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Types of Eczema

According to Chinese Medicine, there are many different types of Eczema.  Chinese Medicine looks at the entire constitution of the person’s body and emotions, diet and exercise, mental state and attitude, history of traumas, past health challenges and family history to learn as much as he/she can about the tendencies and patterns of your health.  He/she looks for where you are strong and where you are weak.  This type of practitioner can help you determine what type of eczema you have and what course of action to take.

There are 3 main types of eczema that we will cover in this article.  There are more subdivisions and refined subtleties than are discussed here, but the ones mentioned are the most common types.

Eczema due to overabundance of toxins, liver heat, fire toxins, and/or liver fire

These are all different ways to speak about the first type of eczema.  Generally, diagnosis using the words heat or fire, tend to relate to inflammation, swelling, hot conditions, conditions that come quickly, worsen easily and angrily, tend to be more painful or itchy.  These types of eczema may also be very dry and the emotional state of the patient can become quite agitated.  Likewise, insomnia may also be present.

Patients with this type of eczema will most likely need to do some cleansing and dietary modification in order to affect a healing response.  Most will need herbal medicine, acupuncture and severe detoxification programs on top of that.  In my experience this type of skin disorder needs aggressive treatment to match the aggressive, firey condition.  Patients with this type may need to work on shifting it for months, if not years.  However, the more committed the individual is, the quicker the condition changes.  This is also the type that changes the most quickly, if the patient works diligently.

This type of skin response will usually require deep cleansing of the Intestines, Gallbladder and Liver.  This can be done with colon hydro-therapy, green juice fasts, spirulina fasts, consumption of cooling vegetables, fruits, and herbs, and acupuncture.  This type of treatment requires the guidance and supervision of a knowledgeable physician, as the herbs can be harsh, the diet must be prepared very specifically, and the fasting and Candia cleanses must be supervised by one who can work with the tricky nature of this fungus.  Those working with this type would do well to avoid all toxins coming from sugar, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, non-organic foods, antibiotics.  There may be an involvement with Candida and/or the presence of mercury (which feeds the Candida).  If this is the case, some may even have to remove amalgam fillings and cleanse out heavy metals before proceeding very far in transforming symptoms. 

Qi and Blood Deficiency

The second type of Eczema is more of a deficient nature, where the qi and blood of the body must be nourished and replenished.  The skin with this type is less red and inflamed than the first and is more of a dry, mildly itchy nature.  There may also be a general dryness to the skin on the entire body.  With this type, we are working primarily with the tonifying Spleen, which is in charge of qi and blood production, as well as assimilation and distribution of physical nutrients from food, and regulation of energy levels.  Patients with this type may experience low energy, foggy thinking, poor memory, pale or sallow skin, easy bruising, diabetes, poor digestion, gas and bloating, nausea, minimal or excess menstrual flow.  Patients of this type have often recently undergone childbirth, nursing, blood loss, long-term illness, long-term poor diet, or may be elderly.

Patients of this type should take care to avoid much sugar or foods that break down into sugar, such as breads, pastas, too much fruit; cold temperature food and drinks, an excess of dairy and tofu, raw foods.  They should aim to consume cooked foods such as curries, soups, stews, steamed veggies, and foods that nourish the blood such as meat, spirulina and dark, leafy greens.  Also, for this type of imbalance, warm, cooked breakfasts are always indicated, as this greatly helps support the spleen by giving it a longer lasting boost to carry one through the day.

Yin Deficiency with False Heat

The third type of eczema falls into the category of Yin Deficiency, which is usually a little harder to grasp in meaning than the first two types of eczema for the average westerner.  To fully grasp what it is takes acupuncture students a couple years to get the theory if they ever truly get it at all.  The symptoms that go along with this type of eczema are more like the first type; red, swollen, dry, itchy, cracking, hot, and difficulty to sit with.  However, in this type of eczema, the symptoms get worse at night, and are often accompanied by terrible insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, hot hands and feet, and even night sweats.  Usually those with this type feel much better after a long night sleep, whenever that is possible.  For this type of eczema, patients would follow a course of therapy closer to that of the deficient type II listed above.

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