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Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture Offer A much Better Alternative for the Treatment of Eczema than Conventional Medications

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Eczema, also sometimes referred to as dermatitis, is a type of skin condition marked by skin redness and inflammation, and in severe conditions, blisters on the surface of the skin. Eczema symptoms include rashes on the legs, arms, and cheeks, and scaly, itchy, dry skin. Eczema can be caused by factors such as emotional stress, sudden temperature drops or rises, environmental irritants, and allergens such as molds, grass pollens, animal dander and house dust mites. In the United States, there are more than 15 million people suffering from this disease.

Eczema treatment using acupuncture can provide sufferers relief from itching and skin dryness. Yes, there are conventional drugs that can effectively reduce flare-ups and inflammation; however, they cause several unwanted side effects such as numbness, tingling, headaches, nausea, and high blood pressure. The actual acupuncture procedure only begins after the practitioner determines a detailed diagnosis of the patient. The practitioner needs to first evaluate the manifested eczema conditions and the undying imbalances in the patient’s body. Blockages and energy imbalances are rectified and rebalanced with acupuncture. Thus, the root cause of eczema and its symptoms are addressed.

Eczema treatment in Cleveland using acupuncture aids in the removal of dampness and heat that has gathered in the skin. With the combination of Chinese herbal medicine (through herbal formulas taken internally or creams applied externally), acupuncture works to soothe the local tissues and cools the body in order to alleviate flare-ups and provide longstanding positive results in the condition. Allergic reactions that can cause eczema are lessened with acupuncture. The common symptoms of general discomfort and skin irritation are also reduced by this very useful and powerful treatment.

The potency of acupuncture is based on various factors such as the magnitude of the eczema, how long the condition has existed, how it’s managed, and how well the patient is able to avoid things that exacerbate the condition. The term of the therapy differs from one patient to another. Typically, for acute eczema cases, results may be evident after two or three weeks of treatment; for chronic eczema cases, treatments lasting a month or more may be required.

Written by Valerie

May 27th, 2015 at 1:54 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupuncture Can Help Cure Acute and Chronic Eczema

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Eczema from the Viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, eczema is the result of a person’s Defensive Qi or Wei- Qi being deficient. Wei-Qi is the energy that protects your body from being infiltrated by external pathogens and has a close relationship to your skin. The Five Elements Theory, which is one among the three basic theories that comprise TCM state that the Lung is the system that is responsible for your skin (including the health of the skin). The Kidney system plays an auxiliary role in skin health maintenance and it is responsible for moistening and nourishing the skin.

Usually a person can develop eczema at a young age. This condition usually comes along with the development of asthma. Eczema can manifest in two ways: one type of eczema is caused by Damp-Heat (associated more or less with Kidneys), the other is the result of Wind-Heat (more or less related to a Lung deficiency). The common factor between these two kinds of eczema is ‘Heat’. This is the reason why in eczema you see inflammation and redness on the skin. When Wind-Heat is the cause, dry lesions will manifest and will move from place to place on your body. The movement of the symptoms is a clear sign of Wind invasion in your body. When Damp-Heat is the cause, the lesions will fluid. This is a sign that your body is suffering from Dampness. The lesions are limited to certain parts of your body including the lower legs and forearms in a Damp-Heat type of eczema.

Treating eczema with Acupuncture in Maitland

Acupuncture treatment for acute eczema cases particularly if the eczema is caused by Wind-Heat is fairly easy to treat since the pathogenic factor has barely time to settle in the body. However, most cases of eczema in the United States are chronic because Western modes of treatment to treat this condition have proven unsuccessful allowing the eczema to fester for a long time. Like acute eczema, chronic or long-term eczema can be easily treated with TCM and acupuncture although a longer treatment time may be needed compared to the treatment for acute eczema.

Nourishment of your Lungs and Kidneys is the main treatment protocol in curing eczema. This is combined with the nourishment of your Blood when it is suspected that you have Blood deficiency and Wind in your body. If needed, Dampness should be also resolved.

Self-Care

To protect your skin from eczema you need to avoid eating the flowing foods:

-Mushrooms
-Spinach
-Shellfish
-Alcohol
-Spicy foods
-Fried foods
-Dairy products

It is also recommended that you protect your skin from the wind and cold.

Written by Valerie

April 10th, 2015 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupuncture and Herbal Remedies Are Superior Remedies to Drugs When It Comes To Treating Eczema

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There are over 16 million people in the United States suffering from a skin condition known as eczema. This disease is marked by patches of red, scaly and dry skin that is often accompanied by severe itching. Conventional Western remedies for eczema that include corticosteroids usually only address the itchiness and inflammation associated with this condition. While effective in subduing these two symptoms, corticosteroids come with major side effects that include weight increase, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, glaucoma, and cataracts. People looking for a safe and more natural alternative than conventional treatment may be able to find some answers in acupuncture treatment.

A study done in Germany was done to see how acupuncture can help people suffering from eczema. About 30 individuals all with eczema induced by allergy to pollen and dust mites participated in the study. All the subjects underwent three different test conditions. Point-specific acupuncture was the first treatment given. It involved needling specific points that were meant to relieve the itching. These points were the Hsuehai and Quchi acupuncture points. “Placebo-point” treatment was the next treatment given. It used the acupuncture points that were not specifically meant to address the itchy skin. The final test condition was no treatment after the subjects were exposed to the allergen.

The results of the test were impressive. All the subjects were observed to have lesser degrees of itchiness after getting the point-specific acupuncture compared to placebo acupuncture and the no treatment therapies. Moreover, some interesting reports revealed that after being exposed to the allergen a second time, the subjects showed less severe flare-ups after being given point-specific acupuncture. These observations showed that with just one treatment of point-specific acupuncture, a sustained improvement of the symptoms of eczema can be achieved. The researchers concluded that needling the correct acupuncture points can help bring about a vast improvement in type I hypersensitivity itch in people suffering from atopic eczema.

A similar study this time done in Palestine observed how acupuncture combined with herbal therapy can be effective in treating atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. The study had 20 participants ranging in the ages of 14 and 49. They were treated with a combined modality of acupuncture and herbs for three months three times each day. The subjects were evaluated after the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th week. At the end of the 12th week (the end of the study), the subjects had a 45% improvement of their itching. Besides that, they also showed a quality of life improvement of around 39%. Based on these findings, the Palestinian study concluded that a combination of Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture can produce benefits when it comes to the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

These conclusions verified that both acupuncture and herbal medicine do indeed work in the treatment of the symptoms of eczema. This means that there is a much safer and effective treatment for this condition than prescription drugs. The above mentioned scientific studies can help a sufferer make an informed decision regarding the type of treatment he/she can turn to when it comes to the treatment of his/her eczema.

 

Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.

Written by Valerie

November 11th, 2014 at 4:22 am

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TCM suggests acupuncture besides the aforementioned Chinese herbs as an adjunct therapy for skin conditions.

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TCM or traditional Chinese medicine in Jacksonville has for millennia been great remedies for several kinds of maladies from internal health conditions to skin problems, such as alopecia, psoriasis, acne, eczema and others. A lot of acupuncturists and TCM practitioners these days utilize acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to treat their patients who want a non-chemical and less invasive treatment approach to their health problem.

TCM considers good health to be a balance between a person’s environment he/she lives in and his/her body’s internal systems. The disruption of the balance between yin and yang, blood and Qi or energy can give rise to the occurrence of diseases. Environmental conditions, such as dryness, dampness, cold, heat and wind can also play a factor in illness. Moreover, traditional Chinese medicine considers the mind as a powerful factor that can affect a person’s health.

In dermatology, there are four aspects where TCM can be utilized. Za Bing (disorders such as gangrene and acute stomach disorders), Gan Men Bing (anus or rectal disorders like hemorrhoids), Ri Fu Ling (skin conditions like warts and eruptions) and Chang Yang (skin sores).

TCM adopts the Three Yellow Cleanser (Zan Wan Hsi Ji) to resolve around 60% of skin problems that may include psoriasis, rashes, dermatitis, eczema and acne. The Three Yellow Cleanser is a centuries-old formula that is composed of four cleansing herbs having a “cold attribute” that help remove internal heat (Ching Re), cease itching (Shi Yang) and stop secretions (Zhou Se) from further oozing. The formula has three out of four herbs that possess a yellow hue, which explains its name.

Skullcap (Wan Chin), Phellodendron (Wang Bai), Sophora (Qu Shen) and Rhubarb (Dai Wang) are the four herbs that were scientifically studied and were seen to possess anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Some of these studies have proved that Phellodendron (Wang Bai) is a potent remedy for eczema.

TCM also suggests acupuncture besides the aforementioned Chinese herbs as an adjunct therapy for skin conditions. When certain acupuncture points are stimulated, endorphin production is increased and the endocrine and immune systems are also activated. Acupuncture points are important nerve points that provide a conduit to the energetic meridians of the various physiological systems of the body that perform different functions depending on their location.

Certain acupuncture points are stimulated for specific skin disorders. These points may be located on the torso, legs and arms. Disposable single-use, high quality surgical acupuncture needles are used by the acupuncturist to activate those acupuncture points. The needles are usually allowed to be inserted into the points for as little as 10 minutes to as long as a full hour based on the desired effect. Electricity or heart may also used with heated needles (three fire needles). They may also be wired on a pair of small alligator clips connected to the needles where light electrical pulses travel from a small electrical device.

Unfortunately, no long-term comprehensive study has been done to validate acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating skin condition although a number of clinical trials dealing with less than a hundred cases were included in the 2002 World Health Organization’s 2002 publication.

The World Health Organization also stated that random clinical trials were done that validated the effectiveness of acupuncture on curing neurodermatitis, pruritus, herpes zoster and chloasma. In one trial, 60 subjects with chloasma got well after undergoing acupressure and auricular acupuncture which delivered much better results than Vitamins C and E.

In another report published in the 1994 edition of the World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, the researchers who did the study monitored the healing effects of laser acupuncture on the human (alpha) herpes virus 3. Laser acupuncture relieved and treated pain and scar tissue formation much faster than polyinosinic acid therapy.

Acupuncture also showed powerful anti-pruritic effects compared to other modalities. It showed its potency in resolving neurodermatitis through the use of the three-step seven-star needling treatment as posted in the 1998 edition of the Journal of Guiyang Chinese Medical College.

In addition to acupuncture and herbs, TCM also recommends diet modification. Individuals with skin conditions should stay away from crab, shrimp, fish and alcohol. They should also eat more fruits and leafy green vegetables.

Written by Valerie

September 29th, 2014 at 5:52 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Eczema Tests and Diagnosis

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If you have a skin disorder carefully look at the affected areas of the skin, you need to see if your skin:

  • Has a rash that is itchy
  • Is dry and coupled with a scaly or red rash
  • Has a rash that has developed in the past
  • Is thicker in that area compared to the rest of the skin in the body

If you are positive to any of these conditions, then you may need to see a skin specialist, preferably a dermatologist, allergist or immunologist who can identify and properly diagnose your skin with eczema and afterwards chart a plan of treatment for it. The doctor or specialist can get your medical and family history and recommend certain diagnostic tests, if necessary, for you. Thee tests may be:

  • A thorough medical history
  • Allergy tests
  • Skin biopsy and blood tests

Medical history

A well studied medical history of yourself is the most essential and effective method for diagnosing eczema. Your doctor/skin specialist will query you a number of questions to know the frequency of your rash, where it typically appears and when it appears. Questions about your itching as well as other attributes of your skin condition will also be asked. Certain questions about potential triggers: climate changes, inhaled allergens or foods and other things found in your work and home that can trigger eczema flare ups will also be asked.

Writing down all possible information regarding your skin condition before your doctor’s appointment will come in very handy because a lot of people tend to forget information when they are in the doctor’s office and these information are very important in helping the doctor come up with an accurate diagnosis

Allergy challenge tests

If your medical history indicates that you have eczema, the doctor can then recommend certain tests. These tests will see if there are certain things in your food and/or surroundings that trigger or worsen your eczema. Knowing then these triggers will help you avoid these triggers.

If your eczema flare up is suspected to be triggered by a food allergen, the specialist can perform a food challenge.  This is termed a challenge because you are “challenged” by eating certain foods suspected to be allergens in progressively increasing amounts. During this time, you are closely monitored and observed for any allergic response.

Blood and skin tests

Specific tests can reinforce the eczema diagnosis or reveal additional health problems that are likely the ones causing the symptoms instead. These tests may be:

  • Buccal swabs – The sides of your mouth are swabbed using a cotton swab to get specimens to identify for changes in the Filaggrin gene.
  • Patch testing – This procedure entails utilizing small patches laced with allergenic substances and placed on the skin for two days. Afterwards, the patches are removed and the affected skin is analyzed for 3 or 4 days. A patch test can recognize contact allergy to certain chemicals like rubber, lanolin, metals and fragrances among others.
  • Allergy skin testing – This test uses a prick skin procedure to see if you are sensitive to various kinds of allergens.
  • Skin biopsy – This test is done to exclude other skin diseases like psoriasis or low grade skin cancer. In this procedure the doctor locally anesthetizes the skin and later on extracts a few small pieces of skin. The skin is then analyzed by a pathologist using a microscope to detect allergens or pathogens.
  • Blood tests – A small blood sample is extracted using a hypodermic needle in the arm. One specific blood test detects for spiked levels of eosinophils. Another type of blood test detects for enhanced rates of IgE antibody. This antibody rises in level when a person has dermatitis and other kinds of atopic diseases.  The allergen-specific IgE test appraises the levels of this antibody that can identify a specific allergen.

Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
41 Union Square West, Suite 519
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-894-0767
http://healthystuffu.com/

Written by Valerie

January 5th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

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Eczema Treatments and Drugs

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Eczema can develop in all age groups. It basically encompasses a range of skin conditions also termed as dermatitis. Mild eczema is characterized by dry and itchy skin; severe eczema, on the other hand, will make the skin bleed, break and become tender.

Lotions

Eczema medicine is recommended in accordance with the severity of the disease. Eczema lotions are widely utilized for many types of eczema. The lotions are designed to calm the inflamed and irritated skin. They likewise provide hydration to the eczema-riddled area. By providing enough hydration or moisture, the symptoms of scaling, inflammation, irritation and dryness can be mitigated. The lotions can also make the symptoms less noticeable. The soothing effect provided by lotions also helps relieve the discomfort a person feels from the disease. Some lotions are developed precisely to address eczema symptoms and can be applied to wide areas of the affected skin. Lotions are a very popular form of treatment but if you want a more effective and long-lasting treatment for your eczema, the lotions should be complemented with other treatment procedures.

Corticosteroids

Glucocorticoids are also very good at treating eczema. Glucocorticoids usually are packaged in lotions cream or ointment form. Desonide and other weaker steroid solutions are recommended by doctors to treat light or moderate forms of eczema.  If you have severe symptoms of eczema, very powerful steroids such as clobetasol propionate provide the healing power you need for treatment of those symptoms. Unfortunately, these corticosteroids come with side effects and patients should only take the doctor-recommended dosages. One typical side effect of corticosteroids is that it makes the skin brittle and thin. Corticosteroids are also immunosuppressive and can increase the likelihood for skin infections if not combined with antifungals or antibiotics. One nasty side effect of corticosteroids is that they can increase the risk of cataracts. These side effects are reasons why medications containing steroids should be only taken sparingly. Corticosteroids can be used in a short or medium term basis to treat eczema to avoid major side effects. For severe eczema, the doctor may recommend oral corticosteroids.  They should not be used long-term even if they provide prompt relief for your symptoms.

Immunomodulators

Eczema especially the atopic type can be addressed by medications called pimecrolimus and tacrolimus. These drugs are immunomodulators that temporarily “disables” the immune system in the part of the skin they are utilized on. Pimecrolimus/tacrolimus repulse eczema flare ups. You need to avoid exposure to UV rays and sunlight after applying this drug on your body.  If you need to go outside suit on protective and loose clothing that that can cover your whole body.

Antibiotics

If your eczema is complicated with secondary skin infection, doctors may recommend antibiotics. Because the eczema causes the skin to dry out, the skin easily cracks permitting bacteria to enter the skin. The bacteria cause even more irritation and inflammation and weaken the skin even further. This is why antibiotics are often prescribed by doctors for eczema.

Alternative Treatments

Eczema can develop or worsen due to either emotional or physical stress. Stress also retards the healing of the skin barrier. Studies even reveal that sleep deprivation and emotional stress greatly weaken skin barrier function in patients who are in prime health. Some types of alternative treatment for eczema that help reduce stress can help better manage their symptoms.

  • Hypnosis – Hypnotherapy is a proven effective technique to relieve stress. It is a type of alternative medicine that is very popular for a huge segment of the population. Studies show that hypnosis helps to improve the eczema symptoms of people whose eczema were shown to be resilient to conventional treatment. Besides treating eczema, hypnotherapy help improve the quality of sleep and the mood of the patient. This goes a long way for the proper control of symptoms.
  • Acupuncture – This is a uniquely Chinese therapy that has been used for the treatment of dozens of ailments and diseases for thousands of years. Acupuncture can have a very calming effect on the individual and many people come out of an acupuncture session feeling renewed and energized. The theory of how acupuncture works is based in the existence of energy called chi in the body and its pathways called meridians where chi is conveyed like blood throughout the body. Some times the pathways or meridians develop blockages that hinder chi from passing and nourishing body tissues and organs.  Sometimes also chi flow becomes too strong that it negatively affects these tissues and organs. To offset these issues, acupuncture needles are inserted into the affected meridians to regulate or unblock the flow of chi that can then restore the good health of the individual. Acupuncture also is used to relieve all types of stress in the body. This is how this treatment can be very effective in people with eczema that has worsened or have been impervious to conventional treatments due to extreme or longstanding physical or emotional stress. Acupuncture is most effective when complemented with Chinese herbal medicine and people using these two therapies have found complete treatment in a matter of weeks.
  • Herbal medicine – Herbs can provide relief for the different symptoms of eczema. Drinking herbal tea combined with acupuncture, creams and bath additives can lead to the total treatment of a lot of eczema cases within three months some Chinese studies reveal.
  • Essential oils – Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid, a substance widely believed to contain anti-inflammatory attributes. This type of oil can be effective in relieving the inflammation of eczema sufferers, especially during flare ups. Some studies showed that evening primrose oil helped treat the redness, crusting and itch of subjects within a two month testing period. Another study revealed that almost all patients using evening primrose oil orally showed improvement in their symptoms compared to only a third of patients taking placebo meds.
  • Vitamin D – Some studies reveal that when using vitamin D supplementation, patients manifested marked improvement in their eczema symptoms especially during summer and winter when their symptoms are at their worse.

 

DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 677-3214
http://www.miamiacupunctureclinic.com

Written by Valerie

September 20th, 2013 at 6:12 am

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