What Is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory, non-contagious condition of the skin which is characterized by a red itchy, bumpy rash. The skin is dry and flaky and can also lead to thickening and hardening (lichenification) at the later stages.
It is often synonymously used with the term ‘dermatitis’ and ‘atopic dermatitis’. Eczema may be either acute or chronic. It may occur abruptly or gradually and may last for a few weeks or months or years. The word ‘atopy’ itself refers to genetic tendencies to develop other atopic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria (hives), food allergies, hay fever, etc.
It is typically associated with increased immune responses to commonly inhaled allergens or food allergens. It is also observed that some people outgrow from the condition later in their life and may not need any treatment.
Incidence: It is estimated that most forms of eczema generally start in childhood, but individuals at any age can be affected. About 10%-30% of the population in the United States is affected by this skin condition, and the individuals who live in colder climates are more prone to contract it. Males and females are equally affected by it.
Homeopathic Treatment For Eczema
Homeopathy is by far the safest and more or less a permanent solution for skin allergies like eczema. It helps in relieving you of the irritation and swelling by aiming to treat the excess of histamine release, which is the root cause of the disease. It follows the unique mind and body concept and aims to address the triggers within the body that cause the disease.
Scope Of Improvement Using Homeopathy
Homeopathy has a good scope in treating recently detected cases of mild and moderate eczema. These cases usually require eight to twelve months of treatment.
Advanced cases and steroid-dependent cases of eczema (patients who have applied or consumed steroid medications for a long time) may need a few years of treatment for a sustained recovery.
Recently-detected cases of eczema usually need a short course homeopathic treatment, whereas long-standing cases (chronic) need long-term treatment.
The treatment time varies from one person to person depending on their constitution, age, and genetic background.
Homeopathic medicines are safe and do not have any side-effects, even after consuming for a long time.
Homeopathic Medicines For Eczema
There are many homeopathic remedies which act efficiently in treating varied cases of eczema. The remedies have been proven to correct the deranged immunity which is the basic cause of the disease. Homeopathic remedies, such as Natrum muriaticum, Silicea, Sulphur, and Thuja, are generally thought of for eczema. Other medicines, such as Mezereum, Borax, and Astacus fluviatilis, are recommended for eczema on the scalp. Graphites and nitric acid are exclusive remedies recommended for eczema on the hands and palms.
Our Experience In Treating Eczema At Life Force
We at Life Force Homeopathy specialize in treating varied cases of eczema. Eczema is a major disease with an auto-immune nature that is difficult to treat. At Life Force, we excel in treating difficult diseases like eczema and help the patients recover through immune correction. We have documented more than thousands of cases of eczema, ranging from mild to severe cases, which were treated successfully. We have recorded many patients’ speech where they have happily shared their experience as to how they recovered from this disease (to add a link for eczema videos). We have also observed that a few extensive cases of eczema in children have significantly healed with our treatment. At Life Force, extensive research has been done for the treatment for eczema.
Based on our remarkable experience, we strongly recommend homeopathy for the treatment of eczema.
Causes Of Eczema
The exact cause of eczema is not known, however, it has been found that eczema occurs as a result of the combination of environmental and genetic factors.
1. Genetic tendencies: Eczema often runs in families. One might be prone to have eczema if any one of the parents is having eczema or other allergic conditions, such as asthma, urticaria, specific food allergies, pollen allergies, etc.
2. Environmental factors: Some seasonal allergies like pollen allergies and hay fever are at its peak from March to May. Individuals and children are likely to get eczema if they live in colder climates and in urban areas, where there is a high level of pollution.
3. Physical factors: Frequent contact with harsh soaps and detergents, metals, such as nickel and copper, exposure to dyes, chemicals, and cosmetics like deodorants, bleach, and regular use of synthetic clothing are certain external causes which may trigger eczema.
4. Altered immunity: Eczema develops as a result of an abnormal immune system response to certain external or internal factors.
5. Drugs: Certain conventional medicines when taken for a long time may also trigger an eczematous reaction.
6. Stress: A prolonged stress can be a triggering factor for some individuals at some stage in their life.
The Vicious Psychosomatic Cycle Of Eczema
Stress is known to be one of the causes of eczema. It is also proven that certain psychological disorders, such as anxiety neurosis and depression, cause eczema. Some cases might not directly lead to eczema. But, individuals who are anxious and depressed are in their shell. They build up their small world around them and are not interested in the things going around them. They are sleep deprived which triggers an inflammatory process. It further releases histamine leading to eczema. It has also been found that individuals suffering from these psychological disorders generally do not take good care of themselves, thereby leading to unhealthy skin and dryness. That’s how eczema is triggered in them indirectly.
1. Dry, itchy, and flaky skin.
2. Lesions appear at the folds of the skin in 50%- 60% of the individuals. Areas around the neck, in folds of the elbow, folds of the buttocks, and behind the knees are involved. But, they can also appear in singular dry hyperpigmented patches in other areas, such as the face, upper back, buttocks (as in nappy rash in infants), etc.
3. Pus-like eruptions (as in nummular eczema, seborrhoeic dermatitis, stasis dermatitis) are seen that ooze white or yellow discharge. They can also be accompanied by a foul smell if the superadded bacterial infection exists.
4. Hyperpigmentation and lichenification (hardening) of the skin occurs in the affected areas in the later stages.
Types Of Eczema
1.Contact dermatitis: It is a reaction to the frequent contact with certain metals and chemicals, such as copper, nickel, detergents, soaps, certain cosmetics, and synthetic clothing. The skin looks red, dry, and scaly and may experience burning sensation too.
2.Nummular eczema: The word ‘nummular’ is derived from the Latin word which means coin. This type of eczema can be triggered after an insect bite or by an allergic reaction after constant irritation with metals and chemicals. The lesions appear circumscribed, and they are very itchy and may ooze pus if it gets infected.
3.Infantile eczema: It is found in infants predominantly in the folds of the skin present around the neck, elbows, groins, buttocks (like a nappy rash), and behind the knees. The skin is dry, itchy, and inflamed.
4.Seborrhoeic dermatitis: This type is found in individuals having oily and sweaty skin. The scalp and face (T-zone) are most commonly affected, as they have abundant sebaceous glands (a small gland in the skin which secretes a lubricating oily substance called sebum), hence, sebum secretion is more. It may be mistaken for dandruff in the initial phase. The skin looks shiny, red, itchy, and forms crusts oozing a white fluid (sebum).
5.Stasis dermatitis: It is predominantly found in the dependent areas of the body most commonly seen in the lower 1/3rd of the legs. It is also common in bed-ridden patients where the skin often gets rubbed with the bed in areas, such as the lower back, buttocks, and elbows. It is triggered when the blood circulation in the dependent parts slows down and fluid oozes out of the weak veins. It causes swelling, redness, itching, and pain.
6.Neurodermatitis: It is caused as a result of habitual scratching. The area becomes dry, raw, hyperpigmented, and thick at later stages.
There is no specific test which will diagnose eczema. A careful skin examination by the physician along with a detailed case history will guide towards the diagnosis. Certain allergy tests (IgE) may be performed to check the allergy levels in the blood. But, this is not the diagnostic criteria for the disease. The test will give a fair idea about the intensity of the disease and further be a deciding point for the time taken for the treatment. Most of the patients show high levels of IgE (a type of immunoglobulin responsible for allergies), but it is not necessarily high in all the types of eczema.
Conventional Treatment For Eczema
Local steroid applications and anti-allergic medication (anti-histamines) are usually prescribed to relieve itching. Any steroid used for that purpose suppresses the disease and leads to a dependency on them in the future. Stopping steroid application after using it for a long time causes a relapse of the symptoms. This phenomenon is called steroid withdrawal. Hence, the more you use it, the more complex turns the disease. Therefore, the treatment time increases if the patient comes up with long-term usage of steroids either internal or external.
Supportive Measures For Eczema (Home Remedies, Diet, & Regimen)
Home Remedies For Eczema
When it comes to home remedies, moisturizing is the key to soothe the skin irritation. Applying Vaseline, coconut oil, aloe vera, and olive oil helps to break the itch and scratch cycle. Use lukewarm water for bathing and avoid long baths to prevent the skin from getting dry.
Diet And Regimen
A gluten-free diet is specifically recommended for recovery from eczema. The following dietary foods can be included to accelerate the recovery from eczema.
Banana: It is rich in potassium and contains histamine-lowering nutrients, magnesium, and vitamin C that helps in healing.
Potato: It’s rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C and has alkalizing properties.
Green onions: It contains histamine-lowering, anti-inflammatory agents, and it’s a rich source of vitamin K, which is important for healthy skin.
Buckwheat: It is gluten-free millet and helps to lower the histamine levels, and it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Drink plenty of water: Above all, drink plenty of water i.e. about 10-12 glasses/day should be the lower limit that should be reached to maintain your skin hydrated. Often, it has been found through the patient’s medical history that drinking less amount of water in itself is a cause for developing dry skin. This habit if continued will trigger eczema in prone individuals.
It is noted that stress and inadequate sleep might be a triggering factor for eczema. It is recommended that sleeping for at least 7 to 8 hours helps maintain the histamine levels which help in reducing inflammation and itching. Practice meditation and breathing exercises (Pranayam) which will help in alleviating stress.