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Rash on neck


#1

Submitted By: pi

I've recently developed an itchy rash on my neck, which is very dry and reddish with a little swelling. I thought it might be an allergic reaction to a silver chain I wore around my neck, so I have since taken it off, or that it might be a bout of eczema. I also tried various ointments for eczema and it got better with the reddish swellings going down for the most part and looked like it was almost gone, but my neck has started to itch again with a few slightly swollen reddish patches and there are some dry patches that don't seem to go away.
Can anyone explain what might be the cause of this rash according to Chinese medicine? Are there any acupuncture points that I might try to help this problem? I'm assuming it is probably eczema, as it itches and there are dry spots that are reddish.
I've had this now for over 3 weeks.
Thanks for any advice.


#2

Rashes in Chinese Medicine are often what we call heat in the Blood. In your case, I would guess that it was a reaction to the silver chain and if you leave it entirely alone (i.e. no further ointments) it will probably fade on its own.

If you read the section on heat in the Blood in our irregular menstruation treatment article, you will find the majority of the common points that would be useful if this is in fact underlying your problem. The Blood Heat section is here.

The major treatment points would most likely include SP 10, UB 17, and LV 8, and/or UB 40.


#3

Thanks Chad for the information. I have started to use an over the counter hydrocortisone 1% cream for the itching, and the itching subsides when I put it on, but I still continue to experience itching, slight redness and swelling after awhile. I will try the points you suggested.
I was reading about blood heat and it says that it is caused by either emotions and or diet. Can you elaborate on what kind of emotions and diet can cause heat in the blood?
Thanks!


#4

There are two main aspects to "Heat" in Chinese Medicine. One aspect is real heat which involves the environment and/or diet, among other factors. This involves the more obvious factors, such as problems from being out in the sun, stomach issues from too many spicy foods, etc. The other aspect of heat is that which results from energy stagnation. When energy is stuck it has the tendency to create heat - and heat tends to rise both to the surface and upwards. It is this "stuckness" that relates the emotions to the creation of heat. There are, of course, other causes of stagnation, but emotions are a strong consideration in many cases. Each meridian is related to a specific emotion and problems with the expression or lack of a particular emotion is treated by regulating that meridian.

With skin rashes from heat in the Blood you can consider obvious heat producing aspects of the diet (cinnamon, chili peppers, pepper, alcohol, greasy foods, etc.) as well as emotional causes such as repressed anger (which is related to the Liver which stores the Blood in TCM), repressed grief/excessive grief (which is related to the Lungs - which in turn are related to the skin in TCM), or excessive worry (which is related to the Spleen - which in turn is related to the quality of Blood in TCM). The majority of these correlations come from the five element theories expressed here.


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