Eczema is a kind of common allergic inflammatory dermatosis. It is divided into three kinds :acute, subacute and chronic. Its clinical characteristics are itching on the affected part, the polymorphic skin lesion and frequent recurrences. It can attack people, male or female, at any age and any part of the body. In TCM eczema in infants is called "nai xian" and "tai lian chuang" (infantile eczema); eczema on the external ear is called "xuaner chuang "(eczema of the external ear); eczema on the local area is called "shi du chuang" (noxious eczema), eczema on the scrotum is called "shen nang feng" (scrotal eczema ) and "xiu qiu feng" (scrotal eczema); eczema in the elbow and popliteal fossa is called "si wan feng " (atopic eczema), etc.

Main Points of Diagnosis
1. Acute Eczema
1) The skin lesion is polymorphic. Acute eczema often attacks on following conditions: at the beginning, a certain part of the skin becomes diffusely reddish, then clusters of papulae, blisters appear, with erosions, exudations and pigmentation will appear, which mark the complete recovery.
2) The patient feels severe itching and has a sensation of burning heat on the skin of the affected part at the beginning.
3)The onset of this disease is sudden and severe. Its inflammation is obvious. The eczema often occurs on some parts of the skin or in symmetrical distribution. It will be cured in one or two weeks after adequate treatment.
2. Subacute Eczema
1) In three weeks of acute eczema attacks ,inflammatory reactions will become lessened. The condition tends to be stable.
2)The skin itch is weaker than that at the acute stage.
3. Chronic Eczema
1) If eczema has a long resistance to treatment, or attacks repeatedly it can become chronic eczema. It is often limited on a certain part, of the skin with clear demarcation.
2) At the lesion part, the skin will become thick, rough and has pigmentation. It is indurated on palpation. Or there are patchy, scaly desquamations or lichenoid skin lesions.
3) Papulae, blisters, infiltrations, exudations may appear on the affected part of skin while it is irritated. The skin disease has a chronic course. It can last for many years.
Differentiation and Treatment of Common Syndromes
1. Intermal Treatment
1) Acute Eczema
Main symptoms and Signs: There are diffuse redness, clusters of red papulae, blisters, erosions, exudations with burning heat sensation of the skin. The affected part has a sensation of severe itching and some exudations from the skin, accompanied with red tongue with thick and yellow fur and slippery and rapid pulse.
Therapeutic Principle: Clearing away pathogenic heat and removing dampness with expelling pathogenic wind.
Recipe: Decoction for Acute Eczema
honeysuckle flower
dittany bark
coix seed
phellodendron bark
scutellaria root
oriental wormwood
plantain seed (wrapped with a piece of cloth before it is decocted )
atractylodes rhizome
flavescent sophora root
licorice root
All the above ingredients are to be decocted in water for oral administration.
2) Subacute Eczema
Main Symptoms and Signs: There is a sensation of itching, crust formation, pigmentation, scaly desquamation, red papulae, red brown spots, blisters and exudation on the affected part of the skin, accompanied with red tongue with yellow fur and slippery pulse.
Therapeutic Principle: Expelling wind, moistening the dryness, and clearing away pathogenic heat to promote urination.
Recipe: Powder for Expelling Pathogenic Wind
arctium fruit
cicada slough
ledebouriella root
atractylodes rhizome
flavescent sophora root
dried rehmannia root
anemarrhena rhizome
Chinese angelica root
black sesame seed
licorice root
All the above ingredients are to be decocted in water for oral administration.
3) Chronic Eczema
Main Symptoms and Signs: The skin is thick and rough with skin desquamation, pigmentation and sensation of itching. The tongue is light red with white fur and the pulse is moderate.
Therapeutic Principle: Nourishing the blood, and moistening the dryness and expelling pathogenic wind.
Recipe: Decoction for the Treatment of Chronic Eczema
Chinese angelica root
white peony root
multiflower knotweed root
black sesame seed
ligusticum root
dried rehmannia root
moutan bark
cicada slough
tribulus fruit
dittany bark
licorice root
All the above herbs are to be decocted in water for oral administration.
2. External Treatment
1) Lotion for Treating Eczema can be used to soak or compress to the affected part and then Phellodendron Powder can be put on the affected part too.
2) Itching-Stopping Lotion can be also used for chronic eczema to clean the affected part, 30 minutes each time, once a day. After washing, black soya bean distillateing oil ointment can also be applied onto the affected area.
Dr. Ming's TCM Medical Center,
Hua Xi Xiao Yuan, Hutian Developing Area,
Huaihua city, Hunan province