Treatment of Erythema Multiforme using Chinese Medicine

A 27 yo female patient was bitten by an insect in Taiwan in Feb 2019. There were multiple insect lesions. Was first treated with steroid injection and other medications (???) and the lesions appeared less ‘angry,’ however within 2 weeks of stopping the medicines, the lesion began looking more serious again.

She went to GP, who referred to A&E, then to the National Skin Centre. By then then lesions had spread to both her legs. Patient started on prednisolone 25mg qd around the 18th of March, and continued using it for a month, tapering off toward the end. By the time she was at the 10mg qd dose, the skin lesions started surfacing again, but disappeared with used of topical steroids. However, the lesion began appearing again on the left leg.


I prescribed herbs for her damp-heat in lower jiao presentation, and implemented an acupuncture protocol to reduce inflammation. She responded well, and came regularly for treatment for the next 10 weeks.

I also suggested she see someone else to treat the leaky gut and provide additional liver support. This is helpful as the she was on steroids and other medications. She also opted in to eliminating dairy and wheat from her diet and to supplement with foods like salmon for Omega 3s and millet for vitamin. She also went on a gut repair powder, and dosed up on supplementary vitamin C to relief her of histamine-induced itch. As the patient did not have a history of atopia, she went on a stronger burdock/dandelion tea for liver support.

c3563567-dacf-42cf-895b-3f8bc43831cd.jpegWithin 10 weeks, her skin has recovered substantially, which include reduced blisters and itch, and only mild erythema (which will take time to fade off). She also has other tools at her disposal, including knowledge of safer diet choices when eating out, as well as ways she could manage her condition should it flare again.

The approach here was to use Chinese herbs and acupuncture to provide anti-inflammatory and immuno-regulatory effect, and to use diet, foods, and some naturopathic interventions to support the liver and heal the leaky guy.

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