Ma Kuang Singapore news


Paediatric Allergies



The cleanliness of our living environment has been steadily increase over the years, but the number of allergies in children are also raising. This is happening in Singapore and other developed countries around the world. Reportedly, the incidence of allergic conditions has grown to about 30% in the world. The WHO identified allergies as an epidemic diseases in the 21st century. The incidence of pediatric skin allergies in Singapore is 20.8%, and growing. There is no gender predilection. It is common in children less than a year old. It typically occurs before 6 months of age in 45% of infants, and before 1 year of age in 60% of the affected children. Almost all affected children have it before age 5.


The features of pediatric skin allergies

Clinical diagnosis of allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis typically includes the following signs and symptoms:

  1. - Itchiness
  2. - Recurrence
  3. - Located in skin folds
  4. - Significant family history of allergies (e.g. allergic rhinitis, asthma, or atopic dermatitis)

Other associated signs and symptoms include itchy eyes in the morning, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, worsening with cold weather, and clear mucus.



When treating infants with atopic dermatitis, I typically prescribe a Chinese herbal medicated bath, because their digestive system is not fully mature and cannot absorb oral prescription as effectively. The bath can be used in conjunction with over the counter antipruritic aloe vera gel, or wound healing SanHuang powder. These medications can be applied to the skin as a wet dressing. They are as effective as oral medications. There are five ways to combat atopic dermatitis at home:


  1. 1. Use antipruritic aloe vera gel during an acute phase:

The clear gel in aloe vera is a Chinese medicine for “reducing heat in the liver and clearing inflammation”.  You can find aloe vera gel in the store for sunburn treatment. You can easily find it in local drug stores at an affordable price. Keep it refrigerated. Cold aloe vera gel can replace steroids as an alternative for itchy skin in children.


  1. 2. Use SanHuang powder for wound healing:

SanHuang powder can be used to absorb wound drainage and facilitate wound healing. SanHuang powder is made of amur corktree bark (Huang Bai), baical skullcap root (Huang Qin), and Chinese goldthread root (Huang Lian). These three herbs are used to treat “inflammation and toxicity” in the body. They have a bitter taste and a cold property. They can be used topically to reduce inflammation and dry out wounds. Parents can get them in powder form from a Chinese herbal pharmacy and request a specific ratio of 2:2:1 (Huang Bai: Huang Qin: Huang Lian). Sift the powder using a 100-mesh sieve, and then store in a container for future use. It is great for atopic dermatitis, especially for wounds with redness, itchiness and exudate. Spread a little bit of SanHuang powder on the wound, and it will scab the next day.


  1. 3. Use ZiYun Cream or lotion for moisturizing:

The older generation loves tea seed oil for skin dryness. In reality, atopic dermatitis has to do with genetic factors, stress, diet, environmental factors and skin damage. Researchers discovered that atopic dermatitis is related to an epidermal genetic defect. Moisturizing lotion can reduce the risk of infections by protecting the outer layer of the skin. For dry skin protection and repair, I often prescribe ZiYuan cream, which is made of arnebia root (Zi Cao), angelica root (Dang Gui) and sesame oil. If you don’t have the cream at home, you can use olive oil or tea seed oil on dry skin. Parents can also choose a more natural lotion for your children. However, avoid putting lotion on a wound with drainage.


  1. 4. Pediatric TuiNa:

Severe itchiness: massage XueHai (SP10) and QuChi (LI11) bilaterally 30-50 times


Perform the “clear large intestine” TuiNa technique 100-300 times.

This is to be performed on a straight line between the tip of the index finger and the first web space, located at the radial side of index finger.

Benefits: cleanses the intestines, eliminates inflammation and facilitates bowel movements to treat constipation and indigestion.


Perform the “Clear Tian He Shui” TuiNa technique 300-500 times.

Tian He Shui is a straight line located in the middle of forearm between the wrist and elbow.

Benefits: Reduces inflammation and fever.


Perform a spinal massage 5-10 times.

Lay the child on his/her belly, and expose the back. Apply an adequate moisturizing medium (baby powder) on the skin. Pick up and squeeze a roll of skin between your index fingers and thumbs, working bilaterally from the based of the spine to the base of the skull.

Benefits: Regulates Yin and Yang, regulates Qi and blood flow, balances visceral function, unblocks meridians and channels, and strengthens the body. It is typically used for the prevention and treatment of pediatric malnutrition, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.


5. Make dietary changes:

Highly processed food and artificial additives often lack the essential nutrients the human body needs. It can lead to a weakening of the immune system and increased risk of contracting diseases. The following is the dietary guidelines for those with atopic dermatitis:

  • -Avoid pro-inflammatory foods, such as snacks, fried food, chocolate, curry, and fries.
  • -Eat whole food, and avoid processed food.
  • -Increase fresh food in the diet, and remember that variety is key.
  • -Steaming and boiling are the preferred cooking methods.
  • -Avoid cold food, especially when there is wound drainage.
  • -Keep a food diary, so that it is easier to identify foods that aggravate symptoms.