HOMEOPATHY FOR ECZEMA
Disclaimer: this article is for education purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
Eczema is such a big condition all over the world! Only in the States, there are currently 31 million people suffering from it!
We all know or think we know, what eczema is: a chronic skin condition that makes you itch, sometimes severely and that never really goes away.
The conventional medicine approach
Steroid creams and immunosuppressant drugs.
No much of a choice, right? The assumption is that there is no cure, so all you can do is suppress the symptoms.
I don’t want to bore you by ranting on about how bad it is to suppress your symptoms and why (it pushes the dis-ease down to more important organs, in case you are wondering). The thing is: eczema does not have to be forever!
Let me tell you about my husband. When I met him, over twenty years ago, he suffered from eczema and had been since childhood. It was only on his hands and feet, but it was BAD: super itchy and his hands and feet were constantly bleeding from this scratching. His white cotton socks had blood stains, it was especially bad during the night, when he would scratch in his sleep. He was never into pharmaceutical drugs, so he would use aloe vera gel and other natural ointments to help, but nothing really made it go away. He was used to it and, because his father and brothers all had it, he thought there was nothing he could do. His skin was delicate in general: even now he only uses unscented soap and shower products and even now he avoids hand-sanitisers, as they are generally too harsh for his skin. He was also prone to athlete’s foot, everytime we went swimming he would get something.
Fast forward twenty years: he hasn’t had eczema for a long time. In fact, his eczema disappeared right after we got married and so did his athlete’s foot. Homeopathy works!
Over the years, I have seen that what is lumped under the umbrella term “eczema” is actually quite diverse. Even conventional medicine recognises that there are at least seven different types of eczema!
But even if we consider only one type, the atopic dermatitis, which is the most common type of skin condition, everyone is affected in different ways in different degrees, as I have seen in my practice.
Common symptoms of eczema:
-skin discolouration (red or pink or purple)
The condition can affect small or large areas of the skin and the eruption can have many different forms: small “dots” or raised pimples; the skin can be dry and flaky or moist and the eruption can ooze when you scratch it (“weeping” as it’s also called). It can be worse at night or during the day, temperature can affect it and of course, stress.
So how can conventional medicine hope to treat something so diverse with a one-size-fits-all treatment?
It is also important to consider the possible causes of eczema: the skin is our largest organ and toxins tend to show up on our skin more often than not. Things like previous medication can result in skin eruptions: I had a patient who started to suffer greatly from eczema after years of being on the contraceptive pill. As soon as she stopped it, she started to have all these eruptions on her face and hands that were diagnosed as eczema, but I suspect what happened was that the pill had messed up her hormonal balance and her system was taking it out on her skin. Which is quite an intelligent way our body has, by the way, of dealing with imbalances. Our bodies try to go to the least dangerous areas, it’s all about “damage limitation” and the skin is the least dangerous place to go, rather than going for internal organs. This is why suppressing the symptoms is not a good idea: if the body cannot have the skin as outlet, the dis-ease will go down deeper. That’s why I see so many people on steroid creams for eczema who also suffer with asthma or GI issues or allergies!
Then of course there can be a genetic susceptibility, like in my husband’s case; there is baby eczema, which both my children had and that quickly disappeared without the horrible hydro-cortisone creams. Eczema in children is a sign that immune system is struggling a little and for that reason it is important to support the child with the right constitutional remedy.
The alternative medicine solution
This is one of the areas where homeopathy simply triumphs: we all know how important it is to treat the individual and not the condition, but when we consider skin conditions, the results are there to be seen in plain sight! You can clearly have a “before and after” scenario.
So let’s have a look at some of the most common remedies for eczema:
Sulphur is the great polycrest and skin remedy “par exellence”. The skin is intensely burning, itching, inflamed; worse from warmth and worse from bathing. Affected areas may be red, with scaling or crusted skin. Eruptions can be either dry or moist. This remedy is sometimes helpful to people who have repeatedly used medications and ointments on their eczema without success.
The itchiness is really unbearable and it makes the person irritable. There is no relief, except for pouring scalding hot water over the skin. This temporarily stops the itchiness but only for a while. The skin is super dry and scratching it makes it bleed.
Sepia skin eruptions are pretty thick and scaly and very itchy. Not necessarily red, but definitely rough to the touch. The patient craves salty and vinegary flavours and is very irritable, especially with family members.
People who need this remedy usually are anxious, restless, and compulsively neat and orderly. The skin is dry, itches, and burns intensely. Scratching can make the itching worse, and applying heat will bring relief. Indigestion with burning pain and a general feeling of chilliness are often seen when Arsenicum is indicated.
There are of course many more remedies that can help with eczema, because of course every individual is different.