Eczema Prevention

Eczema Treatment

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a condition where the skin develops a rash, which may be itchy, dry, irritated or inflamed.  The condition isn’t infectious, and you may find that your symptoms decrease with age.  The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis which appears as a dry, red, itchy rash on the skin.  This article will discuss the diagnosis and treatment options for eczema, including Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments.

Eczema Diagnosis:

Doctors can usually diagnose eczema by examining the affected area of skin and talking with you about your symptoms.  For some types of eczema like contact dermatitis, your doctor may do a patch test to see what allergens may be triggering your symptoms.  In the patch test a patch is placed on the skin, and various potential allergens are applied.  If your skin reacts to an allergen, this means it’s a trigger for your eczema.

Eczema Treatment:

Your doctor may refer you to an allergist or dermatologist to treat your eczema.  There are different eczema treatment options available, depending on the type of eczema you have and how severe it is.  These treatments include medication, therapy, lifestyle changes and natural remedies.

Eczema Treatment

Medications for eczema treatment include oral antihistamines and cortisone (steroid) creams.  Antihistamines help to relieve itching by blocking allergic reactions caused by histamine.  However, antihistamines also cause side effects like drowsiness.  For mild eczema, low potency steroid creams (like hydrocortisone) are available over the counter, while high potency steroids for treating severe eczema may be prescribed by your doctor.  Side effects including irritation, discolouration and thinning of the skin may occur after long term use, however.

If topical creams aren’t helping your eczema, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids.  These medications can cause serious side effects including bone loss.  Eczema flare ups may be triggered by an overactive immune system, so doctors may also prescribe immunosuppressants.  The side effects of these medications include increased risk of cancer, kidney disease, high blood pressure and infection.

Eczema treatments can also include light therapy (phototherapy), which uses sunlamps or ultraviolet light to stop the immune system responses that trigger eczema.  Light therapy treatments can help reduce and remove eczema symptoms as well as bacterial infections.

Natural Treatment for Eczema:

Lifestyle changes may also be helpful for eczema treatment. Using a cold compress or soaking the skin in warm water for 15 minutes may help reduce itching sensations.  Since stress can make eczema worse, reducing stress levels by meditating, practising breathing exercises, doing yoga and setting a regular sleeping pattern can also help treat eczema.

Remedies like herbal teas, aromatherapy, essential oils like primrose, borage, coconut and sunflower oils, and relaxation techniques are also natural options for eczema treatment.

Eczema Treatment

How Can Chinese Medicine Help?

Chinese Medicine can help you treat conditions like eczema by addressing the underlying imbalances in the body.  In Chinese Medicine, the organs work together to control the functions of the body, and when one organ becomes weak this naturally affects other parts of the body.  For instance, when the lungs and large intestine become weak or out of balance, this may affect the breathing, bowel movements and may also cause skin conditions like eczema.

To treat conditions like eczema, Chinese Medicine practitioners will aim to rebalance the organs in the body, by energising the weaker organs through techniques like acupuncture, herbal medicine and acupressure.  By encouraging the organs to function properly by themselves, symptoms of conditions like eczema can naturally subside.  These techniques are not only effective and gentle, but also rarely show any side effects.

Conclusion:

Overall, eczema may be easily diagnosed through examination of the affected skin and discussion of the symptoms with your doctor.  Treatment options for eczema range from medications, light therapy and lifestyle changes to natural remedies like relaxation and meditation.  Most eczema medications do come with the risk of mild to severe side effects.  Contrastingly, Chinese Medicine techniques like acupuncture have little to no side effects at all and heal the body by rebalancing the weaker organs.  

For more information about eczema and Chinese Medicine, see our webpage at https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/eczema/.

To learn more about how Chinese Medicine can help you, see our website at https://balancetcm.co.nz/.

Eczema Treatment

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References:

Behring, S. (2021, November 24). Everything You Need to Know About Eczema. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/eczema

Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.).  Would You Like to Experience More Energy, & Less Stress & Pain? https://balancetcm.co.nz/

Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Archive for category: Eczema. https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/eczema/

Phua, S. (n.d.).  What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?  Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/