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Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a common condition. Characteristics include a skin rash, itchy blistering and scaling. Although the terms eczema and dermatitis are often used interchangeably, eczema is properly defined as chronic vascular dermatitis.

Eczema usually begins in the first few years of life and subsides for most individuals by the age of four. Nevertheless, it may reappear intermittently for several years, disappearing at puberty or remain a lifelong problem. About 1 in 10 babies is affected by this condition.

Treatment is aimed at suppressing the symptoms. This may involve avoiding anything which intensifies the problem such as "fad diets" or bathing with soap and water which can dry the skin. Doctors may prescribe creams or ointments containing corticosteroids, bath oils, moisturizing creams and antihistamines as a bedtime sedative.


Primary Factors
The primary cause of Eczema is unknown.

Predisposing Factors
Family predisposition; allergic disorders such as: asthma, hay-fever, hives, food allergies and particulate allergies; cold weather; changes in temperature and humidity; perspiration; dryness of skin; emotional stress; repeated exposure to dishwater, clothes, and babies; herpes simplex leading to eczema herpeticum which is potentially fatal; and vaccines which lead to eczema activation.

Signs & Symptoms

Dryness of skin

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Essential Fatty Acids &
        Hair, Skin and Nail Support

General Supplements

Biotin400 - 800 mcg 200 - 400 mcg
Brewer's yeast*
EPO 1 - 3 g 1 - 2 g
Green barley*
Lecithin 4 - 6 g 2 - 3 g
Phosphatidyl C*
Vitamin B-6 25 - 50 mg 5 - 10 mg
Zinc 20 - 30 mg 5 - 10 mg

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

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

Eggs and milk may be a cause of eczema in sensitive individuals; the Elimination Diet should be used to identify the offending substance or substances. The allergen can then be excluded from the diet.

Eczema can be a symptom of glucose intolerance, in which case a Gluten Restricted Diet can be beneficial.

So far as infants are concerned, any food allergen must be related to milk. This may be something the mother has eaten, or there may be an intolerance of breast milk but more likely to cow's milk. Goat milk and soy milk are usually successful alternatives.

Other digestive aids or probiotic formulas may be added to the milk e.g. FOS or flax seed or linseed oils. These and other oils (e.g. EPO) may also be added to blended vegetables or juices.

Homeopathic Remedy


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

Advanced , by symptom:

1. Moist, discharge (honey-like)- Graphites.
2. Dry- Sulphur.
3. Moist, cracks easily, greenish hue- Petroleum.

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.


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.


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.

Tissue Salts

Calc. Fluor.eczema around anus;
Calc. Phos.albuminous (egg-white) eruptions;
Ferr. Phos.redness, heat;
Kali Mursmall, white, dry scales on the skin;
Kali Phos.scabs with offensive secretions, causing soreness and rawness of parts;
Kali Sulf.thin, yellow eruptions;
Nat. Mur.eruptions on bend of elbow and knee;
Nat. Phos.honey-like discharges, yellow crustation;

4 tablets, hourly in acute conditions, 3 or 4 times daily in chronic eczema (t.i.d., q.i.d.)

Herbal Approaches


Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

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.


Many topical applications are recommended, including: Aloe vera gel, Burdock, Calendula cream, Chamomile and Chickweed ointments.

German Chamomile flower is an approved herb by the German Commisssion E and a major phytomedicine on the German market, accounting for sales of over $8 million (1996). It is classified as a dermatological preparation.

Cayenne is often useful against itching. It appears to inhibit the release of substance P from cutaneous sensory neurons.

Licorice Root (specifically glycyrrhetinic acid) acts like hydrocortisone, indeed, in some trials it proved superior! 93% reported benefit compared to 83% using cortisone. In combination, the licorice derivative potentiates the benefit of cortisone.

Detoxification may be helpful, for which, Milk thistle (Silymarin) and Sarsaparilla are effective.

Some of these same herbs, in tincture form or as a tea, are recommended for children, for detoxification of both blood and the liver: burdock root, butternut, nettle, red clover and sarsaparilla.


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Korting, HC et al., Comparative efficacy of hamamelis distillate and hydrocortisone cream in atopic eczema. Eur. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 1995, 48(6):461-465.

Teelucksingh, S et al., Potentiation of hydrocortisone activity in skin by glycyrrhetinic acid. Lancet, 1990, 335:1,060-1,063.

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Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Benzoin Essence,Calendula Essence,
Cedarwood Essence,Chamomile Essence,
Fennel Essence,Frankincense Essence,
Geranium Essence,Hyssop Essence,
Juniper Essence,Lavender Essence,
Myrrh Essence,Onion Essence,
Rose Essence,Sandalwood Essence,

Related Health Conditions

Hay fever
Herpes simplex



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