Eczema is a generalized term that encompasses various inflammatory skin conditions. It is used synonymously with the term “Dermatitis” which means superficial inflammation of the skin (epidermis) that can be acute, chronic and recurring; can have a number of causes. Atopic dermatitis is another term used to define eczema.
Eczema is characterized by very distinctive reactive patterns of the skin, as discussed below.
Eczema is an inflammation of the skin which is characterized by dryness, flakiness, heat and, probably most importantly, itching. Eczema can occur on just about any part of the body; however, in infants, eczema typically occurs on the forehead, cheeks, forearms, legs, scalp, and neck. Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly. There may be some amount of hyperpigmentation of the affected parts.
In children and adults, eczema typically occurs on the face, neck, and the insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles. In some people, the itchy rash can produce an oozing and crusting. In others, the condition may appear more scaly, dry, and red. Chronic scratching causes the skin to take on a leathery texture because the skin has thickened (lichenification).
There are two groups of eczemas called exogenous and endogenous. Exogenous eczema is mostly caused by contact with external factors such as irritant substances, certain allergens and due to photosensitivity.
Endogenous eczema is due to internal factors such as a generalized and prolonged hypersensitivity (atopy) to certain environmental factors. These factors could be chemicals, drugs, pollen, dust-mites, etc. These individuals also frequently exhibit one or more of other disorders such as asthma, hay fever, urticaria, food allergies, etc.
Eczema is a chronic skin disease reflected due to immunological changes within the body. Eczema is curable only if the immunological disturbance is corrected by internal medicines such as in homeopathy. Homeopathy offers effective and safe treatment.
Types of Eczema
Eczema is typically non-contagious but causes discomfort and self-consciousness when in public. It is classified into many types, but we will examine the most common types of dermatitis below:
- Atopic Dermatitis – It is a chronic skin disease that begins in childhood. It usually affects the face, arms, & legs. They are also known as the ‘atopic triad.’ Triad” means three. The other two diseases in the triad are asthma & hay fever. Most people with atopic dermatitis have all three conditions.
- Contact Dermatitis – This condition stems from direct contact with one of the many allergens or irritants such as poison ivy, jewelry containing nickel, cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, and even the preservatives in creams and lotions.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema – It is also known as pompholyx eczema. They typically affect adults over 40. It mainly occurs on the hands and feet. This condition can be chronic & painful.
- Discoid Eczema – It is also known as nummular eczema. It is recognizable due to the disc-shaped patches of itchy, red, & swollen skin that it causes. These discs typically appear on the lower legs, torso, & forearms. This eczema can occur in people of any age, including children.
- Varicose Eczema – It is also known as venous or stasis eczema. It is most commonly found in older adults with varicose veins. It usually happens when the fluid leaks from the weakened veins into the skin.
- Asteatotic Eczema – It is also called xerotic eczema and eczema craquelé, generally only affects people over 60 years. It happens due to the skin becoming drier as one age. Asteatotic eczema occurs on the lower legs but can also appear on other body parts.
Homeopathic Treatment for eczema can help avoid side effects (as seen in steroids) like thinning, atrophy, and fungal and bacterial skin infections.
Eczema: About limitations of Cortisone (steroids) in the treatment of Eczema
Cortisone (Steroid) is no more effective as long-term treatment for Eczema:
- Steroids may help initially for a short time
- Steroid lead to relapse of eczema
- Steroids treated relapse is more severe, more complex
- Steroids treated eczema is more difficult to treat
- It is wise to avoid steroid during any stage of eczema
- Steroid puts you to the vicious cycle of dependency
- Steroid dependents have to come out of the vicious cycle
In our experience and as per the medical philosophy of homeopathy, cortisone in any form (oral, systemic or local) is not a wise option for treating eczema. As per the homeopathic approach and the philosophy, cortisone is a suppressing measure and there are all chances of relapse after stopping the use of cortisone
It has been observed in daily practice, that, use of cortisone produces dramatic result initially. However, its influence is quite superficial, as the eruptions not only relapse after stopping the steroids, but they relapse more aggressively. The use of steroids is not recommended due to the following observations:
- It helps only superficially and temporarily
- Stopping of the steroids eventually leads to the reappearance of eruptions
- The eruptions, which relapse after the use of steroids, are more resistant than before
- The extent of eruptions increases after stopping the steroids in most cases
- Steroids produce side effects by hampering the immunity, lowering resistance, disturbing hormonal cycle, etc.
Let us talk a bit more about suppression with cortisone. As we understand, eczema is just an expression of some inner disharmony. Cortisone simply masks the eruption without treating the inner cause. Such a measure is understood to be suppressive. Homeopathy is against any use of local cream for treating any skin disease in general and eczema in particular. Non-suppressive treatment is considered superior for any medical disorder.
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