eczema

Eczema

 

Eczema is a type of skin inflammation also known as atopic dermatitis. It is an allergic and hereditary disease which can be chronic.

The cause of eczema is unclear. One possibility is that the condition is caused by a dysfunctional interplay between the immune system and skin.

Eczema may appear in a rapid outbreak and then calm or it can appear in small changes with slow development. It can occur all over the body but mostly on the face, behind the ears and the knees, the neck, the hands and the bends of the elbows.

Eczema affects 10-25% of the children (in the first five years of life) and 10-15% of the adults.

 

Its symptoms are often redness, itching, dryness, flaking, crusting. In chronic eczema the symptoms are color changes, thickening and scaling.

People who have eczema are prone to asthma, hay fever, infections (especially staphylococcus aureus) and viruses.

 

 

Causes

  • Clinical studies have shown that in patients with eczema the level of the allergic antibody IgE was usually elevated. When the immune system of allergic people contacts with some allergen, it recognizes and memoirs it because it considers as harmful for the body and so it products some antibodies known as IgE. These antibodies are created to confront and neutralize this allergen.
  • Another factor which causes symptoms such as eczema is the enormous augmentation of candida albicans in the gastrointestinal system. (Candida albicans is a fungus who lives in our gastrointestinal tract, a constituent of the normal gut flora. Candida albicans is checked from the “good” bacteria of our gut and our immune system. When these “gut” bacteria are destroyed or our immune system is weakened, candida overgrowths unchecked and symptoms such as eczema emerges).
  • Eczema may appear as a result of food allergy. So it is necessary to avoid (especially children) the common food allergens such as milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, chocolate, citrus and fish.
  • Studies have shown that mothers who avoided the food allergens during pregnancy and nursing offered significant protection to their babies against developing eczema.
  • Factors that exacerbate eczema vary from person to person but the majority is prone to cold, humidity, rapid changes in temperature, anger, stress, impatience, disappointment, contact to allergens, chemicals, wool, and hot water.

 

 

Recommendations

In order to avoid eczema’s outbreak it is important to keep body hydrated with the suitable products.

You can also prefer soft or cotton clothes.

You must take one cool bath per day (with mild cleansing) and wipe gently without rubbing the body.

You must keep your house humidified.

It is also good to avoid rapid changes in temperature (if it is realizable) and activities which cause profuse sweating.

Avoid food allergens from your diet.

If you are pregnant reduce or avoid foods rich in linoleic acid. You can found it in vegetable oils (such as corn, safflower, soy, and sunflower).

Add to you diet fish oils supplements which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Add also to your diet supplements that contain vitamin B complex, or vitamin B3, B12, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc.

The usual treatment is steroid cream and antihistamine medication.

Beneficial Herbs

 

External Use

Herb

Form

Benefits

Aloe

Gel

Anti-inflammatory

Borage seed

Oil

Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (it contains salicylic acid), softening.

Burdock root

Oil, lotion, cream, ointment, tincture

Antimicrobial, regulates the immune system.

Calendula

Oil, lotion, cream, ointment

Anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing. Re-duces redness

Chamomile

Oil, lotion, cream, ointment.

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiseptic. Softens and protects skin from bacteria.

Chickweed

Cream, oil, ointment

Anti-inflammatory, soothing

Copaiba

Oil

Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial

Evening primrose Oil

Oil

Rich in GLA. Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory

Geranium

Oil, lotion, cream, ointment

Antispasmodic, soothing, anti-inflammatory.

Lavender

Oil, lotion, cream, ointment

Anti-inflammatory. Regenerates skin cells

Neem

Cream, ointment, oil.

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial. It can reduce redness and irritation.

Marshmallow root

Cream

Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, emollient.

Red clover

Oil

Anti-inflammatory, anti-stress

Rosemary

Oil

Antibacterial, antifungal, de-toxifying.

Walnut leaf

Extract, tincture

Anti-inflammatory

Witch hazel

Cream, oil

Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, astringent.

 

Internal Use

Herb

Form

Benefits

Black currant seed oil

Capsule

It contains GLA. Ιt relieves from skin diseases such as eczema.

Burdock

Tincture, tea

Antimicrobial, regulates the immune system.

Calendula

Tincture, infusion

Anti-fungal; antiseptic; anti-inflammatory; moisturizing. Re-duces redness

Chamomile

Tincture, infusion, tea

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiseptic. Softens and protects skin from bacteria

Evening primrose Oil

Capsule

Rich in GLA. Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory.

Geranium

Tincture, infusion, tea

Antispasmodic, soothing, anti-inflammatory.

Lavender

Tincture, infusion, tea.

Anti-inflammatory. Regenerates skin cells.

Marshmallow root

Tincture.

Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, emollient.

Neem

Tincture.

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial. It can reduce redness and irritation.

Nettle

Tincture, tea, infu-sion

It contains zinc which can prevent or reduce the appearance of eczema. Nettle is also anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.

Oregon grape root

Extract

Anti-inflammatory, detoxifying.

Red clover

Extract

Anti-inflammatory, anti-stress

Rosemary

Tea

Antibacterial, antifungal, detoxi-fying.

Walnut leaf

Tincture

Anti-inflammatory