Eczema Causes

Types and Symptoms of Eczema

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a rash which appears on the skin.  The skin may become dry, red, itchy or irritated, and this rash may occur on different parts of the body.  There are different types of eczema, depending on the type of rash and where on the body it occurs.  While eczema usually starts from infancy or childhood, people of any age can get eczema.  This article will present the types and symptoms of eczema, and how Chinese Medicine can help with treatment.

Types of Eczema:

The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis, and occurs as a red, dry, itchy rash.  Contact dermatitis is similar but is caused by contact with something that irritates the skin or causes an allergic reaction.  Eczema which affects the skin of the hands and feet is called dyshidrotic dermatitis.  This type of eczema appears as an itchy, scaly rash which may crack and become painful or flaky.  Dyshidrotic dermatitis is more common in women than men.  Nummular dermatitis occurs as extremely itchy round patches of rash which tend to occur on the lower legs, and usually arises due to a break in the skin or a history of very dry skin.  Similarly, eczema on the lower legs may also be caused by poor blood flow.  This type of eczema is called stasis dermatitis.

Symptoms of Eczema

Symptoms of Eczema:

Eczema can flare up and become more intense at times, and at other times you may find your eczema subsiding.  The main symptoms of eczema include itchy, irritated, inflamed skin, which can also be dry, rough or flaky.  Eczema commonly affects areas like the inner elbows and behind the knees, as well as the arms, face and scalp.  Eczema tends to get worse during the night and scratching it may cause it to get more severe or infected.  However, as you get older your eczema may become less severe.

Occasionally, you may experience other symptoms with eczema, like small, raised bumps that release fluid when scratched, thick or scaly skin, or reddish to brownish patches.  Eczema isn’t contagious, but if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life you might like to make an appointment with your doctor.

Symptoms of Eczema

How Can Chinese Medicine Help?

In Chinese Medicine, we like to treat health issues such as eczema by trying to solve the root cause of the problem.  Each organ in the body works together to perform certain functions, and when one organ gets out of balance, this may cause symptoms to occur in the other parts of the body.  For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine the lungs and the large intestine work together to control the functions of breathing and bowel movements, but also control the skin.  So, when one of these organs is weak or out of balance, you may experience symptoms on the skin, like eczema. 

To find the cause of your health problems, a Chinese Medicine practitioner will try to find out which organs or systems in the body are unbalanced, by asking questions about your symptoms and taking your pulse.  Then, effective and gentle techniques like acupuncture and acupressure can be used to boost the affected organs to promote healthy functioning of the body.


Overall, eczema is a common skin condition which occurs as itchy, irritated skin or rashes.  The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis, but other types of eczema also exist (like dyshidrotic dermatitis).  Chinese Medicine can help you treat annoying eczema through effective techniques like acupuncture, which boost the health of the body naturally. Please see our webpage at for more information about how Chinese Medicine can help treat eczema.

Symptoms of Eczema

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

Phua, S. (n.d.).  What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?  Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine.