Blog

26
Dec

Homeopathy for Eczema

I see many people, often children and babies with eczema  in my clinic. Most often my patients are looking for an alternative eczema treatment, to avoid long term use of steroid creams or antihistamines.  Homeopathy is a gentle eczema treatment that heals the cause of the problem, and because we treat the whole person rather than just the skin, other issues that often accompany eczema such as asthma and hayfever also improve with this type of ‘constitutional’ treatment.

What is Childhood, or Baby Eczema?

Often called infant eczema or baby eczema, childhood eczema affects up to 25% of Canadian children and usually starts as ‘baby eczema’ at around 6 months old. 90% of cases start before the age of 5 years.

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis,  is a skin disorder characterized by rashes, which may be red, scaly, dry, or leathery. There is often itching, and there may be skin blisters with oozing and crusting.

In babies and toddlers, eczema usually starts with patches on the face, neck or scalp, on the backs of legs or the torso. In older children you often find it in the creases of the elbows or behind the knees.

Many children (about 40-50%) with eczema also suffer from asthma and hayfever or other allergies. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is ideal for these children because it addresses the whole child, and can help with all of these distressing symptoms.

Eczema can be aggravated by certain foods or by stressful situations, which can cause flare ups. You can try to avoid those situations or foods but this will not heal the inner imbalance.

Homeopathic Treatment for Eczema

The homeopathic approach for eczema or any skin condition is to treat the person as a whole rather than treating only the skin. In homeopathy, we treat everyone’s eczema as unique. Your symptoms may be different in many ways to someone else’s even though the diagnosis is the same. The rash can look and feel very different and appear in different locations.

Homeopaths do not believe in treating eczema or any skin conditions only by applying ointments, but to heal the root causes, which are internal.

However, you can use non-medicated, non-steroid creams or oils along with homeopathic treatment for soothing and moisturizing the skin rather than chemically suppressing the symptoms.  Extra virgin, organic Coconut oil is particularly soothing for cracked skin. Make sure any natural creams you purchase do not contain parabens, or petroleum products.

A homeopath will select an individualized constitutional remedy by assessing the physical, mental and emotional states, family history, and the past health history of the person. We would look at the type of eczema, where it is located, anything that makes it flare up or feel better, stresses and other factors in choosing the remedy.  You should not try to self-prescribe for conditions like eczema but see a professional homeopath.

Natural Supplements and Diet

A diet of whole foods, with lots of vegetables, fibre, and fruit will strengthen your immune system as a whole;  some particular supplements that can help your skin include:

 

  • Vitamin B complex promotes circulation and healthy skin
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids from fish oils can help the skin retain water
  • Vitamin C inhibits inflammation
  • Probiotics help control yeasts which can cause your skin to itch

Side Effects of Topical Steroid Creams

Often prescribed for eczema treatment, topical steroids can have undesirable side effects especially after long term use.  Steroids also have addictive properties that can lead to a downward spiral – the eczema appears to spread or get worse, then stronger prescriptions are applied which make it even worse, and it seems the ‘steroids aren’t working anymore’ but all along the worsening is actually the effect of the steroids themselves.  The ‘rebound’ effect also means that skin conditions such as childhood eczema tend to flare up if the steroids are discontinued.  There are many other side effects of long term topical steroid use and it has been linked to diabetes and osteoporosis.

It is much more effective and healthier for your child in the long term to treat the root cause of the condition with a natural eczema treatment rather than suppressing it with steroid creams.

Contact my clinic at 613 296-2937 to find out how homeopathy can help you or your child.

About Gaela Nelson