The patient is a 3 month baby boy with extensive severe eczema covering his face, body, arms and legs. Other than his eczema, he is growing well. Because of the concern of the need of repetitive use of high strength steroid on a very young baby, he was offered to use adjunct TCM treatment with topical steroid to control his eczema.
The baby was started twice weekly acupuncture treatment with no needle retention. After 2 months, the frequency was reduced to once weekly for another month. In the first 2 weeks of treatment, he required intermittent high strength of topical steroid to control his condition, afterwards, he used lower strength steroid cream intermittently at most twice weekly to the most severe areas of rash. At the end of 3 months, his skin is clear with occasional local mild flare up at the wrists and ankles without any skin thickening frequently seen with chronic eczema. Of note, the baby has never cried during the acupuncture treatment.
Using medication only when it’s indicated is important for all patients but especially in young infants. This case shows that even though it may take some time and patience to treat potentially chronic illness, the acupuncture treatment can be used as adjunct therapy to minimize the use of potential side effect of medication or the long term dependence on medications.