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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Eczema/Dermatitis. Why you should use Homeopathy

“Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children, but can continue into adulthood. Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term, or chronic, condition.

Eczema can be a deeply distressing illness, especially when young babies and infants suffer from the condition. Characteristically, the symptoms are red, dry, scaly skin, with intense itching, which can lead to scratching, and opening up the skin.

What becomes immediately obvious, when looking at the NHS Choices website on the treatment of Eczema, there is no effective treatment, and the drugs they outline are known to have serious side effects and adverse reactions.

“Although there is no cure for atopic eczema (my emphasis), treatments can ease the symptoms. Children with atopic eczema normally find their symptoms naturally improve over time.

Medications used to treat atopic eczema most commonly include:
    * emollients - used all the time for dry skin
    * topical corticosteroids - used to reduce swelling and redness during flare-ups

NHS Choices go on to described these ameliorative, not curative treatments, and dressing with ‘dry wraps’, ‘wet wraps’, and ‘occlusive dressing’.

Then BHS Choices mentions other medications “used to ease the symptoms of eczema”:   
  • Antihistamines - for severe itching
  • Oral corticosteroids - for severe symptoms
  • Antibiotics - for infected eczema
  • Topical immunosuppresants, which reduce or suppress your body's immune system, such as pimecrolimus cream and tacrolimus ointment

So, Conventional Medicine not only causes and exacerbates Eczema, it has almost nothing to offer as far as safe or effective treatment is concerned.

There are many homeopathic remedies known to treat Eczema successfully. It is a disease that effects individuals very differently, and these remedy pictures taken from “The Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology”, Roger Morrison, MD, show the 6 most commonly used, and the great variety between them.

The most common remedy for eczema. Tremendous itching (it is hard to give Sulphur when the itching is only of mild severity). Voluptuous itching. Burning itching, Pleasurable itching. Scratching until raw and oozing or until he bleeds. Worse: night, especially waking the patient at night in bed. On becoming heated, especially if heated in bed. In areas where the patient perspires. Bathing. Contact with wool. Better: cold or cold applications.

Burning pains associated with itching. Must scratch until skin is raw; relieved when skin is raw. When the skin heals over, the itching returns just as intensely. Severe itching without eruption. Neurodermaatitis. Worse: Night. Open Air. Undressing. Better: Heat (opposite most eczema cases). Warm bathing.

Dry eczema with thick yellow or honey-like discharge. Excema with deep cracks of the skin. All injuries to skin heal slowly: unhealthy skin. Worse: Night. Heat and from becoming heated in bed.

Intensely itching eczema; intolerable itching. Maddening eruption, often persisting despite allopathing (conventional) medications. Eruptions of scalp with thick, white flakes and pus coming under the scabs. Worse: Night. Heat. Heat of fire. Hot bathing. Touch. Better: Cold air (although patient chilly). Elderly patients.

The eczema is bearly always dry, so dru that it is almost painful: sometimes impels the patient to soak the sry skin in water. For patients who work with their hands using chemicals such as tar, pitch, or oils (eg carpenters, hairdressers). Scratches until bleeding; coldness in the raw spot. Unhealthy skin; wounds fester. Worse: Winter. Cold weather.

Easily confused with Sulphur. Desire to scratch the skin until it bleeds. Eruptions easily progress to suppuration and may be offensive. Worse: Night. Cold. Undresing. Heat of bed. Winter. Bathing. From wool. Better: from warmth. 

Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs)

In the study of eczema (dermatitis), there have been 3 good clinical studies published. Keil and colleagues from the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics in Berlin, Germany studied 118 children suffering from atopic eczema. 54 children were treated with homeopathic medicine and 64 children were treated with conventional dermatology drugs. Both groups were followed for a period of 12 months. Children in both groups had their eczema symptoms improve. Disease-related quality of life improved equally in both groups. However, improvement of eczema as observed by physicians was significantly greater in the homeopathic group.

In Japan, Itamura and Hosoya studied 17 patients with intractable atopic dermatitis. These patients had previously failed conventional dermatological drug therapy. They were then treated with individualized homeopathic medical therapy, in addition to conventional dermatology therapy. The study’s follow-up period was 6 to 31 months. The efficacy of homeopathic medicine was measured by objective assessments of the skin condition and the patients’ own assessments, using a 9 point scale. 1 patient cleared completely, 7 patients partially cleared (=80% better), and 9 patients partially cleared (=50% better). Importantly, 5 of 17 patients (29%) were able to stop the use of topical steroid ointments. (Itamura R, Hosoya R. Homeopathy.  2003: 92; 108-114.)

In an observational study, Witt and colleagues studied 225 children with atopic eczema.  The children were treated with homeopathic medicine and were allowed to also use conventional dermatology drugs. They were followed for 24 months. The severity of eczema in these patients improved and the changes in severity assessment were of large effect size. Reductions in the use of conventional dermatology drugs were observed.  (Witt CM,  Acta Dermato Venereol.  2009: 89(2); 182-183.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind trial, Cavalcanti and colleagues studied the effect of homeopathic treatment on itching of hemodialysis patients. Kidney failure patients undergoing dialysis treatment often have severe itching, which is difficult to control. The researchers assessed the role of individualized homeopathic treatment in this situation. Itching was evaluated using a previously published scale. Patients were classified as responders if they had greater than 50% reduction of itching. 20 patients were analyzed. Reduction of itching was statistically significant at every point of observation.

Mousavi and colleagues studied the effectiveness of the homeopathic remedy, Ignatia 30C in the treatment of oral lichen planus, a painful inflammatory dermatological disease. In this single-blind randomized clinical trial, 30 consecutive patients with oral lichen planus were randomized into two groups: one group received homeopathic Ignatia and the other group received placebo. The patients were treated for 4 months. The results showed that the size of the oral sores decreased significantly in favor of the homeopathic Ignatia treated patients. Also, the average pain was significantly lower in the homeopathic Ignatia group. The researchers concluded homeopathic Ignatia has a beneficial effect in the treatment of oral lichen planus in selected patients.  (Mousavi F,  Homeopathy.  2009: 98, 40-44.)

Pommier, published a phase III single-blind randomized comparison trial of homeopathic calendula ointment versus trolamine ointment in the prevention of acute radiation dermatitis in women undergoing post-operative radiation treatment for breast cancer. The researchers studied 254 patients. They found that the occurrence of acute radiation dermatitis (grade 2 or higher) was significantly lower.

In an animal model study, de Paula Coelho and colleagues evaluated the homeopathic remedy Dolichos pruriens in the treatment of heat-induced itching in laboratory rats. The researchers found that in this blinded study, homeopathic Dolichos pruriens significantly demonstrated therapeutic effects in the inhibition of itching. The homeopathic remedy had no adverse effects. It is possible that the homeopathic remedy Dolichos pruriens could potentially be useful in humans with generalized itching without an eruption (e.g. “itching of unknown origin”).  (de Paula Coelho C,  Homeopathy.  2006: 95(3); 136-143.)