Eczema

Skin Conditions

If you have a skin problem it is important to get a diagnosis.

Symptoms

Red inflamed skin which may be scaly and dry or blistered and weeping. There is often soreness and itching. Scratching can lead to secondary infection.

Causes

There are several possibilities:

  1. An allergic response arising when your skin comes into contact with an allergen. This is also called Contact dermatitis. Examples of allergens include some soaps and washing powders, skin creams, nickel and some plants.
  2. Sometimes it is inherited and is often associated with other allergic conditions such as hay fever and asthma. This is atopic eczema and usually affects the face, trunk, the backs of the knees and the front of the elbows. It often starts in childhood although many children grow out of it. It flares-up with exposure to certain triggers such as allowing skin to become dry, irritants, allergens, stress, heat and infections.
  3. Food intolerance and poor digestive function can sometimes lead to eczema and is likely to make an existing condition worse.
  4. Seborrhoeic eczema, found on the scalp, behind the ears and on eye lids and around the nose is associated with a type of yeast called pityrosporum.. Killing off the yeast improves the condition.

Treatment

In order to treat eczema, it is important to determine what might be causing it. Ask yourself the following questions:

If you are able to relate the onset of eczema with an alteration in lifestyle or circumstances you can make appropriate changes. If your eczema is associated with asthma and/or hay fever, and also if others in your family suffer in a similar way then it is necessary to find out what you are allergic to and avoid it.

Some lifestyle changes can help alleviate or remove the symptoms:

Tips:

Herbs for Topical use

Herbs for Internal use

I would strongly suggest that if you wish to takes these herbs it is advisable to visit a local herbalist who will prescribe herbs after considering your case history and examining your skin.

The aim would be to improve the elimination of waste, and hence toxins, improving immunity, possibly calming an allergic response and possibly help you to cope with stress if that is a problem.

Drinking tea made from young nettles tops and cleavers in the spring is advisable for those suffering from skin problems.

For simple cases of itchy inflamed skin, I would recommend a fairly heavy base cream or ointment containing the following herbs:
Marigold, chamomile essential oil, aloe vera gel or chickweed fixed oil and comfrey. Add a few drops of vitamin E oil to help to preserve it then store in the fridge. It should keep for about 12 months.

Please Note
Information given here should not replace consultation with you doctor.

See also Trapped Wind - Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Insomnia

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page rewritten 2nd August 2009