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Eczema

The appearance of patches of reddened and inflamed scaly skin on carious areas of the scalp, the face, the hands and the wrist occurs during a condition called eczema, it is medically termed dermatitis, this patchy scaly skin can also affect the front of the elbows on the hands and the area behind the knees in the legs as the condition progresses. However other areas of the body may equally be affected during the condition. Scratching the patch of affected skin can aggravate the condition to a great extent, unfortunately the affected areas of the skin tend to be very itchy and the desire to scratch such areas is almost irresistible for the patient.

The condition of eczema is very often hereditary in families where allergies to various types of substances are prominent; the condition as such can be started by an allergenic reaction or an allergy to foods, to various types of pollen, to many types of animal fur, and because of exposure to potentially allergenic substances in the environment. Allergic hay fever is often seen in people with eczema, or conversely such an allergy tends to develop slowly in people already afflicted with eczema. Histamine is a chemical active in the production of an allergic reaction in the skin, this chemical tends to abound at higher levels than normal in people afflicted with the condition of eczema, this is a very important factor in the likely appearance of eczema in a person. Eczema as a condition is triggered in many people who have some sort of exposure to various allergens and allergenic substances in the environment, these can include contact with various poisonous plants, poison ivy for example, the metal used in some types of jewelry, such as chrome or nickel, many types of synthetic and natural dyes, the chemicals present in various cosmetics and beauty products, the ingredients utilized to manufacture certain drugs and topical medications for application on the skin, and all sorts of cleaning agents which may or may not be corrosive to skin. A type of eczema that brings about the formation of scaly patches on the ankles of the afflicted person is known as statis dermatitis and it mainly comes about as a condition in those individuals afflicted with a dysfunctional or poorly draining circulatory system in the legs. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, the presence of psychological factors like stress, and even an environment with dry and dehumidified air can bring about eczema in a person.

Supplements and herbs

The aggravation and sudden increase in the affects of eczema can be alleviated and relieved to a great extent through the use of many kinds of supplements and supplemental products, these can be used alone or as a secondary agent along with other supplements, and can be combined with conventional drugs and over the counter medications used in the allopathic treatment of the condition. Three to four days is the usual timeframe within which the beneficial effects of supplementation become observable in the patient. To prevent the recurrence of the condition in the long term, use can also be made of some of the supplements on a regular basis.

The allergic reactions engendered in the patient and the subsequent inflammation that occurs can often be countered to a great extent through the use of various supplements that can be consumed by the patient. Some of these supplements may be effective for you and you should give it a shot. The inflammation and the itching sensation in the skin can be alleviated by the use of the essential flaxseed oil and the oil of the evening primrose herb, these are very abundant in substances like essential fatty acids and other compounds that can aid in the revitalization of the skin. The dry skin and consequent itchiness can be reduced through supplementation with the A and E vitamins, as symptoms reduce in intensity, lower the dosage of the vitamin A concurrently. The healing and restoration of the skin is improved by the supplements of the essential mineral zinc, the mineral bolsters the performance of the immune system and effectively aids in the healing process of the skin, the biochemical processing of the essential fatty acids also involves this mineral and it is an essential part of that process. Since an increase in zinc brings around a reduction in the levels of the mineral copper in the body, copper supplements are necessary alongside the supplements of zinc in order to restore the balance of depleted copper in the body. The allergic reaction of the body can also be tempered through the use of extracts of the seeds of grape, these extracts are abound in antioxidant substances called flavonoids, these plant substances play an essential role in cellular processes.

Many external creams have chamomile or licorice extracts as ingredients, these make excellent topical applications for use on the affected areas of the skin, in people with eczema. The direct application of the cream or topical rub onto the lesions on the skin can be very soothing and effective, such lotions also reduce the levels of inflammation on the patient skin and can restore its health.

Homeopathy

The following homeopathic remedies can be used in patients with any form of eczema on a strength or potency of 6 to the 30th level, preferably at least one time each day. Once the condition shows signs of improvement, or if the symptoms increase in intensity, the use of the remedy must be stopped at once.

  • Arsenicum
    Arsenicum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of people suffering from eczema where the symptoms include the presence of severe itching, the person is given to scratching the affected area raw, whereupon the sensation in the affected part of the body may become a burning feeling which stops and an itching sensation returns, there is an alternation of these two sensations every time the affected itchy area is scratched raw. The appearance of the skin is flaky and papery; some pus may be evident on the skin. There is a formation of small vesicles on the affected area of the skin. The uncovered areas of the skin, or the regions of the body not normally covered by clothing tend to be the areas most heavily affected by the eczema. Other symptoms in the patient may include physical weakness and a tendency to feel cold. The patient is given to sipping cold water on a regular basis. Some psychological signs in the patient are the appearance of fears and anxiety about death and health, the patient is insecure and is given to a lot of restlessness. The patient is emotionally fickle and is miserly and picky about things. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen in the hours after midnight, when getting wet or on exposure to cold air or while in the bath. The condition of the patient on the other hand greatly improves when he or she is in a warm room and when bathing with hot water. The appearance of one or any of these symptoms requires the use of Arsenicum as a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of eczema.
  • Graphites
    Graphites is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of patients afflicted with eczema in whom the skin is given out in red itching pimples, with the production of a honey-like oozing liquid, this pus may become encrusted over the affected area of the pimple. The skin of the affected person heals rather slowly and becomes infected very easily, with the production of scars on the area. Other problems that may beset such individuals are: being overweight, a tendency to being sweaty or perspiring often, and even being constipated. The areas of the body that are affected the most in such cases tends to be the regions of the palms, the genitalia, the back of the hands, the areas of folded and loose skin the scalp, along the hairline and behind the ears. The skin can become thick and hard in the affected area. The heels on the feet and the fingers of the hand may be given to cracking and callusing; the nails of such persons are typically grooved and thickened. The condition of the person can greatly worsen on exposure to heat even if they are cold to the touch, during the night, and in women during their menstruation period. The condition of the patient will greatly improve when cold compresses or rubs are applied onto the affected regions of the body.
  • Nat mur
    Nat mur is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of patients suffering from eczema in whom small and very itchy blisters form on the affected area of the skin, these blisters exude a corrosive fluid, the affected areas of the skin in addition also become inflamed and often become raw. The affected regions of the body in such individuals are the areas behind the ears, the skin in the bend of the joint and the area or the margin of the hairline. The flaky skin is very dry and becomes encrusted over a period of time. The person has an extreme liking for salt and develops a persistent thirst as one of the symptoms. Other physical signs are that the hair of the patient tends to be oily and greasy. The condition of the skin is generally dry and flaky. The person loses a lot of weight. Psychological symptoms evident are extreme internal grief; therefore this type of eczema may be because of suppressed emotions in the person. The other signs tend to be fussiness and a desire to be left alone, declining all consolation or care. The condition of the patient tends to greatly worsen, when exposed to warmth, near windy seashore, during menstruation in women and when ingesting salt. The condition of the patient improves when bathing and on being exposed to cool weather. The presence of one or any of these symptoms requires the utilization of Nat mur as a homeopathic remedy in the patient to treat eczema.
  • Petroleum
    Petroleum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of patients afflicted with eczema in which the skin is itchy and oozes pus through moist surfaces; the raw areas of the skin cause the burning sensation. There is a development of cracks in the folds of the skin and the fingers that may be raw. The affected area of the skin becomes infected very easily and is often given to a lot of bleeding. The physical symptoms also include the formation of ulcers on the affected areas of the skin. The general areas of the body that tend to be affected by the eczema include, the genitalia, the areas behind the ears and the bends of the joints, the fingertips are also affected and there may arise eruptions on the palms. The affected region of the skin becomes cold after it has been scratched and there is tremendous itching, the patient cannot resist the desire to scratch and may do so till the skin becomes raw and bleeds. The condition of the patient tends to greatly worsen, when the patient is in a moving vehicle, on being exposed to cold air outside or during the winter months, additionally symptoms are often aggravated at night. The condition of the patient tends to improve when exposed to the warm air, and in dry places or surroundings. The appearance of one or more of these symptoms in the patient requires the immediate utilization of Petroleum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of eczema in the patient.
  • Sulphur
    Sulphur is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from eczema in which the skin is given to eruptions with a moist and foul smelling product. The affected areas are also intensely itchy and the patient cannot easily resist the desire to scratch causing a further burning sensation and bleeding eventually. As a rule the skin of the patient is very sensitive to physical pressure and easily bleeds. The complexion of the skin is also scaly and dry with a lot of areas that are cracked and exposed. The skin is prone to other types of infections and is filled with pimples; the affected skin is also very unhealthy. The person experiences hot feet with burning sensations during the nighttime. The typical areas of the body that tend to be affected during the disorder are the feet, the bended area in the elbows, the face and all areas of the skin that actively sweat, the knees are also affected and the hairline is typically affected as well. Psychologically such people tend to be intellectual dreamers and highly idealistic. The disorder also induces lethargy in such people and they are often unmotivated and listless. Hunger increases and is intense in such people who also always seem to be extremely tired and exhausted. The condition of the patients typically worsen when using woolen clothes, when lying down in a warm bed, while bathing, when exposed to heat and during the night. The condition of the patients improves greatly when bathing with cold water and in dry surroundings. The appearance of one or more of these symptoms requires the utilization of Sulphur as a homeopathic remedy to fight against the eczema.

Additional things you may do

All possible sources of allergies or likely allergens must be eliminated from food. Foods such as shellfish, wheat and eggs milk and other dairy products and certain chocolates, and all types of nuts and even fruits like strawberries, the diet should not contain any known allergens as far as possible. Since the skin of the affected individual can be so easily irritated through the use of badly stitched clothes and certain fabrics, it is advisable to be clad in loose-fitting cotton clothing, because cotton is very unlikely to cause allergic reactions in people. To maintain moisture in the skin, take baths only when required or shower only when needed. It is best to avoid possible allergens in toiletry such as perfumed products, including deodorant soaps and bubble baths; the bath water must preferably be lukewarm. Dry the skin by patting it; instead of rubbing the liquid off, after a bath, this prevents loss of moisture.

Usual dosage

  • Chamomile, apply chamomile lotion or cream to affected areas three or four times daily.
  • Copper / Zinc, 2 mg copper and 30 mg zinc daily. Add copper only when you use zinc longer than one month.
  • Evening primrose oil, 1,000 mg three times daily. It can substitute 1,000 mg borage oil once daily.
  • Flaxseed oil, one table spoon (14 g) daily. Take in the morning. Flaxseed oil can be mixed with food.
  • Grape seed extract, 100 mg two times daily. Standardized to contain 92%-95% proanthocyanidins.
  • Licorice, apply licorice cream to affected areas three or four times daily.
  • Vitamin A, 25,000 IU every day for up to ten days to treat flare-ups. For maintenance therapy reduce dose to 10,000 IU. Pregnant women should not exceed 5,000 IU daily.
  • Vitamin E, 400 IU daily. If you take anticoagulant medications, check with your doctor.

For kids

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

Eczema in children who are ten years of age or above, the symptoms of the disease and the condition itself can be eliminated in the course of a five-week herbal regimen or treatment period using a variety of herbs. Seven days is the dosage time for each herb, the herbs must be given in the following order and timing during this period.
Week 1: Give children the root extracts of the burdock herb or if preferred a tea made from the root, a single dose two times everyday during the treatment period, this herb aids in the healing and recovery of the skin as well as in the detoxification of blood. Give your child one dose, twice daily.
Week 2: the detoxification and cleansing of the blood can also be brought about through the use of a combined herbal formulation consisting of the Echinacea and the goldenseal herb. Dosage of these two herbs can include a single dose given two times each day during the duration of the treatment period.
Week 3: Various ailments of the skin can also be treated using the detoxifying and cleansing effects of the red clover herb, in all individuals with a variety of skin conditions. For children this herb can be given as a single dose everyday during the treatment period.
Week 4: Another herb that can be used is the nettle, which is very abundant in important trace minerals and can help in the recovery of blood volume. Dosage for children of the herb can be a single dose given two times everyday during the treatment period.
For your attention: this herb has been known to affect the digestive system of certain children, mixing ginger in the herbal mixture may help prevent such complications from occurring, alternately the use of the herb can be stopped if serious problems are encountered during usage.
Week 5: A single dose of Echinacea and goldenseal herbs in a combination formula, given twice a day will aid in the continual detoxification of the blood and hasten the speed of healing and recovery in the affected child.

Eczema can also be treated using the balsam of Peru. It can be used mixed along with oil or as a single topical treatment for external application on its own. The affected areas of the skin on the patients body may be soothed and alleviated through the strong anti inflammatory actions of herbal creams made from comfrey and licorice, these include the commonly available Simicort or Alticort. Alternately the same effect can be brought about by the use of a high-potency cream made from the chamomile herb, an example is CamoCare. For optimal utilization carefully read and follow all the instructions given on the label. The application of calendula ointment can greatly aid in the alleviation of the dry types of eczema. The label on the product is a good guide and must be followed to the letter.

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