"Succinct and to the point . . . This is a book you will want to open and use immediately." Oriental Medicine
"This is the best book on TCM dermatology I've come across, and its layout and presentation of information is most impressive." Pacific Journal of Oriental Medicine
"Highly recommended." American Journal of Acupuncture
From The Journal of Chinese Medicine In recent years, interest in Chinese herbal medicine has grown at breathtaking speed, and without doubt it has become best known, in the UK at least, for the treatment of skin disorders. There have been two reasons for this. The first was the publication in the early part of this decade of two clinical studies on the treatment of atopic eczema in the Lancet and British Journal of Dermatologyextolling its virtues; the second is the fact that not only is Chinese medicine very effective at controlling many chronic skin disorders but is frequently able to trigger long term remission or even resolve them entirely.
In contrast to this mushrooming of interest by patients seeking treatment with Chinese medicine, there is a pau"city" of reliable texts in the English language on this enormous subject for the practitioner. The publication by Eastland press of the Manual of Dermatology in Chinese Medicine goes some way to filling that gap.
The text is arranged in the standard format. After a brief section on historical perspective, aetiology, diagnostics etc., the bulk of the work - the discussion of the individual diseases - is arranged into chapters according to biomedical categories. Thus impetigo or folliculitis are found under the heading of bacterial infections, herpes simplex and measles under viral infection and so on. .
There is also a brief supplementary materia medica at the end of the book outlining the main actions and indications of some of the ingredients mentioned in the book that are not usually found in standard materia medicas. .
For each disorder an adequate description is given, though for readers who are not familiar with the condition, a dermatology atlas would probably be necessary. The major conditions that need to be differentiated from each other are also listed with a brief outline of their salient characteristics. This is in fact far from an academic practice. Centuries ago Chinese medicine had recognised and categorised the vast majority of the common and less skin common conditions into disease entities very similar to those catalogued in Western medicine. Thus it is crucial to be able to differentiate, say seborrhoeic dermatitis from psoriasis in order to be able to apply a correct treatment.
The section on treatment that follows outlines the frequently encountered patterns according to Chinese medicine with a number of suggested prescriptions and brief advice on modifications. For most conditions a number of external treatments are also suggested, and in some cases acupuncture and moxibustion points are also given.
As we have grown to expect from Eastland press, the book is well designed, and the layout is clear and easy to read.
If I have to be critical I would say that unfortunately it does not go further than just outlining the basics of differentiating the all important sub types or patterns according to Chinese medicine. The prescriptions and brief modifications suggested are standard and rather elementary. Those who are involved in dermatology recognise that a more fluid approach is required in clinical medicine, and the book offers little in the way of practical and clinically relevant advice and guidance. Thus it did not come as a surprise to me that, oddly enough, none of the three authors are dermatologists, and I feel this is reflected in the standard textbook approach adopted throughout. None the less I feel this book makes an important contribution to the scanty material available in this field. It will be well received by those interested in furthering their understanding of the treatment of dermatological conditions by Chinese medicine.
Mazin Al-Khafaji, The Skin Clinic, Brighton
o History of Traditional Chinese Dermatology
o Bacterial Infections
o Viral Infections
o Fungal Infections
o Spriochete Infections
o Dermatoses Caused by Arthropods
o Dermatoses Due to Environmental Influences
o Inflammatory Reactions
o Scaling Disorders
o Autoimmune Rheumatologic Skin Disorders
o Disorders of the Sweat Glands
o Acne & Rosacea
o Disorders of Hair
o Circulatory Disorders
o Disorders of Pigmentation
o Disorders of Keratinization
o Supplemental Materia Medica
o General & Historical References