Homeopathy & Atopic Dermatitis
The word, eczema, comes from the Greek, for ‘to boil or flow out.’ It is used for a group of skin conditions that shows a pattern — a disagreeable blueprint — characterized by redness, itching and ‘serum-filled’ blisters with crusting and scaling.
WHAT IS ATOPIC DERMATITIS
Atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema, is a skin condition that causes intense itching, followed by a red, raised rash. In severe cases, the rash develops bumps that look like little blisters. Children often get atopic dermatitis during their first year of life. The patches often appear on the scalp, forehead, and face. They are also common on the cheeks. No matter where it surfaces, the disorder is often extremely itchy. Infants may rub their skin against the bedding to reduce the itch.
- Eczema can impact a child’s life at home and school
- It can affect their self-esteem and self-confidence
- It can lead to depression
- It can cause repulsion among other members of the family.
WHAT RESEARCH SAYS
Research suggests there are certain small nerve fibres in the skin that transmit ‘itch’ signals to the spinal cord and, thereafter, to the brain. It is likely that such nerve fibres and chemical signals that they contain may be ‘affected’ in eczema.
Medical scientists have always believed that atopic dermatitis involves a faulty skin barrier that allows allergens to enter the skin and interact with immune cells to cause inflammation. Several proteins have been identified that may be involved in such a response. One is thymic stromal lymphopoietin [TSLP], which has also been linked to asthma, aside from a food allergy-related disorder called eosinophilic oesophagitis. A recent study in mice, published in PLoS One, suggests that the lack of the protein could possibly trigger atopic dermatitis.
HOMEOPATHY: THE SAFE, EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR ECZEMA
In allopathic [conventional] medicine, topical creams are often used to treat skin conditions, such as eczema. According to homeopathy, applying a topical cream on a skin blemish or disorder, such as eczema, may resolve the ‘immediate’ problem on the surface, but can also drive the ‘root’ problem deep into the body, suppressing its expression. This could trigger additional problems, such as asthma.
The best thing to do to healing skin conditions, according to homeopathy, is to treat from the inside-out. This requires a homeopathic medicine for atopic dermatitis, or eczema, which also addresses the whole child and brings their body into better balance. So, while treating the underlying issue — allergy, for instance — your homeopathic doctor will also address the expressive outer symptom, such as eczema.
A study on a group of eczema patients, published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, reported that homeopathy was as effective as standard conventional treatments in the short-term and more effective than the latter in the long-term.
A six-year study of treatment outcomes at the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, UK, also found that 82 per cent of eczema patients, all aged less than 16, felt ‘better’ or ‘much better’ with homeopathic treatment.
SELF-HELP [FOR PARENTS]
- Keep your home cool — this will help reduce your child’s skin irritation
- Reduce animal dander — animal dander can cause eczema flare-ups
- Vacuum-clean your carpets, curtains and soft furnishings — they are a potential ‘retreat’ for house dust mites [HDM], an allergy trigger
- Choose a mild, gentle soap for your child having eczema. Don’t use soap that works up rich lather, or bubble. A soap substitute, such as aqueous cream or emulsifying lotion, should be used instead. Soap-free lotions could be a better option
- The use of olive oil and aloe vera lotion, or cream, as moisturizer, is beneficial
- Teething in children is evidenced to trigger flare-ups of eczema on the face. Research says that this may be related to excess dribbling of saliva and subsequent irritation around the mouth, rather than the direct consequence of teething. Encourage your child to practice good hygiene.