The common symptoms of eczema are itching, scaling, possibly blisters and redness. Eczema is a term that is often used to describe a number of inflammatory skin conditions. It is generally treated with steroid creams.
Chinese herbal medicine can treat eczema very successfully because the herbs used can either be adapted by dosage or different herbs prescribed to treat the severity of the most prominent symptoms. Amanda treats every case of eczema as unique and uses a different approach to treatment based on her diagnosis of the symptoms. It is this treatment and diagnosis of each case as individual and unique that was observed in a study on Chinese Herbal medicine at The Royal Free Hospital in London on children with atopic eczema (Lancet medical journal, vol. 340, August 1992).
This is an allergic type of eczema. One out of six babies develop it in the first year of life. Affected children or adults often present with a number of allergies including asthma, hay fever and possibly food allergies.
Chinese Herbal Treatment works on the premise that the key is to reduce and eliminate the allergic reaction at the root of the condition, as it can be difficult to avoid the foods or substances that trigger the allergic response. This is achieved through individualized treatment, with careful attention to the exact presentation of each case.
Some cases in atopic eczema can be identified a “hot-dry” type of eczema, without blisters, or a weeping, “damp” type. The identification of the various symptoms presenting in eczema and requires a lot of experience. . Dry eczema needs cooling and moistening herbs while damp eczema needs drying and cooling herbs. Accompanying symptoms: sweating, constipation, insomnia, amount of itch is also treated.
Nummular or Discoid Eczema
This is a weeping, blistering type of eczema which can easily become infected. The aim of treatment is to stop the weeping and close up the lesions using herbs with a strong antiseptic action against viral and bacterial pathogens.
Pompholyx (Hand) Eczema
This type of eczema affects the palms and sometimes soles. It is very itchy with small blisters, which may or may not rupture and crust over. Initially it may just be seasonal (summer) , but for some people it can become chronic and severe as it can affect daily with patients unable to handle objects or tasks comfortably. For some, it is only a seasonal, (usually) late summer problem, while for many it becomes chronic and severe over many years. While short term, seasonal flares may be cured by steroid cream applications; in chronic cases repeated application of steroid creams will thin the skin. In TCM this condition is thought to be caused by poor digestion or liver congestion and “heat”. The patient is questioned about digestive symptoms and the presentation and location of the blisters is also relevant to the correct diagnosis and treatment. The duration of treatment in all cases depends on the duration of illness. A case that has been active for decades will take many months, whereas one of very recent onset may clear up within 3 or 4 weeks.
For all types of eczema, there are several factors which can indicate whether a case will be difficult to treat or not.
For example, the presentation of atopic eczema on the inside of joints, i.e. the elbows, knees, wrists considered typical, and indicates a good prognosis. If, on the other hand, a patient has it on the outside of these joints, it will be a more difficult case. With this type of presentation, patience is required. On average, a patient should take into account that the treatment of all chronic, long-term eczemas may take anything between 8 to 24 weeks.