How can you tell what patterns I have?
First, Antonia closely examines your skin and takes photos of the lesions. (Photos are also taken during each follow up visit in order to keep track of how things are changing). The look of the skin and lesions give us lots of information about what is going on internally. Moist lesions with exudate or crusting indicate a different pattern than dry, red lesions that feel hot. Severe itching requires different herbs than mild itching. Specific herbs are used for eczema appearing in specific locations on the body.
Antonia also determines what inner imbalances led to the lesions expressing in the first place. What other symptoms do you have? Are there digestive symptoms like constipation or loose stools? Is stress a factor? Can you sleep well at night? How quickly are new lesions forming? Have lesions turned dry with lichenified (elephant-like) thickened skin?
Once she identifies the Chinese medicine patterns of disharmony, Antonia puts together a custom herbal formula. There are multiple ingredients in each person’s herbal formula to address each of these patterns. The ingredients in the formula change over time as the skin evolves and heals. Antonia also recommends the best topical treatment (which may come in the form of an herb wash, salve, or cream) as well as beneficial foods and foods to avoid.