Dec 042013
 

I have had many requests for eczema treatments but since I do not suffer from eczema (grateful!) myself, I figured I should focus on making things that I could test personally.  I have changed my mind today.

Yesterday a client came into the shop telling me that my Rescue Me was working on his wife’s terrible eczema. He described her fight with incredible itchiness that wont leave her alone and her nightly battles with truly being uncomfortable in her own skin. It sounds so difficult that if I could make something to really help her, wouldn’t that be great?

My initial research surprised me, I had no idea just how big a problem dermatitas is.  According to rightdiagnosis.com, approximately 1 in 18 people suffer from eczema in the United States.  Tht’s 5.51% or 15 million people.

With that many people, you’d think there would be thousands of solutions, right? Well, yes and no. There may be a 1000 solutions but perhaps it is difficult to find one that works for each individual case.

Some of the problems associated with curing ezcema seems to be

  1. There are at least 7 types of conditions that we call ezcema (more correctly called dermitatis) each different and cause by different things.
  2. each individual and situation is different in countless ways
  3. Not all cures
    • work for everyone
    • are available to everyone
    • are known by all people.
    • are safe or suitable for the health of all people.
    • suit every person’s needs, life situation, ability to use etc
  4. Each possible treatment exists within a type of treatments (established medical treatment for instance)  and the other types aren’t considered.

I am not a Doctor, a scientist or trained herbologist. What I am very good at assimilating disparate pieces of information from an array of sources and arrive at solutions that may be just a little outside of the regular approach to a problem.  I should describe this more in another post but I suspect that really knowledgeable specialists get so close to their own subject that they need generalists like me to help translate their information to a wider arena.

Despite the challenges, I suspect Eczema is a great candidate for natural treatments since people around the world for all ages have been attempting to treat it. This means we have millions of anecdotal experiences and millions of experimenters to learn from.

First though, here’s some information I’ve found on eczema:

Names for Eczema

Eczema, Dermatitis,  Atopic eczema, Atopic dermatitis.

Types of Eczema

Atopic

The term ‘atopic’ refers to a personal and family tendency to develop eczema, asthma and/or hay fever.

Contact

Contact dermatitis is the most common type of work related skin disease.

Seborrhoeic

Seborrhoeic eczema tends to affect the scalp, face, torso and flexures in both adults and children or babies.

Discoid

Discoid eczema is very distinct with ‘coin shaped’ discs of eczema the size of a fifty pence piece.

Gravitational

Gravitational eczema (also called varicose or stasis eczema) is common later in life.

Asteatotic

Also known as “eczema cracquelée”, Asteatotic eczema almost always affects people over the age of 60.

Pompholyx

The key characteristic of pompholyx eczema is blistering that is restricted to the hands and feet.

Once I read the above descriptions I realize i have suffered from eczema, I just didn’t know it. I had the last one, pompholyx dermititas on my hands for one year at college.

Description of Causes of Eczema

I found a great description of what eczema is at the National Eczema Society here.  Here is an excerpt:

If you have eczema, your skin may not produce as much fats and oils as other people’s, and will be less able to retain water. The protective barrier is therefore not as good as it should be. Gaps open up between the skin cells because they are not sufficiently plumped up with water.

Moisture is then lost from the deeper layers of the skin, allowing bacteria or irritants to pass through more easily. Some everyday substances contribute to breaking down the skin. Soap, bubble bath and washing-up liquid, for example, will remove oil from anyone’s skin, but if you have eczema your skin breaks down more easily, quickly becoming irritated, cracked and inflamed.

Because it is prone to drying out and is easily damaged, skin with eczema is more liable to become red and inflamed on contact with substances that are known to irritate or cause an allergic reaction.

Home Remedies for Eczema

Now I begin my research on home remedies. The first listing I found:

http://www.naturalnews.com/036292_eczema_home_remedies_skin_disease.html

I’m going to focus on topical remedies though. As i come across suggestions I will try to remember to lsit them here. In 10 minutes I found:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Flax oil
  • Evening Primrose
  • Neem Oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Menthol
  • rosemary oil
  • vit e
  • Sea Salt (more info see: http://eczemadiyremedies.blogspot.com/)
  • Magnesium
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • echinacea root
  • comfrey leaf
  •  plantain leaf herb
  • calendula flowers
  • yarrow flowers
  • rosemary leaf

To be continued…

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