By Gerard Yeo, Asiaonehealth
Q. My two-year-old daughter has eczema behind her knees, on her elbows as well as dark circles under her eyes. Tests for allergies conducted by doctors are inconclusive. How can TCM help?
A. Eczema is a condition which causes the skin to become itchy and inflamed.
It can appear on any part of the body but is most frequently found on the face, wrists, elbows and knees. The skin may become thick and appear brownish grey.
It is caused by a deficiency in the functions of the lung, spleen and kidney, insufficient yin and qi, as well as poor blood circulation. Pathogenic factors such as wind, heat and dampness also play a part.
In TCM, the lungs are responsible for the condition of the skin. So people with weak lungs or those suffering from asthma also tend to suffer from eczema.
Chinese medicine, cupping therapy and infant tui na massage can improve your daughter's condition by strengthening her organs and dispelling the pathogenic factors.
Chinese herbs such as Mulberry Leaf (sangye) is commonly prescribed for rashes on the face, while Oyster Shell (muli) and Nacre (zhenzhumu) are used to treat eczema with itchiness and redness present.
Your daughter should abstain from sweet food as it causes dampness. She should also avoid spicy food as it creates heat. Also, do not let her eat sour and cold food as it weakens the digestive system.
Cut down on red meat as it is difficult to digest and also creates heat.
Other types of food which may cause allergies are seafood, dairy products such as milk and eggs, and wheat products such as bread.
Dark circles under the eyes point to weak kidneys and a lack of proper sleep at night.
She should get sufficient rest and not sleep later than 10pm to prevent internal heat from accumulating in her body.
Taking showers at room temperature and moisturising after that will minimise skin irritation.
-Information provided by Ms Lim Lay Beng, a TCM physician at YS Healthcare TCM Clinic.