Eczema is sometimes called dermatitis and the most common symptoms are skin rashes with redness and itchiness accompanied with flaking and dryness. If severe there can be blisters and bleeding. From a western medical perspective there is no known cure and any treatment merely attempts to reduce the symptoms. Many people resort to Corticosteroids to try and suppress the symptoms.
The problem is that people who use corticosteroids keep having to increase the dose and frequency and usually still end up having the itching problem. In addition, corticosteroids cause thin and fragile skin from their side effects.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs effectively address the symptoms of eczema and actually aims to restore harmony and balance to cure the condition.
German researchers from the Technical University of Munich have demonstrated that after an acupuncture session the subjective feeling of itch is reduced. Dr Pfab reported that pain and itchiness have similarities which may explain why it works. This is not surprising as in traditional Chinese medical thought; pain and itchiness are also related. There has been much research already done over the past twenty years confirming the effectiveness of acupuncture in all sorts of pain conditions so it is only natural that acupuncture will be effective in treating itchiness and eczema.
Interestingly the term eczema derives from ancient Greek and means “to boil over”. Traditional Chinese medicine commonly classifies eczema as being caused by “hot blood” and as the heat in the blood tries to escape it leads to hot itchy and flaky skin. One technique used by qualified practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat eczema is the use of a plum blossom hammer. This is a tiny type hammer with many small fine shallow needles that are gently tapped on the skin which causes slight bleeding to let the heat out. Ironically many patients exclaim that their itch is so severe that they scratch and scratch so much until it bleeds. They are merely just intuitively trying to the get the heat out of their blood because they are “boiling over”.
A common acupuncture point Large Intestine 11 is used to cool the blood and hence reduce itchiness is located at the elbow crease and is called Quchi which means Crooked Pond.