Eczema in industrialised nations has increased by 3 fold, effecting 25% of children worldwide. Eczema is defined as a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin condition and is usually treated with steroid cream. Corticosteroids do not cure eczema and have side effects. The most common one is to cause the skin to become thin and fragile.
You might also find that if you apply steroid cream to one area of the body that has eczema, it may clear up but then appear in another area of the body. This is because steroid creams have a suppressive effect.
In Homeopathy we believe that if a medical condition is suppressed, it will lead to a deeper disease in the body. This is why one of the actions of homeopathic treatment is to push the pathology out rather, than suppress it.
How I treat a child with eczema, using Homeopathy?
If the patient’s parents have used a purely natural approach in their child’s upbringing, i.e no steroid cream, I would begin by taking a full detailed case to determine the ‘constitutional remedy’. This involves looking in great detail at how the eczema presents itself. Is it dry, weepy, red, bleeding? Is it formed in patches or spread evenly all over the body? Is it worse for bathing or worse in cold weather? I also take into consideration any other conditions they the child may suffer with, such as recurrent colds or stomach bugs.
The main area that I focus on as well as how the eczema is presenting itself,
is how the child is emotionally. Are they weepy and clingy at the moment? Are they restless and bad tempered if they are stopped from doing what they want to do? Are they scared of dogs or love animals? The answers to these questions, coupled with the physical symptoms, plus some general pointers such as their favourite foods at the moment, their thirst and sleep patterns will lead me to a specific constitutional remedy.
Organ support remedies
Because this remedy is going to work towards clearing the eczema, a burden may be put on the child’s organs of elimination, such as their liver and kidneys. I will therefore prescribe homeopathic remedies to support these organs and prevent an aggravation of their current skin symptoms, as the healing process starts.
If the patient has a history of being treated with steroid creams, antibiotics or been exposed to certain toxicities, then these usually need to be detoxed from their system, before a constitutional remedy can be prescribed. I would usually work backwards and start by detoxing the steroid cream, as that is very often the last suppressive medication that they received. I always begin with a very low potency, to avoid the risk of an aggravation and slowly increase the potency as treatment progresses.
In a lot of cases the inherited susceptibility needs to be treated too; Skin conditions that they have inherited from a parent. No matter how small and seemingly insignificant, I usually treat this alongside the constitutional remedy or whilst using detoxing remedies.
My aim is to go slowly and gently to avoid any aggravations and minimise discomfort to the child.
As the healing process starts you should notice that not only does your child’s skin begins to improve but their overall health improves too. Recurrent colds or stomach bugs become a thing of the past, because their whole immune system is being treated and rebalanced. Their mood should improve too. I have had parents say to me at the end of their treatment that it is like having a different child. Their anxiety or irritability is considerably diminished. Homeopathy is not organ specific but is a holistic form of medicine that works on all levels, physically and emotionally.
Eczema support recommendations
Foods to avoid
The two main foods to avoid if your child has eczema are dairy and wheat.
Other foods that should be avoided:
- Citrus fruits and Tomatoes
Supplements to consider:
- Omega 3 fatty acids can really support the skin. People with eczema have been found to have very low levels of omega 3’s.
- Probiotics can be very beneficial as they support gut health and gut flora, which can be a contributing factor to eczema.
- Digestive enzymes
- Vitamins A, B and E. Zinc and Magnesium
Homeobotanicals skin blend:
I often prescribe this to patients as a support once treatment has began.
Homeobotanicals are organ specific blends of herbs prepared in a more homeopathic way, which then speeds up the action and healing process.
The skin blend includes:
- Blue flag
- Oregon grape
- Red Clover
- Yellow Dock
I make my own natural, herbal organic eczema that patients can buy. I offer it if they need help weaning their child off steroid cream without having to go cold turkey, which can be a bit harsh. If a child is still having steroid cream, then I recommend that they phase it out by alternating with the natural cream. It’s important to keep the skin moisturised and eventually I hope to get to the stage where no cream is needed at all.
Bathing in bran or oat baths can reduce itching.
Listed below are some of the main constitutional remedies used in treating eczema.
You may recognise your child’s personality traits in some of these remedies. However you should not attempt to treat your own child’s eczema with these remedies, as they are deep acting constitutional remedies that need to be prescribed correctly and in the right potency.
Dry and itchy skin, Worsening with warmth and water. Burning sensation is the main feature. Sulphur children have a strong thirst for knowledge and can become engrossed in a particular object or area of study.
Tidy and fastidious child. Affectionate and loves animals, music and dancing. Prone to developing complications after vaccinations.
Cracks in skin with fluid. Can have issues with self-esteem. Can be shy and oversensitive. They prefer practical activities and can be very precise. They are real ‘doers’.
Skin is itchy, crusty with eruptions all over the body, especially behind the ears. Worse in winter. Child can be untidy and hates taking baths. Nervous and restless with anticipatory anxiety.
I hope you can deduce from this blog that despite what is reported on NHS websites, Eczema can be successfully treated with Homeopathy, which results in a lasting cure. I’ve included a photo of one of my first eczema patients before and after treatment. Not only did her eczema clear but so too did her current stomach bugs and coughs and colds.