Eczema is also known as Dermatitis.
‘Derma’ means skin and ‘itis’ means inflammation.
‘Eczema’- means ‘eruption’.
The word “eczema” is used particularly for atopic dermatitis, which is the most common type. It is accompanied by inflammation of the skin with itching, redness of the skin, swelling, skin eruptions with oozing, and a rash.
In acute cases, there may be small blisters, while in chronic cases the skin becomes thickened. It may be limited to a small area of the skin or all over the body.
It is commonly seen in infants & females of reproductive age group and is not a contagious disease.
Usual onset – Childhood.
Signs and symptoms of eczema –
- The symptoms vary depending on the age of the person.
- It can occur on different parts of the body, neck, wrist, folds of the arm, leg, back of the knees, thigh, etc. rarely it may appear on genital parts too.
- The symptoms tend to be at their worst in winter days, as the skin dries up due to cold.
- Atopic dermatitis is commonly seen in infants, before the age of 5 years.
- Dry, scaly patches with severe itching of the skin.
- In infants under 2 years old – rashes usually appear on the scalp & cheeks. There is severe itching which may lead to skin infections.
- In children aged 2 years until puberty – rashes appear on elbows, knees, neck, wrists, ankle or on legs. Rashes become bumpy, dark in colour with extreme itchiness.
- In adults – rashes generally appear on elbows, knees, or on the neck. They can be seen on the face too with very dry skin & itching.
- Scratching and rubbing further irritate the skin, increase inflammation and make itchiness worse.
- Perioral dermatitis refers to a red bumpy rash around the mouth.
- The causes are unknown but is presumed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
- Genetic – A number of genes have been associated with eczema.
- Children are more likely to develop if a parent has had the condition or another atopic disease.
- If both parents have an atopic disease, the risk is even greater.
- Irritants – soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants.
- Allergens – Dust mites, pets, pollens, mould, and dandruff.
- Microbes – certain viruses, and fungi.
- Very hot or cold weather, high and low humidity and perspiration from exercise can bring out eczema.
- Foods – Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, and wheat.
- Stress – can make symptoms worse.
There are many different types, while this article has focused mainly on atopic dermatitis, other types include –
Atopic dermatitis – it is common in children but can appear at any age. It is one of the ‘atopic triad’ – the other two are hay fever & asthma. Persons with a family history of one of these may likely develop atopic dermatitis.
A chronic, inflammatory condition which increases periodically, which may be accompanied by asthma and hay fever (commonly known as allergic rhinitis). The exact cause is unknown, it occurs when the immune system becomes hyperactive in response to allergen or irritant inside or outside the body.
Symptoms – dry, scaly, red skin with itching. Rash on cheeks, arms, and legs with cracks behind ears. Fluid discharges during flare-ups.
Contact dermatitis – dermatitis followed by contact with an allergen or irritating substance. In this condition skin becomes red, inflamed with burning, itching. Contact dermatitis usually appears on the hands, or parts of the body that touched the irritant/allergen.
Common irritants such as – chemicals, detergents, fumes, smoke, wool, soaps, perfumes, pollens, etc.
Symptoms– rash with redness, burning & blisters, crusts.
Dyshidrotic eczema – is characterized by itchy blisters on the edges of fingers, toes, skin on the palms and the soles. Stress, allergies, moist hands and feet, or exposure to metal-plated jewellery, or chromium salts used in the manufacturing of cement, mortar, leather, paints, maybe the triggering factors. This type is more common in females than in males.
Symptoms – small fluid-filled vesicles with itching, redness, scaly flakes, cracked skin, and pain.
Nummular – also known as discoid eczema, is a common type that can occur at any age. It looks very different than usual eczema and can be much more difficult to treat.
There are round, coin-shaped eruptions with severe itching. Insect bites, dryness of the skin in winter days, skin inflammation are the triggering factors.
Seborrheic dermatitis – the exact cause is unknown, microorganisms that live on the skin naturally, genes and hormones may be the triggers. It is not caused due to any allergy.
It is of chronic nature which appears usually on the body where there are a lot of oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands) like the upper back, nose and scalp. It can appear at any age, more common in males than females.
Symptoms – dandruff, yellow scales, redness of the skin.
Stasis dermatitis – is also known as gravitational dermatitis, venous eczema, and venous stasis dermatitis. It happens when there is a problem with blood flow in the veins and pressure develops, usually in the lower legs, which can cause fluid leakage out of the veins and into the skin, resulting in stasis dermatitis.
Symptoms – redness, scaling, itching with swelling around ankles.
In severe cases, there are oozing ulcers with skin infection.
Prevention of eczema–
- Lifestyle changes can help in reducing it.
- Bathing once or more a day with lukewarm water.
- Don’t use soaps to avoid dryness of the skin or use mild soaps.
- Diet – if you have specific food allergy like eggs, nuts, dairy products, avoid it. As there is some evidence that, avoiding these can reduce symptoms.
- Avoiding allergens is the best measure in the reduction and improvement of symptoms.
- Use moisturizers.
- Stay away from smoke, pollens, dyes, perfumes, chemicals, detergents if you have any specific allergy.
- Dietary supplements – probiotics, selenium, vitamin D, E & B6, zinc, sunflower oil.
- Wear cotton and soft clothes.
- Keep your fingernails short to avoid skin injury while scratching.
Can homeopathy cure eczema permanently?
Yes. Homeopathy treats the root cause with a permanent cure. Homeopathy has shown great results in many skin problems.
Natural & home remedies for –
- Aloe vera gel – it helps to soothe symptoms. It is found that aloe vera gel has antibacterial, antimicrobial, wound healing and immunity-boosting properties. Aloe vera can prevent skin infections and promote healing. Apply aloe vera plant leaf or gel directly on affected parts. It is safe and effective for adults, children, and babies too.
- Bath with lukewarm water using mild soaps or gentle cleansers.
- Avoid scrubbing & apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing.
- Coconut oil – it helps to moisturize the skin.
- Honey – is one of the best anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, used for wound healing since centuries.
- Dietary changes – as eczema is an inflammatory condition, use certain foods of anti-inflammatory properties such as – green vegetables, fruits, fish, beans and lentils, turmeric, etc.
- Wrap up in winter days.
- Avoid strong heat source.
- Use gentle soaps and detergents.
Homeopathy treatment for Eczema–
Homeopathic treatment starts with case-taking. A thorough history of the patient is gathered including his concerns regarding the present complaints along with his past history, family history, mental symptoms, etc.
Best homeopathy medicines are –
This nosode is a great remedy in skin affections including eczema. It is indicated in boils, carbuncles, severe burning and itching of the affected parts with inflammation of the skin. Eczema with burning is the key symptom of Anthracinum.
Arsenic album –
It’s a leading medicine for eczema occurring at any part of the body. Asthma alternating with eczema. Chest complaints due to suppression of eczema. There is extreme itching, burning with desquamation and bleeding from the eruptions.
Eczema around genitals, ears is also well marked in arsenic patients. Arsenic is also indicated in cases of atopic dermatitis.
it has a marked effect on the skin, producing eruptions like eczema all over the body. Moist, itching eczema with formation of thick crusts. Aggravation from warmth, bathing, excitement. Eczema over hands, legs, around ears. Eczema accompanied by pruritus ani.
Calcarea carb –
a great anti-psoric remedy for various types of skin complaints. Eczema on head, face, chest, elbow, genitals. Leading remedy for eczema in children and in infants. Purulent discharges from ears with eczema. Complaints aggravate from cold, water, washing, physical or mental exertion.
This anti-psoric remedy is indicated in both dry and wet eczema and in persons with a tendency for skin affections, fat, chilly, who take cold easily. Eczema accompanied by rough, hard, persistently dry skin with sticky discharges from the eruptions.
Eczema on legs with burning, stinging pain and swelling. Graphites is also a good remedy for eczema between fingers and toes, eyelids.
Rhus tox –
Eczema accompanied by intense itching, vesicles with severe burning and scale formations. Symptoms worsen during sleep, cold, rainy days. Eczema eruptions on head, eyelids, extremities with copious discharges. Good medicine for perioral dermatitis. Moist eczema over nose, chin, ears with burning and itching.
It is indicated for eczema which gets worse during winter days. Hard, thick and very rough skin with deep cracks is an indication of this remedy. The cracks may bleed with severe itching and burning. Itching at night, slightest scratch makes the skin to suppurate.
Often prescribed remedy for chronic eczema with dry, lusterless skin with intolerable itching. Also indicated for eczema in children with family history. Eruptions especially on scalp and bends of joints. Itching worse from the warmth of bed. Eczema behind ears with crusty eruptions. Asthma alternating with eczema is also well marked.
A great anti-psoric remedy having marked affinity for skin, where it produces heat, burning and itching of the affected parts. It is specially indicated in dirty, filthy people prone to skin diseases.
Aggravation by scratching and washing. Dry, scaly, unhealthy skin with much itching, worse by warmth, damp weather, spring. Eczema especially in folds of joints.
Wonderful medicine for various skin complaints with sensitivity to cold. Eczema with intolerable itching, worse in bed. Vesicular eruptions forming thick scabs and purulent discharges. Mezereum is an excellent remedy for perioral eczema. Also indicated in eczema over the scalp, the margin of hair, from ear to ear posteriorly.
Homeopathy remedies for eczema on legs –
Arsenic album, Petroleum, Graphites, Sulphur, Natrum mur, Apis mel.
Homeopathy medicines for eczema with asthma –
Medorrhinum, Petroleum, Rhus tox, Psorinum, Arsenic album.
Homeopathy medicines for eczema of hands –
Dulcamara, Graphites, Zincum met, Merc sol, Nitric acid, Bovista.
Homeopathy medicines for scalp eczema –
Arsenic Album, Lycopodium, Sulphur, Calcarea carb, Psorinum, Hepar sulph.
Homeopathy medicines for eczema on face –
Calcarea carb, Cicuta, Psorinum, Sulphur, Sarsaparilla, Crot Tig.
Homeopathy medicines for eczema in babies/children –
Calcarea carb, Calcarea sulph, Carcinocin, Sepia, Staphysagria.
These are only physical signs and symptoms of the medicines. In homeopathy treatment, mental symptoms are too important while prescribing medicine to the patient. An expert homeopath will elicit mental symptoms too during case taking.
After analysis and evaluation of this data, a similar medicine is selected for the patient, known as ‘similimum’.
“I believe that human health is a precious thing which may not be compromised at any cost. That’s why I strongly believe in Homeopathy because it is so natural and NO harming side effects at all”.