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October is Eczema Awareness Month

According to the National Eczema Association, more than 31 million people in the United States live with eczema, including 9.6 million children. Despite its prevalence, many try to hide their eczema. Eczema Awareness Month aims to provide resources and support for those affected by eczema.

According to the National Eczema Association, there are seven types of eczema:

  1. Atopic Dermatitis

  2. Contact Dermatitis

  3. Dyshidrotic Eczema

  4. Neurodermatitis

  5. Nummular Eczema

  6. Seborrheic Dermatitis

  7. Stasis Dermatitis

Over 16 million Americans suffer with atopic dermatitis, the most prevalent form of eczema seen in the clinic. Chinese medicine has proven effective in clinical trials at treating this disease in both acute and chronic conditions and in most cases ensures the long-term stability of the skin.

A Chinese medicine treatment plan will occur in three phases to reduce the risk of the symptoms returning. The first will be to get your particular symptoms, such as itch or infection, under control by reducing inflammation and regulating the immune system. Then we look to restore function to the skin and correct any cracks or erosion that have taken place. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we will stabilize your internal terrain and strengthen the system to reduce the underlying imbalance that allowed it to happen in the first place. Typically this is done with Chinese herbs both internally and externally, dietary and lifestyle changes, and depending on your case, acupuncture may be included in your treatment plan as well. Click here to find a Chinese medicine dermatology practitioner near you.

What can you do at home? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this, because it depends on how your unique condition is presenting. Are there cracks and dryness or is it crusty and oozing? Where are the lesions? How bad does it itch? Is it red or pale? BUT, one thing is certain, eczematous skin is prone to becoming dry and irritated. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends that people with eczema moisturize their skin two to three times a day with products that are free of alcohol, dyes, fragrances, or other irritating chemicals. Bland is better. Soap is a common irritant for people with eczema. The National Eczema Association examines ingredients and places their Seal of Acceptance on products that are less likely to exacerbate symptoms. Visit the NEA's website to find products that are approved for eczema prone skin.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns.

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