Eczema / Atopic Dermatitis Introduction
About Eczema (Atopic dermatitis)
Eczema is a skin condition in which the immunity is deranged. Dermatitis simply means inflammation of the skin.
Eczema is a skin condition where different parts of the skin become inflamed with
- itching and scratching resulting in the roughness of skin
- dryness further developing in cracks
- occasionally blisters filled with pus may appear
Atopic eczema is more common in children, often developing in the 1st year of life. Also, it may develop for the first time in the adult age.
Atopic eczema presents as dry, cracked, sore and red eruptions. The symptoms differ from person to person Some have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread red, inflamed skin all over the body.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have remission periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as flare-ups when symptoms become more severe and aggravated.
My Similia homeopathy, we are fortunate enough to treat hundreds of patients with eczema from infants to adults. We strongly recommend homeopathic medicines for eczema.
Homeopathy aims to heal the damaged skin, relieving the symptom, and controlling the relapses. This is achieved by giving an internal medicine and not external applications such as creams and ointments.
Eczema is believed to be caused due to genetic tendencies which run in the families and is triggered or increased by various environmental factors such as the use of chemicals, allergic substances, low or high temperature, certain types of food allergens, emotional stress and/or hormonal imbalance.
This allergy can also be explained as oversensitivity to either external or internal factors or both. Nutritional deficiency is another factor which aggravates eczema.
The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Basically, the cause of eczema can be classified as genetic or inherited and environmental. The tendency to get affected by eczema usually runs in families. Although a person may have a tendency to develop eczema since birth, eczema is developed only when favorable environmental factors trigger it. This shows that environmental factors are equally important in developing as well as aggravating eczema.
Symptoms of Eczema/ Atopic dermatitis
In patients with eczema skin becomes dry, red, itchy and cracked. It may affect small parts of the skin in patches or it may be seen as generalized eczema affecting all over the body.
Most common parts affected are scalp, face, inside the elbows and knees, folds of the skin.
In the acute stage of eczema skin appears to be red with erosions and oozing of thin liquid. Vesicles or blisters may also form at this stage. Once the scaling of skin starts the skin becomes excoriated and jet red and is termed as a sub-acute stage. Once the subacute stage is over skin becomes thickened with pigmentation and is termed as chronic eczema. Severe itching is usually present at all the stages of eczema. Scratching often leads to secondary infection.
Variants and Types of Eczema
Eczema patients should find out the following points: Should be able to differentiate which type of eczema you have to Understand the difference between different types of eczema Treatment protocol for different varieties of eczema may vary Trigger factor which aggravates eczema should be known so as to avoid them.:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Hand eczema
- Nummular eczema
- Stasis dermatitis
Trigger factors for Eczema
The immune system of people suffering from eczema tends to be over-reactive and attacks the body instead of protecting it whenever triggered by an allergen or irritant resulting in inflammation, which leads to the red, itchy and painful skin.
What does recent research suggest?
In normal individuals, filaggrin (a protein which helps in creating a healthy skin barrier on top of the skin) is present in ample amount. In people with eczema mutation of filaggrin is seen which results in a scarcity of filaggrin. Due to this the skin barrier is not strong enough and moisture can escape from skin and bacteria can enter. This is the reason why people with eczema have extremely dry skin and a tendency to get infections.
Common Eczema triggers:
Even if a person might have a genetic tendency to get eczema, the trigger factors (environmental factors) are the ones responsible for flare-ups. Knowing what triggers your eczema or makes it worse will help you keep your symptoms under control. Triggers for eczema may differ from person to person. You need to identify your triggers and avoid them.
1) The most important household trigger is mould (It is a soft grey, green, or blue substance that is usually seen in spots on stale food or on damp walls or clothes.)
Mould can easily grow in our homes. Moulds are capable of releasing thousands of spores in the air. These spores are responsible for mild to severe allergic reactions depending upon a person's immunity. Once the spores come in contact with the skin the end result is diseases like rhinitis, itchy eyes, asthma and/or eczema.
2) Letting the dry skin unattended
When your skin gets too dried up, it becomes prone to get brittle, scaly, or rough resulting in eczema flare up.
It is of utmost importance to keep your skin moist with constant use of moisturizers.
3) Substances which acts as irritants to skin:
This includes everyday products, chemicals, etc.
- Soaps used for hand wash or dishwasher, (Isothiazolinones containing personal care products)
- Laundry detergents, shampoo or body wash, (containing Cocamidopropyl),
- Surface cleaners and disinfectants (containing formaldehyde),
- Metals like nickel,
- Cigarette smoke,
- Fragrances like room fresheners or body sprays,
- Certain fabrics like wool and polyester,
- Antibacterial ointment like neomycin,
- Vaccines, glues, and adhesives
- Leather dyes and temporary tattoos (containing Paraphenylene-diamine), etc.
Emotional stress is considered an important eczema trigger.
Emotional stress coming out of grief, anxiety, disappointments, guilt, frustrations or suppressed emotions has a direct effect on human body mainly organs like hypothalamus, adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, etc. These organs define body's immunity. In short continuous emotional stress leads to lowered immunity hence making a person prone to eczema and other such diseases.
5) Climate changes and sweating:
Your eczema is more likely to flare when the atmosphere is too dry or too humid. You need to avoid long hot showers or baths in order to avoid flare up.
Sweating is one of the common triggers for many people with eczema. The skin becomes itchy and they experience a prickly heat sensation.
Cold winter weather is another common period for flare-ups.
6) Superadded Infection:
People with eczema are very prone to get infections, most commonly after scratching. Different type of infections like Staphylococcus aureus, molluscum, herpes, fungal are common.
To treat these infections at the earliest is important.
There are different day to day materials in your surroundings that may trigger an allergic reaction resulting into eczema flare up.
- Seasonal pollen,
- Dust mites,
- Pet dander from cats and dogs,
- mould, etc.
8) Hormonal imbalance:
Hormones are substances produced by the body which help in growth. Hormonal imbalance where either the levels of certain hormones increase or decrease can cause flare-ups in certain individuals, especially women.
Homeopathy Treatment for Eczema / Atopic Dermatitis
Treatment and management of eczema require a strategy based on the age of the patient, stage of the disease, probable causes, etc. as it is not just a superficial skin disease. Treatment must be targeted to treat it internally with deep acting homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathic medicines are proven to be effective in all stages and types of eczema. Homeopathic treatment considers all round causes of eczema along with the triggering factors, hence treating the disease at the immunity level. Homeopathy offers long-term control and results in a majority of cases.
Homeopathy considers eczema as an external manifestation of internal disease so treating eczema with a local application is considered ineffective. Eczema needs to be treated with internal medication which will address the root causes of the disease and it is best done by homeopathic medicines.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) for Eczema / Atopic Dermatitis
1) Is eczema contagious?
No eczema is not contagious, that means it does not spread by touch or contact. Eczema may run into families due to genetic tendencies.
2) How is atopic dermatitis diagnosed?
Currently, there are no tests or investigations available to diagnose eczema. A trained physician can diagnose by taking a detailed history and examination of skin lesions. It is necessary to form a diagnosis and to differentiate from other skin diseases.
3) Is eczema curable?
Yes, eczema is curable with homeopathic medicines. Individualized approach for every single case helps in determining constitutional medicines. There is a lot of proven data about complete recovery from eczema.
4) What types of things can irritate skin in people with atopic eczema?
Environmental factors act as a trigger factor for eczema. Anything which leads to dryness of skin acts as an aggravating factor. Keeping skin moist is the most important part of skin care in all eczema patients to control relapses.
5) Which foods to avoid in children with atopic dermatitis?
Although only about 10 to 15 percent cases of atopic dermatitis are allergic to certain foods the common allergens are eggs, milk, soy, wheat, nuts, and fish. Allergic tests are not useful. It is advisable to keep a track of flare-ups and to find out which food items are causing it.
6) Does emotional stress have anything to do with eczema flare-ups?
Yes, it is the most common trigger factor for eczema flare-ups. Keeping stress under control will help to reduce flare-ups. Homeopathic medicines are selected on the basis of all causative factors including stress. Regular meditation is useful.
A: Yes, some people experience flare-ups during stressful times. In addition to getting adequate rest and nutrition, you may want to switch to dandruff shampoos and use a prescribed antifungal cream. Mild cortisone creams help minimize the flare-ups but should not be used for long periods of time.
Chhaya Joshi -
I had allergic dermatitis over my back since 3 years which was not responding to any treatment. I was unable to visit any beauty parlors due to these allergies. Every time I came in contact with ammonia I used to get rashes. Online treatment helped me recover completely and I can visit freely to any beauty clinics without worrying for allergies.
Before After Case photos