Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a chronic skin disorder that is characterised by red, inflamed and itchy skin. Eczema is commonly seen in children, but it can affect adults as well. Eczema skin disease may be accompanied by asthma or allergic rhinitis and tends to flare up periodically in some individuals. According to a research study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), eczema affects about 15% of children and only 2% – 4% of adults. In a clinical research study conducted with 7,157 people by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency, 80% of enrolled patients aged between 2 – 26 years experienced eczema symptoms and/or were using medication to treat their condition, over the course of the study.
Causes of Eczema
As per The American National Eczema Association, while the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it can be linked to genes and certain environmental factors. According to a research study published in the Human Microbiome Journal, eczema can be caused by immune dysfunction. There is an imbalance between Th1 and Th2 types of immunity, with the latter being more dominant. Th2 is related to allergy and IGE production (antibodies found in the lungs, skin and mucous membranes). While symptoms of atopic dermatitis may or may not resolve as a child grows older, eczema can be managed and patients with this disease can lead a normal life.
Symptoms of Eczema
According to a research study by The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), eczema symptoms may vary from patient to patient. Some common symptoms of eczema are:
- Dry and itchy skin, with constant itching
- Redness and uneven bumpy rashes
- Skin eruptions on affected areas
- In some patients, fluid or blood oozing might occur
- Thickening of the skin due to chronic scratching (also known as lichenification)
- Flaking of the skin
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Whenever you notice any of these symptoms of eczema, it is advisable to take skin treatment immediately.
Common Eczema Locations in Children
In children (under the age of 12 months), eczema usually affects the:
- Nappy area and skin folds
Older children and adults characteristically have more flare-ups on their hands, feet, knees and elbows. The eczema disease can interfere with your child’s Quality of Life (QoL), interrupting his/her sleep and regular activities.
Treatment for Eczema
You can follow some easy tips to manage baby eczema along with the homeopathic treatment. According to The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), the four main goals of eczema treatment are:
- Skin care: This is the most important goal, as it can help repair and maintain a healthy skin barrier, as well as possibly prevent future flare-ups.
- Inflammation control: Applying anti-inflammatory skin medications can help to reduce any inflammatory response during a flare-up. (They may not always be advised for children)
- Itch control: Scratching usually increases the inflammation and worsens eczema.
- Managing triggers: Avoiding or managing eczema triggers helps reduce periodic flare-ups.
Keeping those four goals in mind, here are five ways you can treat your child’s eczema.
- Identify the baby eczema triggers: Common triggers for babies can be:
- Harsh soaps or detergents
- Rough or non breathable clothing fabrics
- Fragrances, dust and sand
- Food allergens (milk, soy, egg and peanuts)
- Sweat and saliva
- Child obesity
- Apply wet dressing: If your baby is having a particularly severe eczema flare-up, consult your paediatrician about doing a wet dressing or wet wrap therapy. The wrap helps ensure that topical treatments (if administered) stay moist and get better absorbed into the skin.
- Warm water bath with moisturiser: Giving your baby a quick lukewarm water bath is one of the most effective things you can do to manage eczema. A daily warm bath for not more than 5 or 10 minutes is usually beneficial. Since every child is different, you should monitor how your child’s skin responds to the frequency of baths. It’s important to gently pat dry your baby after the bath, leaving a little moisture on his/her skin. Then apply a natural moisturizer on his/her damp skin to prevent your child’s skin from drying out.
- Regular care: Trim your child’s finger nails regularly and monitor and remove any skin irritants (dust, mold or pet dander) around them.
Eczema is a fairly common skin condition in children, but it may be difficult to figure out the specific causes and triggers of this skin condition. You should consult your skin doctor or paediatrician to develop the best skin treatment plan.
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Homeopathy Treatment for Eczema
A clinical research study of 118 eczema patients, published by the Complementary Therapies in their medical journal, reported that homeopathic medicine was as effective as conventional treatment. Moreover, homeopathic medications were found to be more effective than conventional medications, due to its long-lasting benefits.
The eczema symptoms can be physiological like redness, swelling and itchy skin and they can also be psychological like stress and depression. Homeopathy treatment for eczema helps to control itching, prevents the spread of eczema and treats the symptoms of eczema without causing any side-effects. Homeopathy can strengthen your child’s immune system and treat eczema holistically from its root. Book an appointment with a homeopathy specialist as soon as you notice skin eczema symptoms in your child.