details of the product. The dossier had to include biochemistry, microbiology, and toxicology test results that ensure the drugs quality and safety, as well as detailed references to published scientific literature regarding the efficacy of the components of the herbal mixture. Manufacturers must also ensure that their product has the same:

Qualitative and quantitative composition in active substances and the same pharmaceutical form as the reference medicinal product, and bioequivalence with the reference medicinal product has been demonstrated by appropriate bioavailability studies.31

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The Effects Of Traditional Chinese Medicine On Eczema

Typically marked by blotchy, itchy, or otherwise irritated skin, eczema refers to a group of skin conditions that cause sufferers both physical and mental anguish. The annoying symptoms associated with eczema are typically eased via steroids and topical medications, but these often lead to unwanted side effects.

Increasingly, patients are turning to traditional Chinese medicine in hopes of easing eczema symptoms while suffering minimal side effects. When integrated into a healthy lifestyle, acupuncture and use of traditional herbs can greatly reduce the severity of eczema symptoms. This approach is particularly worthwhile for patients who have not responded to typical Western eczema treatments.

What Ingredients Do You Use In The Herbal Medicine

Majority of the Chinese herbs we use are derived from roots, twigs, leafs and flowers, and occasionally we may use the shells of cicadas which are collected after the cicadas had shed them naturally . The shells of the cicadas have a effective anti-itch property. However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, we have many other anti-itch herbs that are just as effective.

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Q: Whats The Status Of Current Research Related To Ad And Chinese Herbal Therapy

A: The research, per se, is part of the big picture work we are doing on food allergies and asthma, which also play a big role in AD, as with other allergies. The same bad guys such as allergen-specific IgE and elevated levels of IL-4 and IL-13 that are associated with allergic reactions are associated with AD. IL-5 helps attract eosinophils, a potent defense against intestinal parasites, which congregate wherever there is persistent inflammation, including the skin. We are lowering those. Likewise, they help elevate production of IgG4 blocking antibodies and interferon gamma, which are associated with protection from allergies.

This research allows us to understand the mechanisms by which all the medicines work, and discover ways to make them more effective.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas For Skin Conditions


When it comes to dermatology, Chinese herbology shines. Difficult and complex conditions like psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema that fail to see results with conventional medicine often improve with the whole-body approach of herbal medicine. Herbs are used both internally in the form of tea or pills, or externally with herbal creams and tinctures. While external/topical products focus on eliminating symptoms, the internal formulas work to re-establish a healthy balance in the body to heal the skin conditions from the root.

Indicated for those with acne marked by redness with hardened pimples/distinct hardening of the skin. Kelp seaweed breaks up the masses, while the other herbs clear heat and cool the blood. Crushed pearl is added as it is considered a beauty tonic for the skin .

Dan Shen Huo Xue Wan

This formula tonifies blood and clears heat to address presentations with red, inflamed skin and itching. It is especially useful in cases of acute eczema and hives and for chronic psoriasis.

Lian Qiao Bai Du Tablets: This formula is an effective and popular formula to address acute itching from allergic hives and eczema. It also contains antimicrobial herbs that clear heat which make it a good choice to address pedatric measles, chicken pox, rubella, and roseola.

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Q: What Successes Have You Had

A: We have had a great deal of success with patients whose AD was so bad that it represented a considerable threat to their quality of life and morale, both children and adults. When I began my clinical practice more than a decade ago, I started with eczema. Doctors sent patients to me after they felt they had done all they could do for them.

What Is Topical Steroid Withdrawal

TSW also known asRed Skin Syndrome or Topical Steroid Addiction is a term used to describe the debilitating condition that results when long-time users stop or reduce the application of topical steroids to treat a skin condition. Symptoms of withdrawal from the topical steroids include intense itchiness, a burning sensation, and extremely red or inflamed skin. Despite conflicting research that both supports and discourages the use of topical steroids, one thing is certain: Topical Steroid Withdrawal is real and requires medical attention to avoid infection.

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