Treating Eczema With Naturopathy

Eczema is a disease affecting the skin and causing it to become inflamed, red, dry, and itchy. Eczema can lead to skin problems like swelling, dark and rough patches, and crusting and oozing as well. Though eczema occurs on the surface of a person’s skin, it does not spread with touch.

Eczema prevents the skin from retaining moisture, thus leading to dryness. Dryness makes skin vulnerable to allergens and irritants, and these further add to the problem by triggering the release of chemicals and making the skin itchy. Scratching and itching of the skin can lead to irritation and discomfort, thus affecting the quality of life of the person. Naturopath eczema treatment uses a holistic approach. The naturopath will aim at finding the underlying cause of the problem and treat the patient’s body as a whole to rectify problems that are preventing the body to function normally.

Symptoms of eczema

The symptoms of eczema differ from person to person, depending on their age. Atopic dermatitis is an eczema type that commonly occurs in infants leading to dry and scaly patches on the skin. Atopic dermatitis can occur until the age of 5 and may continue further if not treated properly.

Rashes on the scalp and cheeks are common symptoms of eczema in infants under 2 years. They are itchy and can lead to skin infections if rubbed or scratched.  In some cases, the rashes turn into blisters.

For children above the age of 2, the rashes occur on the neck wrist, ankles and behind the creases of elbows and knees. Sometimes, rashes appear in the creases between buttock and legs. If ignored, rashes turn bumpy and change colour. They may become dark or light.

Eczema rashes occur in adults as well. They are found around the neck or in creases of knees and elbows. At times, rashes cover the entire body of adults, causing their skin to get too dry and itchy. Rashes in adults are scalier as compared to those occurring in children. They can lead to skin infections, as well.

Types of eczema

Atopic dermatitis – This is the most common type of eczema causing patches of dry skin. The patches are itchy, red, and inflamed and if scratched, can ooze clear fluid.

  • Contact dermatitis – This type of eczema occurs when a person comes in contact with certain substances.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis – This type of eczema occurs due to repeated exposure to a substance that leads to skin irritation. Some of the common substances that cause irritation are acids and alkalis, solvents, hair dyes, and cement.
  • Dyshidrotic eczema – This type of eczema appears in adults below the age of 40. The eczema patches occur mostly on the hands and feet, causing intense itching. Sometimes small blisters form and they become large and watery over time. If neglected, the blisters can be infected and ooze pus.
  • Discoid eczema – This type of eczema leads to disc-shaped patches on the skin that are itchy, red, and swollen. The patches usually appear on legs, arms and torso.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis – Red, itchy, and flaky rashes appear due to this type of eczema. A yellowish or white crust may appear on the swollen surface of these rashes.
  • Varicose eczema – This eczema is common in adults having varicose veins. It is seen in older adults who are less active and have weak leg veins. This type affects the lower legs and causes itchy spots or blisters, dry skin and crusty patches.
  • Asteatotic eczema – This eczema affects adults over the age of 60. It mainly occurs on the lower legs but can also be found in other parts of the body. Common symptoms of this type are red cracks or grooves, itching, and soreness.

Naturopath eczema

Eczema causes

The exact cause of eczema cannot be determined. However, it has been observed that people suffering from eczema have other allergies as well. This indicates that genetic factors raise the chances of eczema. Moreover, skin problems are considered to be a reflection of a person’s internal health. Hence, issues with the internal system of the body can lead to eczema too.

Eczema can be caused or triggered by:

  • Food allergies

Food allergies cause inflammation within the body, thus increasing the chances of eczema. When treating eczema with naturopathy, the naturopath may insist on getting food allergies tested. Eczema is mostly linked to problems like asthma and hay fever. An allergic person has high chances of suffering from this ‘allergy triad’ mainly due to an imbalance in the immune system.

  • Digestion problems

Digestion issues can add to allergic and inflammatory problems. Naturopaths believe that a person’s immunity is linked to digestive health. A person having an inflamed or porous digestive system experiences immune imbalances and inflammation. This is mainly because the toxins that should be eliminated from the body get absorbed through the pores and move freely within the body. Problems like constipation too affect the bacteria balance in the digestive system and can aggravate eczema.

  • Contact allergies

This is one of the common causes of eczema. Identifying the allergen with the help of tests and then avoiding them can help treat eczema to a great extent.

  • Stress

This is another most common factor leading to eczema. When the stress mediator hormones in a person’s body increase the allergic cells, then the susceptibility of infection increases.

Naturopathic approach to treating eczema

A naturopath examines eczema by not just looking at the skin rash, but also by enquiring about the lifestyle of the patient. The naturopath collects information on stress factors, diet, drugs and medications, and materials the patient is exposed to in daily life to find out the real cause of the problem. Naturopaths aim at finding out the answer to the question, what is preventing the patient’s body from functioning normally? Once the naturopath finds the root cause, he/she may suggest the patient make the required changes in the lifestyle to improve the condition. The treatment may be supported by some natural supplements as well.

A naturopath may suggest lifestyle changes like:

  • Prevent smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Restrict intake of coffee or soft drinks
  • Limit sugar intake
  • Avoid junk food
  • Add fresh vegetables and whole foods to the diet
  • Identify and prevent food allergens that add to the problem
  • Increasing consumption of water
  • Exercising

Naturopaths are known to treat any problem by looking at the person as a whole. They follow the holistic approach to treat any health issue. So, whether you visit the naturopath for eczema or acne or any other skin problem, you can expect a treatment focusing on the overall health of your body.

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