Eczema is a condition characterized by inflammation
of the skin that is usually associated with blisters,
red bumps, swelling, oozing, scaling, crusting, and
What To Consider
Eczema can be due to allergies, allergies secondary
to digestive disorders such as hydrochloric acid deficiency,
rashes secondary to immune diseases, genetic metabolic
disorders, and/or nutritional deficiencies, especially
of niacin (vitamin B3) and B6, as well as other B vitamins.
There are various types of eczema. They include:
Other forms of eczema include:
which is characterized by sharp demarcations
where substances such as direct irritants, allergy-causing
agents, chemicals, certain perfumes, and/or light exposure
contact the skin to create a rash; and
- atopic eczema
which occurs primarily in people with family histories
of allergy, vitamin B12 problems, asthma, and allergic
respiratory problems such as hay fever. In infants two
to eighteen months old, atopic eczema can cause weeping
and crusty, red spots on the face, scalp, and extremities.
In older children and adults it may be more localized
and chronic. It may subside by three to four years and
may reoccur in adolescence or adulthood.
To minimize your risk of developing eczema, avoid irritating
substances, wear natural nonirritating materials, use
soothing ointments, and check to see if dietary, nutritional,
and/or and allergy-causing factors need to be considered.
- seborrheic eczema
which primarily occurs on the scalp, face, and chest;
- nummular eczema
which is characterized by coin-shaped
chronic red spots with crusting and scaling and normally
occurs after the age of 35 and is often related to emotional
stress and, in winter, to dry skin;
- chronic eczema
which occurs in hands or feet, and which can get very
- generalized eczema
which is characterized
by widespread inflammation over much of the skin;
which occurs in the lower legs and is associated
with poor venous return of the blood and a tendency
of the skin to turn brownish;
- localized scratch eczema
which occurs in specific patches, often with whitish
areas that are well demarcated by areas of increased
pigmentation or color, such as the arms, legs, ankles,
and around the genitals, and is made worse by stress
and scratching. Localized scratch eczema is much more
frequent in women between 20 and 50 years of age.
Eczema may also be a symptom of an omega-3 fatty acid
an organic, whole foods diet and avoid potentially allergy-causing
foods, especially sugar, wheat, milk, and dairy products,
including yogurt. Also avoid excess consumption of fruit,
especially citrus and sour, as these foods may aggravate
Vitamin A and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), an omega-6
essential fatty acid found in high quantities in evening
primrose oil, have both been shown to improve the symptoms
of eczema. Other useful supplements for
preventing and reversing eczema include vitamin B complex,
vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.
Bergamot, chamomile, lavender, melissa, neroli, eucalyptus, geranium,
and/or juniper can help speed healing and relief of
symptoms when applied topically to the affected areas.
Rescue Remedy for accompanying stress, and Rescue Remedy Cream on the
remedies such as cleavers, nettle, yellowdock, or red
clover tea or tinctures may be very effective. They
are often combined with relaxing herbs such as chamomile,
linden flowers, or skullcap. One combination would be
equal parts of cleavers, nettle, and chamomile drunk
as an infusion three times a day. A stronger mixture
combines the tinctures of figwort, burdock, and cleavers
in equal parts; take one teaspoon of this mixture three
times a day.
To alleviate itching, bathe affected areas of your body
with lukewarm or cold chickweed infusion. For cracked,
dry, or painful skin, use a salve made from calendula
flowers and St. John's wort leaves.
Goldenseal applied externally may also be helpful.
Dulcamara, Rhus tox., Sulfur, Arsen alb., and
Graphites, taken alone or in combination with
each other can help speed healing. Petroleum and Psorinum are also
effective homeopathic remedies, but must be taken alone.
Apply a heating compress to the affected areas once
a day or as needed.
The following juice combinations can help speed healing: black currant
and red grapes; carrot, beet, spinach, cucumber, and
parsley, and wheat grass juice.
Apply evening primrose oil directly to cracked and sore areas of the skin.
A topical paste made from ginkgo and licorice root extract
has also been shown to improve eczema symptoms.
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures,
seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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