What is Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema:-
The word “dermatitis” means inflammation of the skin. “Atopic” refers to diseases that are hereditary, tend to run in families, and often occur together.
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a skin disease characterized by areas of severe itching, redness, scaling, and loss of the surface of the skin (excoriation).The skin of a patient with atopic dermatitis or eczema reacts abnormally and easily to irritants, food, and environmental allergens and becomes red, flaky and very itchy. The skin also becomes vulnerable to surface infections caused by bacteria.
It is the most common of the many types of eczema. This disorder usually affects young children on the face and extensor surfaces of the arms and legs (elbow and knee sides). Older children and adults are usually affected on the sides of the neck and on the inside of the elbow and knee.
It is usually associated with other allergic disorders like asthma.
Atopic dermatitis is very common worldwide and increasing in prevalence. It affects males and females equally and accounts for 10-20% of all referrals to dermatologists. More than 15 million people in the United States have symptoms of the disease. It is not contagious.
Itch Scratch Cycle in Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema
Mild itching makes the patient scratch the skin. But scratching damages the skin, worsens inflammation, irritates surface nerves, and leads to even more intense itching than you had before. This cycle aggravates and prolongs all of these rashes.
In conventional treatment there is no cure for atopic dermatitis eczema, but there are a number of ways to relieve it. They are as follows:
In contrast homeopathy does not believe in suppressing the symptoms of internal derangement. The homeopathic treatment considers the overall susceptibility of the individual to factors such as family history (genetic predisposition), sensitivity to certain food, allergens, metals and chemicals. The doctor prescribes internal remedies capable of correcting these factors.
It is more dangerous to apply ointments, lotions than leaving the lesions as it is. conventional treatment systemic corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed in very severe cases. Oral prednisone and injected triamcinalone (Kenalog) are examples. Even Stronger medications such as cyclosporine A (Neoral) are sometimes used in severe cases. Adverse effects from prolonged courses or high doses of systemic steroids may include:
In conventional treatment antihistamines, such as hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril) and doxepin (Sinequan), may be prescribed to control itching. They may cause drowsiness, dizziness, and headache, loss of appetite, stomach upset, vision changes, irritability, dry mouth and nose.
Antibiotics are given to treat the secondary infections.
In contrast homeopathy helps in correcting the altered immune system of the patient responsible for atopic dermatitis or eczema. In homeopathy individualized treatment is given. To find the proper remedy a doctor collects all the past medical history of the person, his / her family history, and his / her physical and psychological characteristics and so on. All this information helps the homeopath to find a remedy which not only will remove the atopic dermatitis or eczema but will also remove the disposition to acquire such diseases.
Body stands as one unit and all organs whether it may be skin, kidney, lungs, brain and so on are linked some way or the other and disorder in one part can easily affect the other. For example stress can worsen many diseases including atopic dermatitis or eczema. It is homeopathy which will direct its treatment towards relieving stress not any other mode of treatment. It is a well known fact in the modern medicine that eczema like Atopic dermatitis is due to the inheritance of the allergy factor from either of the parents. So when a homeopath treats, he treats this inherited tendency to the disease so as to completely remove the disease.
Homoeopathic approach not only successfully removes the atopic dermatitis or eczema but also removes the possibility of development of other hypersensitivity disorders like asthma after the atopic dermatitis or eczema is cured.
How homeopathy helps
In a study conducted at Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College, a total number of 265 cases 154 (Males) and 111 (Females) of different types of allergic dermatitis : 94 cases of infective eczematoid dermatitis, 65 cases of pompholyx, 48 cases of nummular dermatitis, 30 cases of contact dermatitis, 7 cases of atopic dermatitis, 5 cases of drug induced dermatitis, 3 cases of photo dermatitis and 13 cases of non-specific dermatitis were included in the study for a period of 5 years (1993-1998).
Out of these 31 (11.7%) cases were dropped out of study for various reasons of not complying with the study design. Out of 234 reporting cases, 67 (25.2%) were completely cured, 34 cases (12.8%) had marked improvement and 104 (39.2%) cases had improvement ranging from mild to moderate degree. Only 28 (10.5%) cases got no relief and only one case became worse after treatment. The results clearly show that homeopathy is effective in the management of allergic dermatitis. With treatment complete recovery without relapses is possible.
There are 196 homeopathy remedies which give great relief in atopic dermatitis or eczema. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus medicines are designer made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same drugs although trade name may be different.
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known. It is believed to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, but the exact cause is not known. Stress can make the symptoms worse, but it does not cause the disease.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis according to the age group involved are:
Symptoms can also be divided into:
Factors that Worsen Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema
Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is based on the following criteria. To have atopic dermatitis, a patient must have three or more features from each of the two categories: