Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin and skin inflammation. It is non-contagious which means it does not spread from one person to another via direct skin-to-skin contact. It is also known as Atopic Eczema. Yet another name for it is Endogenous Eczema. When Atopic Dermatitis occurs in infants, it is referred to as Infantile Eczema. Atopic Dermatitis begins in childhood (before age of 5yrs and in most cases around 3 months to 6 months) and it may terminate its course in childhood only but it may continue till adulthood in a few cases. Atopic Dermatitis shows a remitting (during this phase, skin inflammation clears off) and relapsing (during this phase, this condition flare-ups) type of course. Homeopathic medicines offer a very effective treatment for Atopic Dermatitis. Homeopathic remedies for Atopic Dermatitis are made from natural substances, they help in decreasing the severity of the complaint, itching and healing of rashes and eruptions.
Atopic Dermatitis is very efficiently treated with natural homeopathic medicines. They help in managing the acute phase in the beginning and afterward with the constitutional natural homeopathic remedies selected solely on the basis of individual symptoms, there is a promise of eradicating the disease from its root. The homeopathic medicine selection is based upon the totality of symptoms including the site and type of eruption, the worsening and relieving factors, time of itching, sensitivity towards heat and cold, and the peculiar mental symptoms if present in a high degree. Homeopathic remedies help in eradicating Dermatitis from the root by increasing the patient’s immunity to the optimal level so that there are no hypertensive flare-ups. The homeopathic treatment for Atopic Dermatitis is not instant and does take time, varying from months to a year depending upon the severity, duration of Dermatitis, plus the individual response to the remedy taken.
Top Natural Homeopathic Remedies For Atopic Dermatitis
The top listed homeopathic medicines for treating cases of Atopic Dermatitis are Graphites, Petroleum, Sulphur, Natrum Mur, Rhus Tox, Arsenic Album, Mezereum, Galphimia Glauca and Histaminum.
1. Graphites – Top Homeopathic Remedy For Atopic Dermatitis
Graphites is one of the best homeopathic medicines for managing Atopic Dermatitis. It proves highly effective when there is dry, rough skin. It may have cracks as well. Though it can be used for any affected skin area but it works most prominently on lesions in the bends of elbows or bend of knees, neck and behind the ear. Keeping aside dryness, it is equally effective for cases where skin vesicles (fluid-filled bumps) occur that ooze sticky, gluey discharge. Graphites also brings good results in eczema on face, nose, chin.
2. Petroleum – For Dry, Cracked Skin
Petroleum is an ideal medicine when the skin gets dry and cracked. Bleeding occurs from the cracks. The lesions with time get thickened and covered with crusts. Marked burning and itching also accompany the cracks. The flare of Atopic Dermatitis with dry, cracked skin in winter is highly characteristic to use Petroleum.
3. Sulphur – To Manage Skin Itching
Sulphur is a leading medicine most frequently used in treating Atopic Dermatitis. The main complaint for which it is used is intolerable skin itching. The skin is excessively dry with scales and intolerable itching. In majority of cases, the itching is at its peak at night or when the person’s body gets warm in bed. Scratching is followed by a burning sensation on skin. Relapse of dermatitis in the spring season or in damp weather is also effectively dealt with this medicine. M,kHomeopathic remedy Sulphur must always be considered as the first line of treatment for Atopic Dermatitis that is being suppressed by use of local medications like ointments or any other form of external medication.
4. Natrum Mur – For Rash / Eruptions In Bends Of Limbs And Scalp Margin
Natrum Mur is beneficial for rash/eruptions appearing in bends of limbs that include crease of elbow and back of knee. The eruptions may be dry or ooze fluid. Warmth and heat worsen the condition for using Natrum Mur. Additionally, the eruptions occur specifically at the margins of scalp. The eruptions are dry with rawness of skin along the margin of scalp. Crusting may also occur along the hairline. Taking salt worsens the condition. Persons needing it may also suffer nasal allergy with marked sneezing, runny nose along with dermatitis complaint.
5. Rhus Tox – For Eruptions With Thick Crusts That Ooze Fluid
Rhus Tox is of great help for Atopic Dermatitis with eruptions covered with thick crusts that ooze fluid. The skin becomes red with excessive itching, or fluid-filled vesicular bumps appear on the skin. Marked burning and intense itching are felt. Scratching makes the itching worse. Scaling of skin may also appear.
6. Arsenic Album – For Dry Scaly EruptionsThis medicine works well for cases having dry, rough scaly eruptions. In most cases, eczema is marked on the face. There occurs intense itching and burning in the eruptions. It is worse at night in most cases requiring it. The affected skin can be oversensitive to touch.
7. Mezereum – For Eruptions That Discharge Sticky FluidMezereum is very beneficial for Atopic Dermatitis with eruptions oozing fluid. The fluid is very sticky. It is also indicated when thick scabs form on the skin with pus under it indicating infection. At times blood may ooze out on touching crusty eruptions. The eruptions are attended with marked itching. It gets worse from bathing with warm water.
8. Galphimia Glauca And Histaminum – For Atopic Dermatitis With Allergic Nasal SymptomsBoth natural homeopathic medicines Galphimia Glauca and Histaminum are very beneficial in the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis where hay fever/allergic rhinitis is associated with it. These natural medicines effectively treat allergy complaints like eczemas, hay fever and asthma.
Signs And Symptoms Of Atopic DermatitisSigns and Symptoms usually begin before 5 yrs of age.
1. Dry, rough, red, itchy skin is the main sign of Atopic Dermatitis. The itching is mild to intense varying from case to case. Itching is worse at night due to warmth of the bed.
2. Eruptions:In some persons, papular, vesicular or pustular eruptions appear on the skin. Papular eruptions are raised eruptions on skin, vesicular ones are fluid-filled eruptions and the pustular contains pus in it. When these eruptions start to ooze out fluid or pus, it is termed Weeping Eczema.
3. Thickening, Crusting And Scaling Of Skin
4. Deep cracks and fissures with bleeding: It is noted in the long run.
5. Skin infection from excessive scratching can occur. Red bumps and at times pus formation indicates infection.
6. Body parts affected by Atopic Dermatitis:Although Atopic Dermatitis can appear on any part of the body, its common sites are bends of elbows, behind knees, face and neck. Other sites of infection may be around eyes and ankles. Scalp and face are the common sites in Infantile Eczema. Atopic Dermatitis in bends of elbow, knees or behind ears is known as Flexural Eczema.
Signs And Symptoms In Infants (Babies Less Than One Year Age)In infants, there is dry skin with redness, itching and scaling. This may disturb sleep. Rash on cheeks, scalp, front of arms or legs may occur. In some cases, fluid may ooze from rash.
Signs And Symptoms In ChildrenIn children, a rash is frequently noted in the bend of knees and elbows. The rash is very dry and scaly. The affected skin patches may be thick and light or dark colored. Rash on the neck and face is also noted.
Signs And Symptoms In AdultsDry scaly skin is seen commonly in adults. Hands and feet are commonly affected. Besides, bend of elbows/knees, face, area around eyes and back of neck can be affected.
Causes And Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis Or Atopic Eczema
1. No cause has been detected behind Atopic Dermatitis, but its appearance is attributed to dysfunction of immune system. Due to misguided immune system, there is increase in inflammatory cells causing skin inflammation. 2. Further it is considered that genetic factors also play a role in it. This is based on the evidence that the person with Atopic Dermatitis usually gives a family history of Eczema or other atopic disease like asthma, hay fever / nasal allergy or food allergies. The word “atopic” refers to the tendency to produce a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen in a person with a strong genetic predisposing element. A person having a parent or sibling suffering from Atopic Dermatitis is at great risk of developing atopic dermatitis. Additionally, those with Atopic Dermatitis are at risk to get other atopic conditions like asthma, nasal allergy, food allergy, etc. Persons having Atopic Dermatitis have changes in the gene affecting production of filaggrin. Filaggrin is a protein responsible for conserving skin moisture and keeping strong skin barrier. If it is low, skin gets dry and skin barrier is altered due to which irritants and even virus, bacteria can gain entry causing skin infections.
3. Hygiene HypothesisWhen children who are exposed to microorganisms early in their childhood, it helps build up their immune system and protects them against allergic diseases. So children in less hygienic environment are at less risk of Atopic Dermatitis. On the other hand, in children living in highly clean environments, the immune system does not get an opportunity to develop putting them at high risk of allergies. 4. In some, an excess of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on skin can lead to Atopic Dermatitis Trigger And Worsening Factors Some of the trigger and worsening factors for Atopic Dermatitis include stress, weather changes (cold dry weather), woollens, synthetic clothes, dust mites, sweating, soaps, detergents, bathing with hot water. In some persons, certain food items, including egg, cow’s milk, gluten and fish, can worsen the condition.
Pathophysiology1. This condition begins when the normal protective skin barrier is disturbed. Following this, the allergens find a chance to reach the deeper layers of skin. It activates huge number of immune cells and a chain of immune reaction by these activated cells results in skin inflammation. Firstly, epidermal inflammatory dendritic and innate lymphoid cells are activated that invites Th2CD4+ helper T cells to the skin that causes skin inflammation causing lesions of Atopic Dermatitis. These Th2 helper T cells further cause release of more inflammatory markers like cytokines (IL-4, IL-13 etc.) which further activates plasma and B lymphocyte cells to release antigen specific IgE adding to the inflammation. 2. Next is changes in the filaggrin gene affecting production of filaggrin. Filaggrin is a protein produced by keratinocytes skin cells. Filaggrin makes skin cells secrete moisturizing factors that keep the skin moisturized and maintain strong skin barrier. If it is low skin barrier gets disrupted, skin gets dry (xerosis). As a result, allergens, irritants and even virus, bacteria can gain entry causing skin infections. 3. In Atopic Dermatitis, there is release of pruritogens (mast cells, keratinocytes, T cells and eosinophils release pruritogens) that stimulates itching. These cells activate nerve fibers in the skin that leads to itching and pain sensation. Scratching the affected skin also contributes to the release of pruritogens leading to itch scratch cycle in which scratching increases the itching, so the more the person scratches, the more the itching gets worse or increases. Complications Persons having Atopic Dermatitis may develop allergic rhinitis, asthma, allergic contact dermatitis and food allergies. Skin may become thick and leathery. Skin infection can occur when skin breaks from repeated scratching, and bacteria or virus enters skin. Itching in the rash may disturb sleep. The affected skin after healing of the rash may become dark or light, named post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and post-inflammatory hypopigmentation respectively.
1. Keep the skin moisturized. Apply moisturizer to the skin soon after the bath when skin is still wet. 2. Avoid bathing with hot water, prefer warm water over hot water to take bath. Limit the bathing time to about 10 minutes. 3. Use gentle soaps 4. Try to avoid trigger factors that would flare or worsen your rash, for example: synthetic clothes, certain soaps, food triggers (cow’s milk, eggs etc.), dust mites, animal dander,etc.