Eczema, a Simple Disease or a Deeper Disturbance?
What is eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic or allergic dermatitis, is usually described as a skin irritation that causes dryness, itching, and redness. Sometimes, it progresses to weeping, crusting, excoriation, and flaking. The eruption often occurs on the cheeks, on the trunk, and in the bends of the joints. Although, it may appear anywhere on the skin. Some skin disorders that may look like eczema include psoriasis, dry skin of hypothyroidism, scabies, contact dermatitis, such as poison ivy, impetigo, and fungal dermatoses.
Therefore, it is not a bad idea to have it diagnosed by a medical professional. An estimated 10% of the population experiences eczema at some point, and it most commonly begins during the first year of life. Research shows more cases in industrialized countries; there are ongoing projects to determine why, including projects looking at whether contracting measles or getting the BCG vaccination for TB is somewhat protective against eczema.
A tendency to eczema is very likely to be inherited. If one parent has eczema, hay fever or asthma, there is 50% chance that the child will have one or more of these related disorders.
Dr.Samuel Hahnemann, the Father of Homeopathy, recognized both the depth of the problem and the inherited tendency of eczema back in the early 1800’s. He classified it as belonging to the “Psoric Miasm”, which he described as an inherited tendency toward skin conditions as well as other physical, mental and emotional patterns.
So, in reality, eczema is not just a skin disease, it is an immune system disorder, characterized by an over reaction of an allergic nature. An allergy at the level of the lungs is called asthma, at the eye level it is called conjunctivitis, and at the skin level, it’s called eczema.
An allergy is an immune system reaction to a foreign substance that comes into the body through the nose, mouth, skin, etc.Typical allergens related to eczema include dairy, wheat, tree pollen, pet dander, dust and mold. When the allergen molecule first enters the body, the immune system recognizes it as foreign and records a memory of the substance.. In an allergy prone individual, subsequent exposures to this allergen cause a progressively more severe immune response. Inflammation producing cells come up the skin, where they release chemicals that cause itching and redness. Further damage occurs when the person scratches and rubs the affected area. The allergic response may not occur until hours or even days after exposure to the allergen.
Conventional vs homeopathic approach
Because conventional medicine views eczema as an aberrant dysfunction of the immune system, treatment focuses on suppression of the immune response using topical and oral steroids, oral antihistamines, and topical anti-inflammatory drugs. While the drugs are used, the rash improves, but when they stopped, the eczema returns. In the case of children, the hope is that the child will eventually “grow out” of the disease.
Homeopathic medicine takes an opposite approach.
By stimulating the body to move into a more healthy state, with the use of a homeopathic remedy, the response of the immune system may be moderate and the eczema starts to improve. The likelihood of improvement in eczema is fairly good because the body is relatively better at moderating and over responsive state. According, to Hering’s Law of Cure, the first symptoms to improve during the healing process will be those at the deepest level of the body, vital organs, mental, emotional levels. The last symptoms to improve will be those at he most superficial level, skin, extremities. In other words, if treatment is successful, we would expect to see a patient’s overall health improve at the deepest levels either before or as the eczema improves. When the eczema begins to heal, we might expect to see improvement first on the face, trunk, and last on the extremities. Homeopaths view it as a decline in health if an eczema patient is treated with steroids, and their eczema improves or resolves, but they subsequently develop a deeper problem, such as asthma. Despite the improvement in their original symptoms, the person’s overall health is clearly worse.
Healing is not always easy!
Of course many patients with allergic tendencies arrive at the Homeopath’s door with multiple problems, such as sinusitis and asthma, in addition to the eczema. With the homeopathic treatment, they may have dramatic improvement in their asthma or general allergies, while their eczema temporary worsens. overall, their health is dramatically better; but the part of their problem that is easily seen by their friends and family now appears significantly worse. Unfortunately, sometimes these patients lose heart in the course of homeopathic treatment and abandon it, preferring to live with a deeper illness for the sake of vanity or their immediate convenience.
Some patients who can’t bear the temporary worsening of their eczema symptoms opt to use suppressive therapies in conjunction with homeopathic treatment, such as topical steroids, as a way of operating the movement of symptoms toward the surface. Some of these patients can be treated with repetition of a lower potency of a homeopathic remedy, while the steroids are gradually tapered off.
In all cases of eczema the individual has the disorder as a result of sensitivity and over reactivity. As such, the potential for a homeopathic remedy to evoke a response if high. These patients tend to react to many things. They will likely react according to their typical allergic reaction, which is the skin reaction. If the skin reacts and the eczema becomes worse, one can only be sure that the homeopathic remedy is correct if the overall health of the person is improving. Than the eczema is likely capable of being helped and will most likely improve with that remedy. When considering individuals with allergic symptoms at multiple levels and those of chronic suppressive allopathic therapies, a well trained professional homeopath will be crucial to assess and choose the appropriate homeopathic remedy.
Francine Kanter, RsHom, CCH
212 Chelsea Pl Ave
Ormond Beach FL 32174