Allergic eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects 3% of the population. Starting in early childhood, this condition can last for decades, if not for life. Eczema, along with acne and psoriasis, is one of the most common skin conditions that I see in my clinic. Western medical treatment still relies heavily on creams containing steroids, even though they can have very damaging side effects.
Several years ago, a middle aged woman named Sonya came to see me seeking help for a recent flare up of the eczema she had been suffering with her whole life. She had been unconsciously scratching at a persistent burning itch on her leg, that then became infected, triggering off a whole body rash. Basically, an allergic reaction to the infection.
Not wanting to use the steroid creams any longer, for fear of thinning her skin more than it already was, Sonya was very eager to try herbal medicine. I prescribed her a mixture of herbs that took into account the infection, the itch, and the fact that her digestion was in a bad state. I also prescribed her a cream which contained the herb indigo as its main active ingredient. This very ancient herb from India, more commonly known as a clothing die, is indeed a very effective remedy for both eczema and psoriasis.
Chinese medicine puts a lot of emphasis on the strength of ones digestion and how that relates to the health of the skin. Sonya suffered with much bloating and cramping, as well as very loose and smelly stools, all signs of what we call damp heat. This directly corresponded to Sonya’s eczema, which tended to be wet, red and burning. Along with the herbal medicines, I encouraged Sonya to avoid food and drink that would aggravate this damp heat, which was basically sugar, flour products and alcohol.
Within a few weeks, she noticed that the eczema was receding and her itch was disappearing. A few months later Sonya was happy to announce that both her skin and digestion were totally clear of any problem, a result that continued even after stopping the herbal treatment.
Doctors of Chinese medicine, who specialize in Dermatology, have successfully treated eczema for thousands of years. Their secret lies in the use of herbal formulas that are designed specifically for the individual. Since every person has a completely different constitution, and since every person’s eczema is totally different, a proper prescription has to take into account these variables. This is why Sonya’s treatment was so successful, and is also why thousands of others like her have find success with herbal medicines.
Modern research has confirmed Chinese herbal medicines to he an effective treatment for eczema, both for the short and long term. Most importantly herbal medicine continues to be seen as a safe alternative to the damaging side effects of the steroids.
Dr. Trevor Erikson practices in sunny White Rock, BC, and may be reached through his website at www.drerikson.com, or by phone at 778.886.1180.