Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, is a condition that irritates one’s skin. There is currently no definitive cure, but there are a variety of methods Eastern medicine uses to encourage homeostasis and treat symptoms.
Typically, one develops eczema as a child and “outgrows” it into adulthood. However, some people continue to experience varying degrees of eczema symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry and sensitive skin
- Severe itching
- Red to brown patches of skin
- Small raised bumps
These symptoms range in severity, and can flare up or worsen depending on environmental factors, or by eating specific foods.
In Eastern medicine, any skin condition, including eczema, is caused by an imbalance of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang being the coolness and heat within the body. However, stress and lung Qi are two factors that can also influence eczema. When one is stressed, their body’s innate ability to achieve homeostasis is compromised, therefore making them more susceptible to symptoms. In addition, when one has weak lung Qi, they are more likely to develop an excess of heat which in turn can increase the severity of symptoms.
Furthermore, an excess of heat and what part of the body it affects can result in eczema symptoms flaring up in specific ways. An excess of heat can be defined as Wind Heat, Blood Heat, or Damp Heat. Wind, blood, and damp referring to the air, blood, and other fluids within the body being affected by the imbalance.
Wind Heat: Eczema appears commonly over the front of the legs, with flare ups spreading to the rest of the body or top of head. This is combated by clearing heat from the lungs and large intestine.
Blood Heat: Eczema will appear significantly redder and feel hot to the touch. This is combated by clearing heat from the heart and liver.
Damp Heat: Eczema will have blisters, and may appear moist. This is combated by promoting movement of Qi from the spleen, and clearing heat from the Sanjiao meridian.
In Eastern medicine, heat can be cleared out in a variety of ways to encourage homeostasis and reduce the symptoms caused by eczema. This includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, and diet changes. All of these things are used to influence the Yin, Yang, and Qi within the body, as with proper balance comes good health. If you have it and are looking for alternative treatment, we encourage you to try Eastern medicine.