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The Use of Chinese Medicine to Alleviate Atopic Dermatitis

       has been suffering from atopic dermatitis since he was little. The repeated itching and scratching has resulted in dry and scaly skin on the limbs and neck regions. Topical medication has little effect, as does the use of corticosteroids; the wound has exudates, and frequently becomes infected when his symptoms are severe. The child was treated with antibiotics and refused to go to school due to his skin conditions. The child was then admitted to the Division of Chinese Medicine at the Taipei City Hospital’s Renai Branch, where he was prescribed a “skin change” formula to be taken after breakfast and dinner, coupled with a Chinese goldthread detoxifying concoction. After 2 weeks of treatment, the scratching wounds have decreased, and the child is currently undergoing follow-up treatment.

       The exclusive skin change formula designed by Dr. Hsieh Tung-hsu, an attending physician at the Department of Chinese Medicine of the Taipei City Hospital’s Renai Branch that was trained by Dr. Zhu Shi-zong, a famed surgeon of Chinese Medicine of the Shanghai School, contains atractylodes and patchouli, which helps the body to metabolize its own dampness. The removal of dampness also alleviates the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Skin with atopic dermatitis is prone to bacterial and viral infection, causing itchiness and scratching. The skin change formula also contains Chinese skullcap and Sophora, which has been discovered by modern research to offer wide-ranging bactericidal and anti-viral effects, and can counter the effects of allergy and infection.

The following are some key points to coping with atopic dermatitis:

  1.  Importance of moisturizing:
Drink enough water every day, 1~2 sips at a time; choose a bathing cleanser with good moisturizing effects, and apply moisturizer every morning and evening.
  1.  Reduce the sources of allergens:
Maintain a clean household; wear masks when the air pollution index is high; be aware of food allergens, which vary between individuals (e.g. shellfish, milk and eggs).
  1.  Early treatment is key:
The condition may be fully healed by puberty if treatment is applied early; the child may be affected by the skin problem for his/her whole life if treatment is delayed.