One day, a young couple brought their six-month-old baby to see me. When I took a glance at the baby, I was shocked. Oh my, this eczema has tortured the baby to the point where the skin is severely damaged, especially on the face. Can I really help? The mother tearfully told me that the baby developed eczema just two to three months after birth. The face was covered with a large number of red rashes. The pediatrician prescribed a cream, but it still recurred several times. Due to unbearable itching, the baby scratched and rubbed the cheeks, causing the skin to break, become red, dry, itchy, and painful.
Based on I-Ching divination, the baby’s constitution exhibited the Hexagram “Shan Huo Ben Gua” (Mountain Fire). Further examination of the disease progression revealed the Hexagram “Lei Shui Jie Gua” (Thunder Water), indicating an excessive fire condition with internal heat stagnation. Although they used moisturising and water-locking skincare cream, the upper hexagram still showed “Zhen Gua” (Shake), suggesting that the condition was still in the active phase. To understand the current situation, I consulted the divination again and obtained the Hexagram “Shan Feng Gu Gua” (Mountain Wind Gu), and as expected, the pathogenic wind had already invaded the nutrient and blood divisions, leading to variable and difficult-to-treat symptoms.
After a week of Chinese herbal medicine treatment, there was some improvement. The medication was adjusted again, and another week of treatment followed. During the follow-up visit, the baby’s skin on the face had visibly improved. However, I still felt uneasy about the appearance of the Hexagram “Xun Gua” (Gentle Wind), as it indicated that the condition would likely recur in the future. As the “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic” also states, wind is the origin of many diseases and manifests quickly. Based on past experience, even if there is therapeutic effect during the treatment process, most infants, as long as they feel a slight itch, will relentlessly scratch their faces, insisting on breaking the new skin before relenting. This results in a vicious cycle where the damaged skin not only heals slowly but also continues to produce allergic reactions. In another scenario, some babies are very attentive to their appearance. Whenever they feel the slightest discomfort, they will cry and seek attention and indulgence from adults, intentionally scratching their skin to draw attention. It should be noted that the baby’s perception of the divine is not yet formed, and it is impossible for a therapist without spiritual abilities to communicate with its elemental spirit and make it understand that we intend to treat the body.
Speaking of which, the baby’s condition has stabilized now. However, recently the mother mentioned that she will switch the baby’s formula next week. Previously, they switched from cow’s milk to goat’s milk, and now they want to switch to soybean powder. Additionally, the pediatrician said that several vaccinations need to be given according to the schedule. It seems that this eczema is about to flare up again. As a practitioner in traditional Chinese medicine dermatology, when dealing with infants with allergic constitution, besides being extremely cautious in prescribing herbal medication, I also have to exhaust myself in mediating between parents and Western medicine doctor. It becomes exhausting, and no matter what decision is made, if something goes wrong, in the end, the parents have to reconsider whether to abandon the Chinese medicine approach. It becomes so frustrating that parents might simply resort to using corticosteroids on such a young child to resolve the allergic issue.
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