Atopic Dermatitisaccording to TCM

What is Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, inflamed, itchy skin. It often appears as a rash on various parts of the body and can flare up intermittently. The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but it is often linked to an overactive immune response and can be exacerbated by environmental factors or stress.

This condition is particularly common in children, though it can persist into adulthood or even start later in life. Atopic dermatitis is not just a skin disorder but often part of a larger set of allergic conditions, including asthma and hay fever.

How Does TCM View Atopic Dermatitis?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perceives atopic dermatitis through the lens of holistic balance and energy flow within the body. According to TCM, skin conditions like atopic dermatitis are often the result of internal imbalances, specifically relating to the liver and spleen systems.

These imbalances might manifest as an accumulation of pathogenic factors such as Wind, Dampness, or Heat in the body. TCM approaches the treatment of atopic dermatitis by identifying and correcting these underlying disharmonies, primarily through herbal medicine and acupuncture, aiming to restore balance and harmony within the body.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis According to TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, atopic dermatitis is often linked to the Damp-Heat pattern. This perspective sees the condition as the result of excessive dampness coupled with heat within the body. Such an imbalance leads to symptoms like inflammation, redness, and itching – hallmark signs of atopic dermatitis.

The Damp-Heat pattern is typically associated with a dysfunction in the body's ability to regulate moisture and temperature. This dysfunction can be influenced by dietary habits, environmental factors, and the overall state of the individual's Qi, or vital energy. Understanding this pattern is crucial for TCM practitioners in formulating an effective treatment strategy.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Atopic Dermatitis

In addressing atopic dermatitis, TCM focuses on formulas and herbs that counteract Damp-Heat. An example of such a formula is Ku Shen Tang, which includes Sophora Roots (Ku Shen) known for their Bitter and Cold properties. This particular formula is effective in targeting the Damp-Heat pattern, helping to alleviate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

The approach in TCM is to not just treat the symptoms but to address the underlying imbalances that lead to these symptoms. By doing so, TCM aims to provide a holistic and enduring solution to managing atopic dermatitis, focusing on restoring balance and harmony within the body.

See more details below about Ku Shen Tang, a herbal formula used to address atopic dermatitis.

  • By Formula Type
  • External formulas for external disorders

TCM Herbs for Atopic Dermatitis

See more details below about Sophora Roots (Ku Shen), a herb used to address atopic dermatitis.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that clear heat and dry dampness