Skin diseases affect around 1/3rd of the world population (1.9 billion people at a given time).
Skin diseases can be infectious, cancerous, inflammatory, degenerative, or congenital. These figures are likely to increase in the future causing an economic burden on the health budgets of many countries.
Eczema is a group of skin disorders that causes skin inflammation, swelling, redness, dryness, thickening, cracking, and even oozing and bleeding. Eczema is a broader term & dermatitis is more specific. Eczema can be commonly used to refer to Atopic dermatitis.
Eczema affects about 25% of children worldwide and about 2-4% of adults. Children with Eczema are more prone to develop allergies, asthma, and hay fever. An article published in BBC states that 50-70% of children with atopic dermatitis (severe allergic skin problems) subsequently develop asthma!
According to allergy.co.nz, over 1/3rd of New Zealanders suffer from an allergy-related issue and costs more than $5 billion per annum. Skin Infections are the major causes of hospitalization in N.Z. children.
What causes Eczema?
The exact cause of Eczema is not clear, but common causes include:
- Genetics: Eczema is more common in families with a history of atopic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
- Skin barrier dysfunction: People with Eczema have a defective skin barrier that allows moisture to escape and irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin.
- Immune system dysfunction: Eczema may be caused by an overactive immune system that reacts to normally harmless substances, such as dust mites or pollen.
- Environmental factors: Exposure to irritants, such as harsh soaps and detergents, or allergens, such as pet dander or pollen, may trigger or worsen eczema symptoms.
- Microbial imbalance: An imbalance of skin bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, may also contribute to the development of Eczema.
- Stress: Emotional stress can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms.
It is important to note that Eczema is a complex condition and that many different factors may interact to cause or worsen symptoms in a particular individual.
Types of Eczema
There are various types of Eczema, I’m listing down the commonly occurring ones :
Atopic Eczema (A.D.) – Chronic, relapsing, and inflammatory skin condition, and it affects about 15-20% of children worldwide. The incidence of A.D. has increase 2-3 folds in the developed nations. It’s the most common skin disorder in children and is commonly presented by 5yrs of age. The main symptoms of A.D. include Intense Itchiness, redness, rash, and in the long term, the skin becomes cracked and thickened.
Allergic contact dermatitis – A form of Eczema which is triggered by coming in contact with a particular object. For e.g., Eczema caused by wearing a metal earring.
Irritant Dermatitis – Acute allergic response to an irritant like detergent etc.
Seborrheic Dermatitis – Chronic skin condition where sebaceous or oil producing glands are inflamed including the scalp, face and chest. Males are more affected than females. Example – cradle cap in infants.
Venous Dermatitis – It occurs because of stasis or blood pooling from insufficient venous return. The skin becomes brown, tissue like with possible skin lesions, red spots, darkening & thickening of skin of ankles/legs.
Nummular Dermatitis – Coin shaped skin rashes with intense itch.
Dyshidrotic Dermatitis – Foot-and-hand Eczema –tiny, intensely itchy blisters on the edges of fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet.
Neurodermal Dermatitis – also known as lichen simplex chronicus – it’s a type of dermatitis where a thickened, intensely itchy patch of Eczema is formed because of habitual itching and scratching.
Eczema is not curable but sometimes the children outgrow it.
Conventional/Allopathic treatments of Eczema:
Corticosteroids – topical ointment & creams.
Phototherapy – light that uses A or B light which can be effective in mild to moderate dermatitis for people older than 12 yrs. However, side effects include skin aging and skin cancer.
Systemic corticosteroids – most common one being prednisone. The side effects include skin damage, thin/weak bones, high B.P., high blood sugar, infections and cataracts.
Immune suppressants – when drugs like methotrexate are used to decrease the immunity of the body, the body’s ability to fight with any kind of infection is decreased and so is the ability for tissue repair.
Healing Eczema Holistically:
The human body is capable of healing on its own, and stimulation to vital force is enough to help the body heal by itself. The Eruptions or rashes on the skin are actually manifestations of the imbalances going inside the body. Therefore, to heal Eczema, it’s important to treat the person as a whole and treat the causative factors and not suppress the symptoms like an itch.
There are various effective natural treatment options available, which could be tremendously helpful in relieving the symptoms of skin diseases like Eczema.
This form of treatment is far gentle and sustainable than any of the conventional treatment options available. Homeopathy works on the law of similar and believes in treating the person as a whole yet maintaining the individuality.
Top 5 homeopathic remedies for Eczema:
Sulphur – This remedy is indicated when there is intense itching and a strong desire to scratch, but scratching leads to bleeding. Helpful for felons, abscess, boils, and old fistulous ulcers. Delicate, pale, and wary skin. Unhealthy skin, every little injury suppurates. The skin has a dirty appearance with discharge, which is offensive and smells like an egg—messy and lazy individuals who are thin, weak, and philosophical. Itching is marked, which is aggravated by scratching and washing the skin—a great Antipsoric remedy whose action is centrifugal.
Graphitis – Especially indicated in people who are stout, fair, chilly, and tendency to skin infections and constipation. Rough skin and oozing a glutinous fluid with little perspiration. Eczema behind the ears, sometimes with pain .Eruptions ooze a sticky exudation. Eczema leads to asthma, especially when suppressed by steroid creams. Aggravation by warmth, at night during and after menstruation. Relief by cold and in the dark.
Psorinum – Antipsoric remedy. Suited to a sensitive and cold person who is debilitated, sad, anxious, and depressed. Profuse sweating, offensive discharges with marked Offensiveness. Oily skin, Skin conditions have intense itching, herpetic eruptions, especially of scalp & bends of joints with itching and aggravation from the warmth of the bed, coffee, cold.
Petroleum – Especially suited to dark skin people who have marked skin conditions, especially sweat and oil glands being affected. Ailments during winters. Low spirited people with dry, very sensitive, rough, leathery, and cracked skin—itching at night, vesicular eruptions of skin which form thick scabs and oozes pus. Slightest scratch leads to suppuration. Aggravation during winters, mental exertion, dampness. Relief with warmth, dry weather.
Rhus Tox – Intense itching with red, swollen skin. Indicated in urticaria, erysipelas, cellulitis. Rhus Tox has a marked action on skin, it produces erythema, the eruptions are red and angry looking. It is indicated in Eczema where there is intense itching and frequent oozing. Small blisters that break on scratching and ooze a watery fluid. Rash on arms, hands or genitals. Indicated in cellulitis where the skin is dark, red and inflammation travels from left to right. Aggravation of symptoms by cold, rest, wet rainy weather, Relief by dry weather and motion.
Homeopathic ointments like – Sulphur, Graphitis, Petroleum, Urtica urens ointments are known to help with the symptoms of Eczema.
Supplements & Herbs
Herbal supplements and remedies are often used to help cleanse and cool the body, which can be helpful in managing eczema. Topical treatments such as coconut oil, aloe vera, chickweed, and ground oatmeal may also provide relief from symptoms. Additionally, some studies suggest that topical vitamin B12 may be beneficial for eczema. Naturopaths may also address the connection between the mind and eczema, as mental anxiety, depression, and emotional disturbances can worsen the condition. It is important to consult with a qualified naturopath before using any herbal supplements or remedies, and to follow recommended dosages and duration of use.
PROBIOTICS – According to Ayurveda – (the ancient Indian science of Life) – gut health is of utmost importance in maintaining optimal health. Research published in 2019, states that “The human microbiome is a collection of the microbial flora of at least 10,000 species accounting for 90% of our cell mass” – These bacterial flora helps subside inflammation. More and more researches are being done now the area of these friendly gut bacterias. As Eczema or psoriasis both involve inflammation, the probiotics or the good bacteria can help reduce inflammation in many ways.
Probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus, B. Infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics have shown many positive results in the treatment of Eczema.
Natural probiotics like Yogurt (what better if its homemade), kefir, suerkaut, tempeh, miso should be used in the everyday diet in order to keep up gut healthy.
Eczema is a skin condition that needs continuous life long care like not having a bath in too hot water (just lukewarm), always keeping skin moisturized, preferably with natural oils or cocoa butter, avoiding scratching and leading a happy & healthy life!
Natural medicines (like Homeopathy, Naturopathy), Diet, Probiotics, and yoga should be our first choice to deal with any chronic or acute condition.
It is important to consult with a qualified Homeopath before using any herbal supplements or remedies, and to follow recommended dosages and duration of use.
Eczema is a complex condition that can have multiple contributing factors. To achieve effective and holistic treatment, I am here to provide support in identifying the underlying causes and developing a comprehensive treatment plan. This may include lifestyle adjustments, topical treatments, and safe and natural remedies to improve your skin health without any negative side effects.
Book your discovery consultation today to find out how I can help you heal your skin issue with the help of Homeopathy.
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