In Chinese medicine, each child’s case of eczema is unique. Herbal treatment focuses on the individual – treating the imbalances that lead to different skin patterns in babies and children.
How can you tell what patterns my child has?
First, Antonia closely examines the 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. Wet lesions with exudate are treated differently than those that are crusted over. Severe itching requires different herbs than mild itching. Specific herbs are used for eczema appearing on the scalp and face versus specific locations on the body.
Antonia also determines what inner imbalances led to the lesions expressing in the first place. What other symptoms does your baby or child have? Are they teething? Do they have hay fever or asthma? Do they have food allergies or frequent colds and flu? How quickly are new lesions forming? Have lesions turned dry with lichenified (elephant-like) thickened skin?
Once she identifies the patterns of disharmony, Antonia puts together a custom herbal formula. Babies are often treated with topical herbs combined to make a wash or compress. Toddlers and older children are prescribed herbs to take internally. There are multiple ingredients in each child’s herbal formula to address each of their patterns. The ingredients in the formula change over time as the skin evolves and heals.
Topical treatments can be used on their own or in combination with internal herbs. Salves, creams and gels are an important aspect of the healing process.
In addition to treatment with herbs, Chinese medicine also addresses beneficial foods and foods to avoid for children and babies with eczema.