Homeopathic Medicine For Eczema and Itchy SkinLesley Mang, DSHomMed April 1, 2007
Eczema (clinically called dermatitis) can drive you crazy. The itch can start up at any time, interrupting your dealings with other people and even your sleep. Its unattractive appearance on the face or other exposed parts of the body can make one want to hide. What’s worse is that its cause is unknown and there is no known medical cure. The standard relief available is the use of moisturizing lotions and creams and the temporary use of steroids which may cause one to feel even worse when it is discontinued.
Other forms of itching (pruritis) may result from ingesting food or drugs that aggravate the skin, or from serious illnesses such as leukemia.
Here are some of the common forms of eczema:
Contact – swelling, red itchy bumps as a result of exposure to metal ( e.g. jewelry) or chemicals. Even eliminating the sources may leave the skin aggravated for several weeks afterward.
Atopic – red, itching, oozing, crusty bumps which may appear on any part of the body. Cold weather, humidity, wool, perspiration, or emotional stress may aggravate it.
Seborrheic – itchy, crusty bumps and scales appear on face and scalp. Infant cradle cap is this type of eczema.
Nummular – the eruption appears in the shape of round coins filled with itchy little blisters and scales. Often the dry skin of middle age is susceptible to this form.
Localized scratch dermatitis – can appear anywhere on the body. At first there is no eruption, just itchiness. Scratching results in darkened oval patches on the skin. The cause is almost certainly psychological.
The following are not considered to be eczema, although they are common and can be just as uncomfortable.
Dermatitis herpetiformis – the very itchy blisters appear to result from a sensitivity to gluten ( found in wheat, rye, barley) and/or to dairy products and possibly other foods such as citrus.
Drug reactions – many chemical drugs, because they irritate the liver, will cause itchy skin eruptions.
Fortunately, there are measures you can safely take to relieve your eczema and your otherwise itchy skin. With homeopathy you may even eliminate it entirely.
THE ROLE OF NUTRITION
No matter what sort of itchy skin you have, you can improve your health with a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruit, and plenty of water. In addition, the following supplements will support your immune system:
• Vitamin B complex- promotes circulation and healthy skin
• Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3, 6, 9 – provide lubrication and help the skin retain water
• Vitamin C – inhibits inflammation
• Coenzyme Q10 – removes toxins and boosts energy
• Acidophilus – controls an overgrowth of yeasts which can cause your skin to itch
NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR COMMON SKIN PROBLEMS
• Contact Eczema – Eliminate the source of the irritation. Remove your metal jewelry and wear protective gloves if you must work with chemicals. If the irritation persists you can try a dose or two of homeopathic histaminum 30c or 200c. This remedy will calm the histamine that your body is producing in reaction to the irritation.
• Dermatitis Herpetiformis – If you can afford it, have yourself tested electrodermally for food sensitivities and then cut out those foods you react to. If you can’t afford this, you can try an elimination diet – for six weeks, do not eat or drink any foods that you suspect may be triggering your skin problem. Wheat or other grains with gluten, dairy, citrus and coffee are very common irritants. After you have eliminated them all, add one food back and wait for three days. If you have no reaction, add another and again wait. Continue until you identify the culprit. Then avoid the food that causes your symptoms to return.
• Drug-related Itching – This sort of itchiness can be complicated to treat, especially if you continue to take the drugs causing it. Once you are off the drugs the itching may be a result of a weakened immune system and a congested liver. In this case, your homeopath may choose to use gemmotherapy with you. Gemmotherapy comprises a group of very low potency homeopathic remedies made from the young shoots and buds of plants. The energy of the plants is particularly potent in this early stage of growth. Among these are very gentle drainage remedies which are used to support the liver and other organs in clearing metabolic waste from your system. You will need to see a professional homeopath to be treated with gemmotherapy. After the gemmotherapy, you will most likely receive constitutional treatment to strengthen and rebalance your system.
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR ECZEMA
Because you are a unique individual, your eczema will likely be different from that of another sufferer. Some people feel they have to scratch until their skin bleeds; other people experience cracking skin that oozes a clear or yellow fluid. Some people have solid little bumps; others have vesicles filled with fluid and yet others develop crusts and scabs. Where the eczema appears on your body will also be individual. Some people only experience it on their arms and legs; others have it around their ears, and on their necks, backs, and buttocks. How you respond to the eczema, its appearance, its location on your body, and the type of discomfort you feel when you scratch are important in determining the correct homeopathic remedy.
In addition, your homeopath will ask you about your responses to weather, your sleep patterns, and your food aversions. He or she will also want to know about any traumatic events you may have experienced. The remedy chosen will not only relieve your itchy skin, but give you an overall feeling of well-being.
Joan was 62 when I first saw her, and had suffered from eczema since the time she was a baby. It appeared on her forearms and neck and sometimes on her lower legs. It was dry and red. Occasionally it cracked and exuded a clear fluid. When she was an infant, it was located in the bends of her elbows and knees. As a young teen, she had had a bout of poison ivy and the location had changed then. She was a cheerful, very busy, retired teacher who continued to teach teachers and to travel to hot countries. She disliked using steroid cream, so whenever the itch was really bad she would jump into a hot shower. I prescribed Rhus Toxicohendron 12c to be taken daily. Joan’s skin cleared up in a week. Unfortunately, the itch reappeared two months later, at which point Rhus Tox. 30c was prescribed, but it did not help. So then I gave her Rhus Tox. LM1. One dose cleared her skin. I lost touch with Joan after this.
Jamal was 9 years old and very fond of sweets. He was also highly superstitious and thought dressing as a vampire at Hallowe’en might attract real vampires. Jamal developed oval shaped blackish itchy eruptions on his forearms and upper arms. He would scratch them so hard that sometimes they would bleed. He told me the itch was better when he was moving around and better after he had a shower. I prescribed Rhus. Tox. 12c every day for a month. As soon as he stopped the remedy, the itch returned. One dose of Rhus. Tox. 30c lasted a week. A second lasted two weeks, and a third cured him completely.
In her late twenties when she came to my office, Kate had suffered from eczema since she was nine. It had come on when she became upset about moving away from her friends. She had itchy red bumps on her right side and on her buttocks. Although the outbreak was not severe, its appearance really bothered her. The remedy Thuja matched Kate’s symptoms very well. She began taking the 12c potency daily, but her skin got more irritated. At first I thought she might need another remedy in the conifer family, so I told her to stop taking the Thuja. Her skin then began to clear up. Four weeks later it was 90% better. Two more doses of Thuja 12c, six weeks apart, completely cleared her eczema. She emailed me to say how happy she was to feel normal again.
Anna was a graduate student who was close to completing her doctorate. She was feeling ready to leave the university, but a series of mishaps in finding postdoctoral work and a needy boyfriend were making her feel very stressed. She developed very itchy fluid filled bumps on her palms and her fingers which she felt compelled to scratch until they were raw. Lycopodium 12c brought some relief, but soon she needed a stronger potency. Lycopodium 30c only worked for a couple of weeks. Several subsequent doses of Lycopodium LM1 completely cleared the eczema.