Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I have been diagnosed with lichen simplex chronicus (LSC). Nothing that I have been prescribed has succeeded in alleviating the discomfort. Is there anything in natural medicine that you could recommend?
A: Lichen simplex chronicus is a condition often attributed to dermatitis, or psoriasis. It does also have an association with nervousness, depression, and other psychological disorders. Traditional Chinese medicine has various treatments that may help with the symptoms and discomfort of the itching and associated redness. I recommend you consult an acupuncturist/herbalist who will be able to give you a specific diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.
As a dietary recommendation, I suggest you avoid excessive stimulants, spicy foods, and extreme weather changes. Reduce stress, take up meditation or qigong exercises, and begin incorporating the following into your diet: potatoes, dandelions, mung beans, pearl barley, azuki beans, water chestnuts, and watermelon.
To alleviate the itching try this remedy:
1. Mash potatoes and daikon radish, and apply to the affected area, changing every four hours.
2. Make tea from azuki beans, pearl barley, and corn silk. Drink the tea and eat the solids three times daily.
Additionally, you might try the herbal supplement “Calm-fort/Sleeping” and the “Emotional Tranquility” tea from the Traditions of Tao. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.