Ms Huang Feili (centre) and two registered Chinese medicine practitioners, Miss Chow Ching-lam (left) and Miss Yu Ka-wai (right), share the results of a clinical study on Chinese medicine treatment for eczema


黃霏莉醫師 (中) 與兩位註冊中醫師周婧琳小姐 (左) 和余嘉慧小姐 (右) 分享中醫藥治療濕疹的臨床研究結果

Chinese medicine herbs commonly used to treat eczema


治療濕疹的常見中藥材

Date: 25 Aug 2015 (Tuesday)

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HKBU clinical study finds an overall efficacy rate of over 80% in Chinese medicine treatment of eczema

浸大臨床觀察顯示中醫治療濕疹總有效率逾八成

The Clinical Division of the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) recently conducted a clinical study on Chinese medicine treatment of eczema. The results indicated that the overall efficacy rate of Chinese medicine treatment of this disease is 81.3%.
 
Eczema is a common dermatological condition afflicting people in Hong Kong. Often triggered by allergies, the skin becomes inflamed or irritated. Due to the humid weather in the territory and the adoption of Western dietary habits, the prevalence rate of eczema in Hong Kong remains stubbornly high. Eczema can be divided into three subtypes, namely “acute eczema”, “sub-acute eczema” and “chronic eczema”. Chinese medicine treatment of eczema often involves the simultaneous prescription of herbal medicine which is to be taken orally and topical medicine which is to be applied externally.
 
To explore the characteristics of different syndromes of eczema and the effectiveness of Chinese medicine in treating eczema, Ms Huang Feili, Principal Lecturer, and Associate Director of the Clinical Division of SCM, conducted a clinical observation on 539 patients (316 female and 223 male, aged between 1 and 83) who attended medical consultations at three HKBU Chinese medicine clinics from January 2011 to December 2014. Among the patients, 18 of them were diagnosed with “acute eczema”, 90 with “sub-acute eczema” and 431 with “chronic eczema”. According to the observation and analysis, the syndromes of eczema were generally divided into 10 categories: spleen function deficiency, blood stasis, liver qi stagnation, wind-heat invasion, excessive heat in blood, yin deficiency, kidney function deficiency, heart and lung function deficiency, excessive heat-dampness and excessive wind-dampness.
 
During the period of observation, Ms Huang provided different prescriptions to individual patients according to the Chinese medicine principle of “treatment based on syndrome differentiation”. Topical use of herbal medicine and acupuncture treatment was also given to some patients. The study revealed that the overall efficacy rate of Chinese medicine treatment of eczema was 81.3% whereas an efficacy rate of 100% was achieved for “acute eczema”, 94.4% for “sub-acute eczema” and 78.2% for “chronic eczema”. In addition, an obvious therapeutic effect was observed in patients who received more treatments. An overall efficacy rate of 95% was recorded for patients who received seven treatments or above. No correlation was found between the age of the patient and therapeutic effect. The results also showed that 88.9%, 32.7%, 34.1% and 48.8% of the patients reported having spleen function deficiency, liver qi stagnation, blood stasis and invading pathogens, respectively.
 
In general, the observation indicated that 80% of the cases belonged to “chronic eczema” while these patients were suffering from different extents of yin and yang imbalance in their internal organs. Spleen function deficiency was found to be a common syndrome, reflecting the close correlation between the organ and eczema. Since the major cause of eczema is due to an imbalance found in internal organs, a longer treatment process is required to obtain a satisfactory therapeutic effect. The health of the individual would also be further improved when the skin allergy has been alleviated.
 
Ms Huang Feili explained that a patient with eczema who is found to have a disorder in their spleen and other internal organs exhibits weakened skin resistance, which makes the person susceptible to attack by external pathogens, further exacerbating the disease. According to Chinese medicine treatment, herbs that remove pathogenic wind, detoxify and clear dampness and heat, which are used to nourish spleen and organs, would also achieve better results in treating secondary infection of eczema. Herbs that help promote blood circulation and resolve stagnation are also used to relieve itchiness caused by blood stasis.
 
Ms Huang said that according to Chinese medicine theory, liver qi stagnation creates a certain impact on spleen and stomach function and results in blood stasis which aggravates the condition. She advised eczema patients to better regulate their emotions, steer away from negative emotions and avoid getting irritated in order to recover sooner.

中醫藥學院最近完成了一項有關中醫治療濕疹的臨床觀察,結果顯示中醫治療濕疹的總有效率達81.3%。
 
濕疹是本地臨床常見的多發病,是一類特殊的過敏性、炎症性皮膚病的統稱。由於香港地區氣候潮濕和其西方的飲食文化特色,因此濕疹發病率非常高。濕疹大致可分為「急性濕疹」、「亞急性濕疹」和「慢性濕疹」三個類型,中醫一般會以中藥內服並輔以外敷治療該病。
 
為了探索香港地區濕疹的證候特點和中醫療效,中醫藥學院首席講師兼臨床部副主任黃霏莉醫師對於2011年1月至2014年12月期間,前往學院轄下三間中醫藥診所求診的539名濕疹患者進行了臨床觀察,當中包括316名女性、223名男性,年齡介乎1至83歲,其中「急性濕疹」、「亞急性濕疹」和「慢性濕疹」患者分別佔18人、90人和431人。綜合觀察和分析結果所得,濕疹患者的證候類型大致可歸納為十種:脾虛、血瘀、肝鬱、風熱、血熱、陰血虛、腎虛、心肺虛、濕熱和風濕。
 
在臨床觀察期間,黃霏莉醫師根據中醫學辨證治療的原則,針對患者的不同證候類型調配合適的中藥處方,部份患者並配以中藥外敷或針灸治療,結果發現中醫治療濕疹的總有效率達81.3%,其中「急性濕疹」患者的總有效率更高達100%、「亞急性濕疹」的總有效率為94.4%、「慢性濕疹」則為78.2%。另一方面,患者接受治療的次數愈多,療效愈見顯著,接受七次或以上治療病例的總有效率為95%,而患者年齡與療效則沒有明顯關係。研究亦發現88.9%、32.7%、34.1%和48.8%的濕疹患者分別出現脾虛、肝鬱、血瘀和外邪侵襲的情況。
 
整體臨床觀察顯示,中醫治療濕疹的案例中80%為「慢性濕疹」患者,他們均有不同程度的身體內部臟腑陰陽失調問題,尤其是脾虛的問題較普遍,反映了濕疹的發病與脾的關係密切。由於皮膚的濕疹是身體內部失調所造成,因此患者需要經過較長時間調理才能取得滿意療效,而在接受中醫治療後皮膚好轉的同時,身體狀況亦會得到改善。
 
黃霏莉醫師表示,由於濕疹患者大多脾虛或其他臟腑出現問題,導致皮膚抵抗力降低,容易遭受外邪入侵而發病或令病情加重,因此中醫一般會在調理臟腑時選用祛風藥、祛濕藥和清熱解毒藥等藥劑,對感染性濕疹具有良好療效;另亦會採用活血化瘀藥,以便舒緩濕疹患者因血瘀而引致的皮膚瘙癢。
 
黃醫師指出,中醫認為肝鬱可以影響脾胃功能,還可導致血瘀,對濕疹的發病有重要影響,因此濕疹患者應注意調節個人情緒,盡量避免產生負面情緒和精神刺激,以免令病情惡化。