There’s nothing more disheartening than witnessing a child scratching so intensely they bleed, itching so badly they can’t sit still or sleep – not to mention excel in school. For some the unsightliness of atopic eczema can inhibit interactions leading to isolation. In the US , 50% of the 9.6 million children with atopic eczema develop asthma and 75% develop allergic rhinitis. Steroids can provide temporary relief but are not a solution as they damage the skin and have many undesirable side effects. Family members typically feel frustrated and helpless. In 2016, Americans spent $314 million on eczema. This is not an ideal childhood (or adulthood).
An often over looked approach for managing eczema is Traditional Chinese Medicine. Every patient expresses this disease differently, therefore is well served by the customized approach that Chinese medicine has to offer. In fact, Chinese Medicine has successfully treated eczema and other skin conditions for thousands of years.
In 2016 over 100 research studies were published in Chinese journals of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture about eczema. Our knowledge of this research is limited. Two studies of interest were published in English. A large study in Taiwan found that internal and topical Chinese Herbs significantly reduced the need for corticosteroid medications in children. Also of note is an article encouraging western dermatologists to familiarize themselves with Chinese Medicine.
Chinese Medicine is increasingly utilized in many parts of the US and the world at large. It is especially useful for difficult skin diseases.
Please watch this short video on treating eczema with Chinese Medicine: