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HEALTH CONCERN? BioHealth Health Concerns

Natural Remedies for Eczema

Contributing Author: Woeller, Kurt D.O.

Kurt WoellerKurt N. Woeller, D.O. is an osteopathic physician who specializes in traditional osteopathic medicine, cranial osteopathy and integrative medicine. His primary focus is treating children with autism-spectrum disorders. He graduated in 1995 from the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine. He currently lives and practices in Temecula, California. Dr. Woeller serves as a clinical consultant for Great Plains Laboratory teaching doctors the latest in biomedical diagnostic testing and treatment protocols for children with autism-spectrum disorders. He lectures nationwide for Great Plains Laboratory, as well independently regarding the benefits of biomedicine for children with autism.

» Website: SUNRISE MEDICAL

 

Eczema is an inflammatory condition characterized by patches of dry, red, inflamed and flaking skin. Often the inflamed skin is moist and oozing. In chronic eczema the skin can become thickened and scaly with a change in color.

Eczema can affect any part of the body, but is most common on the face and scalp, behind the ears and in the creases of the elbows and knees. The groin area can be affected as well. Eczema can occur at any age, but seems to be more common in young girls. In some people eczema can manifest as an acute condition or can last for many years with waxing and waning periods.

I am often asked what can be done to alleviate eczema. Are there any natural remedies like herbs or vitamins that are effective in treating this troubling condition?

Aside from using the common prescription and/or over-the- counter steroid ointments like hydrocortisone or antihistamines such as Benedryl, there are number of natural remedy options that may be helpful. Not everything listed below may be necessary for your particular condition, but it is not uncommon to use a variety of items together for added benefit.

Check for Food Allergies

Allergy testing is important for eczema sufferers as some conditions are caused by food or environmental allergens. The most common foods on the list of allergies are:

  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Soy
  • Citrus...oranges, grapefruit
  • Nuts...peanuts, almonds
  • Chocolate

Check for Environmental Allergies

This can be done by testing the blood and/or skin for IgE related allergy - IgE is the allergy antibody:

  • Animal dander
  • Molds
  • Pollens
  • Grasses
  • and more

IgG food sensitivity testing can also be helpful. However, it is the IgE that relates to elevated levels of histamine which trigger the allergic response.

Stool Testing is Essential

All people being evaluated for eczema should have some sort of stool testing - preferably a comprehensive digestive stool analysis. These tests evaluate for intestinal bacteria, parasites, yeast and markers for faulty digestion and inflammation. Commonly people suffering with eczema - and other inflammatory conditions - have a variety of pathogens disturbing the normal environment of their intestines. This scenario causes increased allergy sensitivity in the gut which can manifest as systemic (throughout the body) inflammation which for some individuals affects their skin. 

Natural Remedies for Eczema

Below is a list of remedies. This is not a complete list of all possibilities for treatment, but the majority of things listed are relatively easy to obtain and implement for yourself or child.

Herbs:

  • Oolong Tea - 1 cup three times daily

Liquid Herbal Blends - Blood Stream Formula and Kid-e-Soothe:

  • *Blood Stream Formula (Dr. Christopher Glycerine Extracts) - 1 to 3 dropperfuls 2 to 3 times per day. Can mix in juice. Can use more if needed.
  • Kid-e-Soothe (Dr. Christopher Kid-e-Line) - 1 to 3 droppersfuls 2 to 3 times per day. Can mix in juice. Can use more if needed.

Herbal Creams - Itch and Comfrey Ointment - can be purchased from:

  • *Itch Cream (Dr. Christopher Ointments) - Apply liberally 3 to 4 times daily. Helps to decrease inflammation and keeps skin moist and prevents drying.
  • Comfrey Ointment (Dr. Christopher Ointments) - apply liberally 3 to 4 times daily. Helps to promote healing.

NOTE: Both ointments can be used together.

Essential Fats:

  • Evening Primrose Oil (New Beginnings - www.nbnus.com) - 1 capsule twice daily. Capsules can also be opened and rubbed into skin to help with inflammation.
  • Fish Oil - ½ to 1 tablespoon daily

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Betaine HCl (tablets or capsules) - 1 to 2 with meals (must be swallowed. Cannot chew HCL as it will damage the teeth).
  • *Biotin - 3 to 10mg daily. Many capsules of biotin come as 8 mg capsules. Capsules can be split and mixed in juice or food.
  • Lactobaccilus GG (aka. Culturelle) - 2 to 3 per day. New Beginnings - www.nbnus.com).
  • Vitamin A - 25,000 to 50,000 units/day and taper done with improvement. Can purchase vitamin A drops from New Beginnings. Each drop = 5025 IU of vitamin A. You should begin to taper down dose by 1-2 drops every 2 to 3 days after being on high dose for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • *Zinc Picolinate (or liquid zinc) - 15 to 30 mg 3x/day.

General Recommendations:

  • * Try to prevent scratching as it irritates the skin and can lead to infection. Clipping fingernails short will help prevent skin damage.
  • * Keep skin moist. See above for Dr. Christopher ointments.
  • An oatmeal bath is an option. Wrap a cup of oatmeal in a wash cloth, run it under bath water from the faucet and squeeze onto the skin. After the bath apply non-allergenic lotion (or Dr. Christopher ointments - see above).
  • * Avoid things that dry the skin - chlorine swimming pools, Jacuzzi, or long-showers and baths.
  • Sun exposure. Exposing the skin to sunlight can be energizing and healing. Take precautions to not sunburn.

NOTE: Minimally, what I would suggest is implementing those remedies that have an *asterisk next to them.

Remember - all of these remedies can be used at the same time. It is difficult to say which ones will be most successful. Sometimes it takes doing things simultaneously.