An itch has been described as an irritating sensation that produces a desire to scratch. Once in a while, everybody has experienced the itch but for some people it goes beyond this and becomes a disease called eczema.
Eczema (also called dermatitis) describes any inflammation of the skin which is characterized by itching, redness and an outbreak of lesions. It is non-contagious in nature i.e. does not spread from one person to another.
At A 1 Polyclinic, we have the experience of treating eczema (dermatitis / skin allergy) for over 15 years and our expertise has helped thousands of patients to get lasting relief from this annoying condition. Even research has clearly demonstrated that Homeopathy provides equivalent as well as better relief in eczema cases and that too without any side-effects that conventional methods carry. Don't you think its time you took steps towards an eczema-free life?
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin that is characterized by itching, redness/blackness and lesions/eruptions on the skin. Being fairly common, this affects almost 20% of children and 1-2 % of adults worldwide. Eczema can affect people belonging to any age group though it's more commonly seen in infants. In case of infants, the condition usually resolves by the age of 3 years but may continue into adulthood in few cases. There is no particular gender predilection seen in cases.
Eczema is not a life-threatening disease but it can have a significant impact on the life of the patient. The discomfort caused by the condition, an altered self image that the patient develops, anxiety about the nature of the disease, etc. are additional issues that the treating physician has to tackle besides the eczema itself.
The disease itself has phases during which the symptoms get worse, then get better or resolve by themselves - thus it runs an unpredictable course in many people. However, timely detection and treatment can save a lot of trouble for the patients rather than ignoring the initial presenting symptoms.
Numerous factors have been suggested as causes for eczema (dermatitis/ skin allergy), but no exact origin and mechanism has been pin-pointed for this condition. Most of the studies simply speculate as to what can trigger this condition and a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors have been strongly implicated.
An abnormal function of the immune system (allergy/ allergic
response) is seen in most cases where the body reacts abnormally to
external impressions which otherwise don't have an impact on healthy
Some of the triggers for eczema include but are not limited to:
Varied in its presentation, eczema can show up in diverse forms in different individuals. Some key features that are common to most forms of eczema are as follows:
The lesions may appear on any part of the body but are commonly seen to affect:
In children, nappy region, scalp, face and neck and forearms are
Sometimes the symptoms may exist for a short period of time (less than 4 weeks) and then disappear completely, this is called acute eczema. However, in most cases, the features persist for a long period and tend to be recurring in nature leading to 'Chronic eczema'.
There are different kinds of presentations of eczema and it is important to know your type to understand the treatability of the same. Discussed here are some common types:
1) Atopic dermatitis:
This is also commonly known as infantile eczema since it develops
during the first year after birth in most cases. 90% of atopic
dermatitis patients develop symptoms before the age of
Symptoms largely include reddish, dry or oozing scaly eruptions at the bend of elbows, back of knees, neck, face, etc. The skin is extremely dry and very itchy. Infants usually find it very difficult to control the itching and excessive scratching may lead to secondary infection.
The condition develops as an allergic reaction to a number of things such as foods, environmental allergens, etc. (see causes of eczema for details). The condition tends to be hereditary and often family history of some form of allergy, asthma, hay fever, etc. is seen in such cases. Atopic dermatitis is often accompanied by other allergic and hypersensitive conditions like rhinitis, asthma, etc. In certain cases, the two conditions may alternate with each other i.e. one flares up when the other subsides.
2) Contact dermatitis:
As the name itself suggests, this type is marked by symptoms of eczema that develop in localized regions where the skin comes into direct contact with an allergen (allergic contact dermatitis) or an irritant (irritant contact dermatitis).
Irritants take longer period and increased amount of contact to trigger an eczematous reaction as compared to allergens (food allergens, environmental allergens). Even a brief exposure to a small amount of allergen can trigger a fast eczematous response.
One of the commonest forms of Contact dermatitis is the allergy that is caused by contact with nickel (which is a component of artificial jewellery). Contact with watches, ear rings, rings, chains or other items of this kind causes red, itchy rashes followed by tiny blisters and peeling of skin.
3) Seborrheic dermatitis:
Commonly seen to affect the scalp, margins of the head and area
behind the ears, this condition is characterized by reddish rashes
with yellowish, oily scales. This is common in people who have an
oily skin and scalp and it varies according to seasons. When
seborrheic dermatitis occurs in infants, it is known as 'cradle
4) Exfoliative dermatitis:
A great amount of scaling and flaking is typically seen in this
type of eczema.
5) Stasis dermatitis:
This type of eczema occurs in the portions of the body where the blood circulation is poor (like the area around the ankles) and it has a tendency to form ulcers. It is often associated with some circulatory disorder like varicose veins, etc.
6) Nummular dermatitis:
The eruptions are coin shaped in this type of
This is characterized by eruptions which show close relation to psycho-somatic stress. The patient usually develops an intensively itchy skin especially when the person is resting or relaxed. A vicious itch-scratch-itch cycle develops. This type of eczema usually limits itself to areas that are easily accessible to the person such as lower legs, ankles, back and sides of the neck, wrists, forearms, and genitals.
8) Dyshidrotic dermatitis:
Small fluid-filled and itchy blisters appear on the hands and feet. These are most common along the edges of the fingers, toes, palms and soles and tend to appear during certain times of the year. The blisters cause intense itching and thickening of the skin after excessive scratching.
The typical signs and symptoms of an eczematous patch are usually enough for an experienced physician to make the diagnosis. Supportive past and family history of the patients further aid him in diagnosis of eczema / dermatitis. In some cases however, the physician may need to take a small scraping from the eczema lesion to examine it under microscope for ruling out fungal infection. Skin biopsy may be required to rule out certain other skin diseases that mimic eczema / dermatitis.
Allergy tests may be required to determine the allergens or the irritants that are causative factors in a particular case.
Patch testing is also commonly done by physicians to pin-point what substances are capable of inducing eczematous reactions especially in cases of contact dermatitis.
In April 2003, a clinical trial was concluded in Obitsu Sankei Hospital, Saitama, Japan. The trial carried out over the previous two years, involved a group of patients diagnosed as suffering from intractable atopic dermatitis (IAD). IAD is a form of eczema (atopic dermatitis) which has not responded to any medication so far. These patients were put on homeopathic medication for an average period of two years. Subsequently the study was concluded with the following report:
88% of the patients reported reduction in itching
77% of the patients reported improvement in sleep due to overall improvement in IAD
75% patients reported increased overall satisfaction in life
63.5% patients reported increased sense of work fulfillment
71.5% patients reported improved satisfaction in human relations
These results astonished the doctors carrying out the trial especially since it occurred in a group of patients who had not responded to any medication earlier. The fact that nearly 75-80% of these patients were now better with homeopathic medicines was an eye-opener to the doctors at the institute and for the entire world.
Additionally, the study clearly showed that not only was the primary complaint of atopic dermatitis relieved, but overall too, the patients experienced greater satisfaction resulting from the treatment, proving conclusively that homeopathic treatment is truly holistic in nature.
At A 1 Polyclinic, with our experience of successfully treating thousands of cases of eczema over the last 15 years, we are in possession of the experience and expertise to handle the cases with utmost care. The reason why our medication scores over conventional medication (like steroidal ointments used for treating eczema) is that it corrects the deviated immune process, which is the root cause of eczema or the skin allergy. The medication works to restore this deviated immunity to give rise to a series of repeated and increasingly prolonged remissions in the symptoms, which eventually proceeds to a good control of the disease.
At the same time, side-effects (as those seen with steroids) like thinning of the skin, atrophy of skin, secondary fungal and bacterial infections of the skin are completely avoided here.
It must be borne in mind that treatment duration varies from case to case and depends on many factors such as duration of the eczema, its extent and severity, and the previous treatment taken. However, the treatment has multiple benefits to offer to every patient of eczema and hence is strongly suggested for all cases.
At A 1 Polyclinic, we strive to give the best to our patients, be it in terms of medication, services or useful self care tips. Our experience of successfully treating thousands of cases of eczema (dermatitis / skin allergy) has brought to light some of the things that have been found to be very useful for our patients. Some of the important self care tips have been mentioned here: