Eczema, in western medicinal perspective, is a skin condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation but more typically having no obvious external cause.
In Chinese medicine, eczema is called “damp rash” as there are body fluid (dampness) discharges in the later stage of the disease. Besides dampness, heat and wind are the other pathological factors which are manifested as redness, burning sensation, irritation (heat signs) and itchiness moving around the body (wind signs).
These pathological factors, especially dampness and heat, can come from a few external sources, including allergens in the air, cold air, sunlight, food and stress. Foods, such as seafood, alcohol, hot and greasy food need to be avoided.
Though there is no cure for eczema in western medicine, acupuncture is proven quite effective. Depending on the severity and duration of the condition, it is usually recommended to come twice a week for five times as one course of treatment. Improvement can be usually seen in 1 to 2 treatments. The longer the treatment, the better result. There is a 90% total effective rate with a 50% symptom free rate. Treatment modalities may include body acupuncture, ear acupuncture, bleeding and cupping therapy. Each modality can be used as a stand-alone method.