- HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT IS ATOPIC DERMATITIS?
It is a skin condition often referred to as CHILDHOOD ECZEMA, where the skin develops dryness, itching, and inflammation. It is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that is not contagious.
- WHO DEVELOPS ATOPIC DERMATITIS?
It is a common skin disease that usually appears during infancy and childhood. In many children, it goes away before their teenage years. However, some children may continue to develop symptoms as teens and adults.
It seems to run in families, so if any of your parents or siblings have it, there is a stronger chance that you or your children develop it. It is common in children who have a family history of eczema/ food allergies/ hay fever/ asthma.
Your living place, as in climate may be a tipping point to developing the chance of atopic dermatitis. It is observed that those who live in places that are living in mountainous areas and in cold & damp environments and/ or have a lot of pollution are prone to develop atopic dermatitis. Living in a warm, humid area often seems to decrease the chances of developing the disease. It is also observed that children living in rural areas have a lower risk to develop this in comparison to those living in urban areas.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON TRIGGERING FACTORS?
- Dry skin
- Recurrent skin infections.
- Dust, mold, pollen, animal dander, sand.
- Strong soaps and detergents.
- Dry winter air/ low humidity.
- Certain skin care products and make-ups.
- Certain fragrances
- Irritating chemicals
- Stress and anger
- Tobacco smoke
- Some fabrics such as wool/ other scratchy materials.
- Long/hot showers or baths.
- Excessive sweating for longer hours.
- Certain foods such as dairy products/ eggs/ nuts/ soy and wheat.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ATOPIC DERMATITIS?
Common symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
- Itching- is the most common symptom.
- Red and dry patches of affected areas.
- Rashes that may ooze clear fluid/ bleed when scratched.
- Thickening or hardening of the skin.
- Symptoms that are more often visible in infants include a red rash that occ ooze after scratching and face/ scalp/ joint folds as the affected area.
- Symptoms that are more often visible in children (2 yrs to puberty age) include a red thickened rash that may ooze or bleed after scratching and neck/ elbow folds/ knee folds/ ankle as affected areas.
- Symptoms that are more often visible in teens and adults include red- dark brown scaly rash that bleeds and crust formation after scratching and hands/ neck/ elbow folds/ knee folds/ ankles and feet/ skin around eyes as affected areas.
- Some other common features include:
- An extra fold of skin under the eye (Dennie-Morgan Fold).
- Darkening of skin beneath the eyes.
- Extra skin creases on palms and soles.
- People suffering from atopic dermatitis often develop:
- Asthma/ hay fever/ food allergies.
- Ichthyosis: dry and thickened skin.
- Depression/ anxiety.
- Sleep loss.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ATOPIC DERMATITIS?
- ACUTE: In this stage, Atopic Dermatitis is presented with itching and the development of red oozing eruptions.
- SUBACUTE: In this stage, Atopic Dermatitis is presented with red, dry, scaly eruptions.
- CHRONIC: In this stage, Atopic Dermatitis is presented with dry, excoriated, thick, and damaged skin.
- HOW HOMEOPATHY HELPS?
As per Homeopathy, Inherited Miasms are the cause of the theory of chronic diseases discovered in homeopathy which includes family history (the predisposition) of the child towards allergies and the individualization of the case by its particular expression, conditions that aggravate (worsen) and ameliorate (soothe) the symptoms and the constitution of the child ( Child’s temperament; mental and physical response to circumstances), the exact nature of the eruption, and the maintaining cause on which homeopathic acute, constitutional and intercurrent medicines are selected which eventually make the long-lasting and permanent relief to the patient. In Homeopathy, the patient’s complete hereditary attributes (miasms) and phenotypic presentation (Peculiar Symptomatic Presentation) are studied in detail and the medicine selected is individualized to the highest degree clinically possible. Ultra-diluted homeopathic medication is based on the idea of fortifying the patient’s energy and restoring vital energy. Homeopathic medicines give strength to the energy of the patient and help in breaking the vicious cycle of the disease, thus helping to prevent relapses and flare-ups.
Here are a few Homeopathic medicines given for your reference. However, homeopathic medication should be taken under the consultation of a homeopathic doctor as the selection of medicine, the potency, and the repetition of medications require a lot of experience for the treatment to be effective:
- Xerophyllum: This medicine is useful when there are dermatitis rashes developed around the knees. You may have redness and intense itching in the affected areas.
- Boricum Acidum: This medicine is useful in cases of dermatitis appearing on the trunk of the body and upper limbs (hands). You may have redness, itching, and scaling of the skin.
- Rhus Tox: This medicine is useful in cases of dermatitis developed in humid weather, where the patient has itching and redness of the affected parts associated with intense burning. There is scaling of the rashes.
- Fagopyrum: This medicine is indicated in cases of dermatitis of knees and elbows, where the intense itching is relieved by bathing in cold water and it is worsened by touching the affected parts. Scratching also worsens the itching, the more you scratch, the more intense will be the itching.
- Vinca Minor: This medicine is useful in cases of Atopic Dermatitis of the face and scalp. There is intense itching and burning with offensive oozing from the rashes. The skin is so sensitive that the slightest rubbing causes soreness.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT/ EASE YOUR FLARES?
Following these few steps, you can ease/ prevent your flares and manage Atopic Dermatitis episodes:
- Use a humidifier: Adding moisture to the air can help keep your skin from drying out and being itchy.
- Take warm oatmeal baths: Antioxidants in ground oatmeal may help ease inflammation and itching. Take a 10-minute bath, then moisturize your skin right away.
- Don’t scratch your skin. Try putting pressure on itchy areas instead of scratching them, and keep your nails trimmed. With children, you may want to have them wear gloves at night to keep them from scratching while they sleep.
- In the case of infants, use bath oils and creams after a bath to keep their skin moist and ease irritation. It’s also best to keep them out of extreme hot or cold temperatures.
- To avoid excessive sweating: Wear loose clothing that won’t bother your skin. Loose-fitting clothes won’t rub against your skin, and they can help keep you from sweating.