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Can Chinese Medicine Cure Eczema?

Updated on February 12, 2015

Eczema on the Arms

Eczema on the arms
Eczema on the arms

Living with Eczema

Eczema is something that runs in my family. I have lived with this since my teen years. I had suffered chronic eczema when we owned a ferret, named Roxie for nine years. Large patches of eczema developed all over my legs, arms and face. It became sore, itchy and burning. Once our ferret died the eczema left only to return occasionally.

Getting shots were offered after different conventional creams the dermatologist prescribed didn’t work. For whatever reason, I chose not to go with the shots. I think it had to do with the amount our insurance would or wouldn't cover. The other alternative was to get rid of our pet or stay away from her. Neither of these choices were an option, for she was part of our family.

Reading up on alternative medicine, Chinese medicine might have helped me where the conventional did not.

Eczema is a skin disorder that is characterized by itching, scaling, thickening of the skin, and is usually located on the face, elbows, knees, and arms. Acute stages are sometimes accompanied by crusting, scaling, or blisters.

People with eczema often have a family history of the condition or a family history of other allergic conditions, such as asthma or hay fever. Allegoric reactions to certain foods and perfume can bring out an outbreak. Studies have shown that up to 20% of children and 1% to 2% of adults are believed to have eczema. Eczema is slightly more common in girls than in boys.

Acupuncture for Eczema

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Eczema

Eczema is not contagious, though can be a chronic skin disorder and there is no cure. It is a condition that can come and go at anytime. It can be a small patch or something much larger. TCM is an alternate to the topical creams and oral steroids prescribed by a physician. The reason for an alternative medicine is that these only relieve on a temporary basis and sometimes not at all. There are many side effects with prolong use, such as thinning of the skin, weight gain due to increased appetite and fluid retention, damage of the kidneys, bones and heart (oral steroids).

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used for over 3,000 years and it treats the root cause of an illness, not just the symptoms. TCM offers herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutrition and food cures, and acupressure and Massage.

Acupuncture has been proved to be effective in treating eczema. The Chinese believe that eczema is caused by excess heat and dryness in the system. Acupuncture had can reduce soreness and inflammation, speed up the healing time, build up the immune system to stop eczema coming back and reduce heat built up in the system to stop Eczema coming back. A study done in New York revealed that within an average of nine treatments, 50% of patients had complete or nearly complete clearance of skin lesions.

Treating eczema with herbs: Different herbs have shown to help in the treatment of eczema. In an article published in the British Journal of Dermatology, doctors at the Chinese University of Hong Kong described how they effectively treated eczema patients with five Chinese herbs. These herbs are Flos lonicerae (Jinyinhua), Herba menthae (Bohe), Cortex moutan (Danpi), Rhizoma atractylodis (Cangzhu) and Cortex phellodendri (Huangbai).

Flos lonicerae (Jinyinhua), also known as the Honeysuckle Flower or Lonicera: Clears heat and reduces toxins.

Herba menthae (Bohe), also known as Field Mint, Mentha: Vents Rashes and allows the skin to breath.

Cortex moutan (Danpi), also known as Tree Peony Bark: Clear heat and cool blood, activate blood circulation and remove stasis.

Rhizoma atractylodis (Cangzhu): Dries dampness (not sure what part this has on eczema.)

Cortex phellodendri (Huangbai), also known as Phellodendron bark: To reduce fire and release toxins.

Finding the food triggers: Chinese medicine also involves finding the food which triggers eczema in each patient. The most common food triggers are eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat. Among these, eggs are the strongest trigger for eczema.

Acupressure works with the same principles as Acupuncture, but without the needles. It works with applying pressure to various points on the body. Acupressure uses hand or finger pressure to stimulate the body's natural healing energy. Acupressure clears away the heat and generates fluids. Pressure is added to a selection of points as well as the techniques used in manipulating those points. An Acupuncturist will use a gentle method called Bu to strengthen energy at a point, or a more stimulating technique called Shi to reduce heat energy at a point.

Itchy Eczema May Come From Chinese Healing Herbs

Chinese Herbal Medicine Products

30 Hubs in 30 Days

Im taking part in the March 2010 Helpful Health Hubs Contest of 30 Hubs in 30 Days. Visit my other Hubs and help with the celebration of Health & Wellness Month
Im taking part in the March 2010 Helpful Health Hubs Contest of 30 Hubs in 30 Days. Visit my other Hubs and help with the celebration of Health & Wellness Month

The copyright to this article is owned by Sandy Mertens (sandyspider). Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing. (You can, however, freely use the opening introduction and photo with a link to the article here on HubPages to read the remainder of the article.)

What do you think of Chinese Medicine?

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    • Sandyspider profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the tips, Nathan.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      ok so i have had eczema for ages and only recently have i been able to make it decrease exponentially

      things i do

      ok eczema creams/topical roids 0.5% then vaseline straight after shower in the morning

      after drying myself with a towel also have cool showers dont have hot ones

      and at night another cool shower and wash the creams of dont apply more creams till the morning

      now for diet allergies are a huge contributing factor for eczema get checked avoid your allergens people for me its molds and fungi which is everywhere talk about copping the dick LOL

      my diet looks something like this

      morning 600ml of purified water followed by large green shake kale a pear, ginger and a cucumber with more purified water

      then after a couple hours i have another shake with unrefined virgin coconut oil, chia seeds spinach leaves and almond milk

      then afternoon i have 150 to 200g of fish with 200g of sweet potato then dinner usually something like 150g of chicken with some vegetables

      i also only drink purified water no soft drinks or chocolate n candies and junk shit

      however i do lift weights and go for runs quite alot anywhere from 3 to 6 times a week usually 30min to 1 hour a day

      btw i use a blender and i usualy consume varied amounts of things accept for the chia seeds n coconut oil which is always 1 large tablespoon

      hope this helps guys if i find a way to cure my eczema completely im gna shout it at the rooftops and you will all here it =)

    • Sandyspider profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandy Mertens 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Mulberry1, I know from my own experience that eczema is very itchy. I would say that you niece has something else which is causing her red hands.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      11 years ago

      That does look quite uncomfortable. My neice has hands that are very red and look similar to the arms in the photo but hers aren't itchy, burning or dry nor are they cracked. Just red, with a similar pattern. I have no idea why they are that way.

    • Sandyspider profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandy Mertens 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      travel_man1971, you are right. But I do know people who have improved with Chinese medicine. Food plays a part in skin diseases. But there are other factors, such as the environment and if it runs in the family.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      11 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Skin diseases are the warning factors that what we eat can be wrong to our body. It's just that we often ignore it because we crave for that kind of food.

      Ever heard of mildew simplex? I acquired this fungal disease onboard ship due to the preserved foods we used to eat. Oftentimes, our surroundiings at home can trigger skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, etc.

      I agree with Magnoliazz, don't rely too much on the so-called Chinese herbal remedies. You'll never know what they put or mix in there, unless you personally search for the cure.

    • Lamme profile image


      11 years ago

      Excellent information. I have a son, he's only 7, but he's suffered with eczema since he was a baby. When he was about 2, we had him tested for allergies, he tested positive for every one of the food triggers you listed! Flax seed and Omega 3's help, we are currently trying a black current oil. Thanks for the excellent hub.

    • richardheft profile image


      11 years ago from Stratford, CT

      I was a licensed Acupuncture Physician (FL 1992- 2002). I had a serious case of eczema on both hands. I tried every Chinese herbal remedy (made from scratch, boiled herbs for hours, etc.). Didn't work at all. What did work was dietary change and spices (Ayuevedic Healing, David Frawley). The following is my story, case history, excerpted from my book, Hot and Cold Health and Disease.

      Case history: In 1989, I developed a bad, hideous case of eczema. It first started as a pimple, blister on my index finger (left hand) that quickly multiplied over the next few months into a multitude of blisters, cracked skin, bleeding, pus, etc. that not only covered the entire back of my left hand and fingers, but was also starting to crawl up, infect the arm. Two fingers on my right hand were also starting to infect. This happened while I was running my health food store and going to acupuncture school. It was gross. I wore surgical gloves during the day. I tried every Chinese herbal remedy. Nothing worked. My skin, hands were getting worse. I eventually turned to Ayurvedic Medicine via Ayurvedic Healing, and Yoga of Herbs by Dr. David Frawley, O.M.D., which recommended the use of spices. My diet at the time was bland, low protein, low fat, sweet and cooling. I was living in Florida. I reduced juices, fruits while increasing protein, fat, cooked foods and spices. I always used at least five spices. Within three weeks, my eczema cleared up. My digestion also improved less bloating, gas, burping, farting, etc. I did have eczema as a teenager (not as serious).

    • pmccray profile image


      11 years ago from Utah

      Great hub, I had a co-worker who suffered from an eczema. He was a huge loveable teddy bear, but unfortunately lived a lonely existence because of eczema. Bookmarking this hub great info on TCM

    • valentinemartina profile image


      11 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for sharing this information. I know someone who suffers terribly from this. I will direct them here so maybe they can finally find some relief from it.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      A very interesting hub. Natural herbal medicine can provide alternative to standard treatment. Thanks for sharing.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      11 years ago from US

      good info, I have a neighbor who have eczema before and I wonder herbs could be so helpful, Maita

    • Sandyspider profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandy Mertens 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the suggestions magnoliazz.

      marcofratelli, My father had chronic psoriasis and it never went away. It continued to get worse. He was covered all over his body. They even broke open and he had to get a couple of toes amputated because of this condition. Last year it was found on my daughter's scalp. It continues to grow for her. We had only went the conventional way. But looking towards TCM is something to consider.

      I would say that eczema doesn't even compare to psoriasis. If I had to chose between the two,I would chose eczema.

    • magnoliazz profile image


      11 years ago from Wisconsin

      Eczema is a complete and total hell. I have had eczema and hives both throughout my lifetime, sometimes for over a year at a time with no let up. I even had hives inside my mouth.

      I was able to get rid of eczema by eliminating dairy foods from my life. I did this for over a year with no flares, and when I started eating dairy again, I had a dramatic decrease in eczema after that. Its like I needed a reboot from dariy, this may not work for everyone.

      For hives, Edgar Cayce recommended watermelon seed tea. This really helped me when nothing else did! Simply crush watermelon seeds, place in a tea ball and brew it up!

      I hope these suggestion will help those afflicted, no one knows how misearable this can be until it happens to them, the lack of sleep alone, itchy all night, makes it a living hell.

    • entertianmentplus profile image


      11 years ago from United States

      Good hub and info thanks..

    • marcofratelli profile image


      11 years ago from Australia

      The sister skin condition to the equally annoying psoriasis. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 

      11 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I have seen some people with severe cases. Not a fun condition. Others fortunately don't have it so bad.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      11 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      This is a great hub, I have these on my elbows, at least that's what I think it is. It is scaly, itchy and gets kind of black. I use a heavy cream over the counter for dry skin which does seem to keep it at bay. Thank you for a great hub...


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