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Dermatitis

Dermatitis

Description

Dermatitis is a general term for any inflammation of the skin.

The term eczema, a specific form of dermatitis involving internally provoked inflammation of the skin, is often incorrectly used interchangeably with dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis, including allergic contact dermatitis and contact photodermatitis, is an allergy to specific substances which touch the skin. Inflammation spreads in this case if unaffected body parts touch affected body parts. A classic example is a rash due to poison ivy. Contact dermatitis is uncommon in the early or late years of life but may affect any age group.

Other forms of dermatitis are seborrheic eczema, housewife's hand eczema, irritant eczema, dyshidrosis and discoid eczema. These conditions are not usually life threatening, but are unattractive nuisances which may become infected due to scratching and subsequent invasion of bacteria. The best treatment is to remove the primary irritant. Treatment may also include bathing with soap and water, applying unscented creams and wearing gloves to avoid irritating chemicals such as those present in dishwashing detergents.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This is a red, scaly, itchy rash on the face, or on the scalp (i.e. the most common cause of dandruff).

Causes

Primary Factors
Dermatitis is caused by any irritating substance which may cause an allergic reaction. Some irritants only become active in the presence of sunlight; this type of dermatitis is called photoallergic contact dermatitis.

Predisposing Factors
There are many irritants, some of which are:

Exogenous irritants

CosmeticsCleaners
ClothesFoods
DyesPaints
Topical medicationsVarnishes
Plants, especially poison ivyLacquers
InsecticidesRubbers
Industrial chemicalsPlastics
Detergents



Edogenous irritants
Medications, especially:

AntibioticsAntihistamines
AnestheticsAntiseptics
Stabilizers



Immune deficiency disorders

X-linked agammaglobulinemiaWiskott-Aldrich syndrome



Inborn metabolic errors

AhistidinemiaPhenylketonuria (PKU)



Nutritional deficiency disorders

Signs & Symptoms

Itchy skin
Blisters
Flaking
Redness
Swelling
Edema
Vesiculation
Oozing or crusting of skin
Dry, scaly skin, especially during healing stages

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Hair, Skin and Nail Support

---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

AdultChild/Adolescent
Biotin400 - 800 mcg 200 - 400 mcg
EPO 1 - 3 g 1 - 2 g
Folic acid*
Green barley*
L-acidophilus*
Lecithin 4 - 6 g 2 - 3 g
Vitamin B-6 25 - 50 mg 5 - 10 mg
Vitamin B12*
Vitamin E*
Zinc 20 - 30 mg 5 - 10 mg



* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Discussion:

Several supplements may also be used topically: vitamin B6 ointment, lithium ointment and selenium oxide or lithium succinate.

Vitamin B12 is often given intra-muscularly, although self care may require sublingual versions.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

If the dermatitis is due to a food allergy, the individual should be placed on an Elimination Diet to determine the offending food or groups of foods.

Herpetiformic dermatitis and eczema are frequently due to a gluten intolerance. These skin conditions often disappear after the individual is placed on a Gluten Restricted Diet.

Dermatitis and other dermatological conditions are often treated with megadoses of vitamin A, although these doses can be toxic if used for a prolonged period of time, resulting in hair loss, anorexia, hepatomegaly, anemia and leukopenia.

Persons who use prescribed therapeutic doses, or who self-treat with megadoses of vitamin A, should be closely monitored for toxicity.

Homeopathic Remedy

Dermatitis (Urticaria, Eczema)

1. Erythema

Sulphur15C to 1M
Hepar sulphuris calcareum30C
*Rhus venenata15C
*Rhus Toxicodendron15 - 30C
*Antipyrinum15C



2. Urticaria

*Antipyrinum                15C
*Anacardium occidentale tinct.        30C
Psorinum                30C to 50M
Natrum Muriaticum                30C to 10M
Rhus Toxicodendron                30C
Antimonium crudum                30C

3. Eczema

Anacardium occidentale tinct.        30C
Psorinum                        30C use LM if chronic/severe
Rhus Toxicodendron                30C

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Chamomile
Chickweed
Echinacea
Goldenseal
Mullein

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Chamomile Essence,Cypress Essence,
Fennel Essence,Frankincense Essence,
Geranium Essence,Hyssop Essence,
Juniper Essence,Lavender Essence,
Patchouli Essence,Sandalwood Essence.


Related Health Conditions

Ahistidinemia
Allergy
Eczema
Edema
Inflammation
Nutritional deficiency
Phenylketonuria (pku)
Wiskott-aldrich syndrome
X-linked agammaglobulinemia

Abstracts

References

Allison, J.R.: The relation of hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex deficiency in certain skin diseases. South. Med. J. 1945, 38: 235-241.

Alpers, D.H., R.E. Clouse, & W.F. Stenson. 1983. Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics. Little, Brown, and Company, Boston. 457

Andrews, G.C. et al: Seborrheic dermatitis: supplemental treatment withvitamin B12. NY State Med. J. 1950, 50: 1921-1925.

Arita M et al., [Epidemiological research on incidence of atopic disease in infants and children in relation to their nutrition in infancy]. Arerugi, 46:354-69, 1997 Apr.

Beeson, P.B. & Mc Dermott, W. eds. 1975. Textbook of Medicine. 14th ed. Saunders Pub. Co., Philadelphia. 1892 pp.

Berkow, R. 1977. The Merck Manual. Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories Pub., Rahway, New Jersey. 2165 pp.

Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.

Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.

Block, M.T.: Vitamin E in the treatment of diseases of the skin. Clin. Med. 1953: 31-34.

Boyle, J. et al: Use of topical lithium succinate for seborrheic dermatitis. BMJ, 1986, 292: 28.

Brenner, S. & Horowitz, C.: Possible nutrient mediators in psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. II. Nutrient mediators. Wld. Rvw. Nutr. Diet. 1988, 55: 165-182.

Bunker VW et al., Dietary supplementation and immunocompetence in housebound elderly subjects. Br J Biomed Sci, 51:128-35, 1994 Jun.

Callaghan, T.J.: The effect of folic acid on seborrheic dermatitis. Cutis, 1967, 3: 583-588.

Corazza GR et al., Subclinical coeliac disease: an anthropometric assessment. J Intern Med, 236:183-7, 1994 Aug.

Crouse, R. G. & R. A. Briggaman. 1983. Skin. Nutritional Support of Medical Practice," 2nd ed. H.A. Schneider, C.E. Anderson & D.B. Coursin, eds. Harper and Row, Philadelphia.

Gaby, Alan: Vitamin C for Poison Oak Dermatitis. Townsend Letter for Doctors, August/September 1990;522.

Kirschmann, J.D. 1990. Nutrition Almanac: Nutrition Search. McGrew-Hill: New York.

Klasson, D.H.: Ascorbic Acid in The Treatment and Prevention of Poison Oak Dermatitis. Archives of Dermatol. Syph., 1947;56:864-867.

Kunz, J.R.M. 1982. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. Random House Pub, New York. 832 pp.

Lugovic L & Lipozencic J: [Routine immunologic tests in atopic dermatitis]. Lijec Vjesn, 119:5-10, 1997 Jan.

Mabin DC et al., Nutritional content of few foods diet in atopic dermatitis. Arch Dis Child, 73:208-10, 1995 Sep.

Magnarin M et al., A role for eosinophils in the pathogenesis of skin lesions in patients with food-sensitive atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 96:200-8, 1995 Aug.

Manku, M.S. & D.F. Horrobin. Reduced Levels of Prostaglandin Precursors in the Blood of Atopic Patients. Prost. Leukotrienes Med., 9. 1982.

Manku, M.S. & J.L. Burton. Essential Fatty Acids in the Plasma, Phospholipids of Patients with Atopic Eczema. British Journal Of Dermatology., 110. 1984.

Nakashima K: [Nutritional study of elimination diets in the case of two-year-old children recovered from atopic dermatitis] . Sangyo Ika Daigaku Zasshi, 19:13-22, 1997 Mar 1.

Nisenson, A.: Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis with biotin and vitamin B complex. J. Pediatr. 1972, 81: 630-631. (Letter)

Oranje, A. P: Food Immediate-Contact Hypersensitivity (FICH) and Elimination Diet in Young Children With Atopic Dermatitis: Preliminary Results in 107 Children. ACTA Derm Venereol, 1992;Suppl.176:41-44.

Schreiner, A.W. et al: Seborrheic dermatitis: a local metabolic defect involving pyridoxine. J. Lab. Clin. Med. 1952, 40: 121-130.

Sheehan MP, Atherton DJ. One-year follow up of children treated with Chinese medical herbs for atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol 1994;130:488—93.

Sheehan MP, Rustin MHA, et al. Efficacy of traditional Chinese herbal therapy in adult atopic dermatitis. Lancet 1992;340:13—17.

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Subak-Sharpe, G.J. 1984. The Physician's Manual For Patients. Times Books Pub, New York. 607 pp.

Syland E et al., Dietary supplementation with very long-chain n-3 fatty acids in patients with atopic dermatitis. A double-blind, multicentre study. Br J Dermatol, 130:757-64, 1994 Jun.

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