What is eczema?
An eczema is a chronic form of medical condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, resulting in red, itchy and dry skin, which may sometimes become cracked and leathery. It is frequently referred to as atopic dermatitis, which is the most common form of eczema. ‘Atopic’ word means an allergy and thus atopic dermatitis is often accompanied by other allergies like hay fever and asthma. Atopic dermatitis is very common in infants, which normally outgrow till the age of ten, but it can happen at any age. Eczematous patches are mostly found on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, eyelids, upper chest, neck bends of elbows and knees. In infants, it is most commonly found on the face and scalp.
Eczema is a chronic skin disease and tends to flare up periodically. The typical itchy rashes of eczema may come up in response to certain substances or conditions. There can be various factors involved in the outbreak and may be different for different people, like-
- feeling too hot or too cold,
- coming in contact with soaps and detergents or animal dander may flare it up
- upper respiratory infections or cold
- Stress can further worsen the condition
- family or personal history of eczema are at maximum risk.
The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is related to a gene variation in which skin is not able to retain moisture, hence does not protect from bacteria, irritants and allergens. This makes the skin susceptible to external environmental factors. It has been found that food allergies may also play a triggering factor in causing eczema in children.
- Atopic dermatitis- This is the most common type of eczema. It is common in children and usually becomes milder or subside in later years of life. It is almost always associated with hay fever and asthma.
- Contact dermatitis- Contact dermatitis is caused as a reaction to touching any substances like detergents, bleach, latex, soaps, etc, which produces symptoms like redness and irritation.
- Dyshidrotic eczema- In this form, there are the formation of fluid-filled blisters on the skin, due to any allergy, stress, damp hands and feet or coming in contact with substances like nickel, cobalt or chromium salts.
- Hand eczema- This typically happens in the hands of people who regularly come in direct contact with chemicals, like those who job of cleaning, hairdressing, etc.
- Neurodermatitis- This usually starts in people who are already suffering from other types of eczema or psoriasis. Symptoms are similar to atopic dermatitis with the formation of thick, scaly patches.
- Nummular eczema- Nummular means ‘coin’ in Latin. In this, there is the formation of coin-shaped patches on the skin, which may itch a lot.
- Stasis dermatitis- This typically happens in people who have blood flow disorders in their lower legs. Due to stasis of blood, fluid leaks on the skin, causing swelling, redness, itching and pain.
Sign and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of eczema may vary from person to person and commonly include symptoms like dry scaly skin and red to brownish patches. Sometimes small raised bumps may develop that exudes fluid when scratched, and later on form crusts. The skin may even become cracked, thickened, scaly, and sensitive, raw and swollen from scratching. In infants, this condition is mostly subsided till adulthood, but for some people, it may flare periodically for several years.
Eczema in babies usually shows up as patches of red skin. It usually occurs in the early months of life and looks like crusty flaky patches, which most of the babies outgrow with age.
Eczema can present with several complications, like most of the infants suffering from this condition develop asthma and hay fever by the age of 13, when conditions become chronic, the skin may become thick, discoloured or leathery due to regular itching. Repeated breaking of the skin due to scratching develop open wounds that may lead to skin infections. In eczema itch mostly gets aggravated at night, which may lead to disturbed sleep cycles.
The conventional system of medicine has no specific treatment for eczema, but homoeopathy has proved very effective in eliminating eczema from roots, though it might take some time to be fully cured.
Homoeopathic treatment for eczema is can be done both with therapeutic or individualised medicines, depending upon the duration of symptoms and underlying causes, though homoeopathic remedy for eczema chosen based on individualisation is best to eliminate the disease from the roots. Individualised homoeopathic medicine for eczema is chosen after a detailed case taking where the homoeopathic doctor tries to find out the root cause of the disease. Individualised homoeopathic medicine for eczema is chosen considering the characteristic of the person like his temperament, desires, aversions, his susceptibilities along with his emotional and mental aspects. Medicines chosen individually can go to the root cause of the disease to eliminate them permanently.
Some of the commonly used homoeopathic medicine for eczema are-
- Graphites- It is the top grade medicine for eczema, which works equally good for dry and moist eczema. The indications for graphites are- dry eczema include symptoms like excessively dry skin with intense irritation. If the eruptions are moist they may present with moist, sticky fluid. It works well for eczema between fingers and toes with oozing discharges.
- Natrum mur- This is a very good medicine for eczema in the bends of joints, like knees and skin between the elbows. Eczema symptoms that point towards nat mur include- eczema eruptions that are dry, chapped, raw, inflamed and crusty. Natrum Mur particularly works well in eczema eruptions arising from the hairlines.
- Petroleum- This is the most indicated homoeopathic medicine if the symptoms tend to aggravate in winters. People having rough, hard and thick skin require this remedy for treatment. There can be the presence of deep cracks in the eruptions, which may bleed. The skin of petroleum patients is highly sensitive which may burn on itching.
- Mezereum- This medicine is indicated when eczema is thick with crusty eruptions. Glutinous discharges may be present from the eruptions. In some cases, pus discharge with blood has also been observed. It is a wonderful medicine for treating eczema of the scalp and is frequently used for scalp eczema in children. The symptoms include thick, leather-like crust eruptions on the scalp, that may exude sticky or pus-like discharges. It is also accompanied by marked burning after itching.
- Arsenic album- This is the top grade medicine when eczema is accompanied by asthma. The skin of the patient is dry and itching with a burning sensation. The conditions get aggravated in winter and by cold. Asthma with eczema presents with symptoms like dyspnoea, suffocative attacks, cough, the sensation of construction in air passages, etc. Both eczema and asthma may coexist together or may alternate.
For a complete solution to the problem of eczema and its associated complaints, one may consult AVI homoeopathy which is the best virtual clinic and specialises in childhood diseases. Dr Ashok Choudhary is the best homoeopathic doctor for eczema, especially when it comes to being in children.