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Eczema is the common term for atopic
dermatitis—a chronic, allergic skin irritation. An itchy, flaking
rash may appear on the inner surface of elbows and knees, the backs
of the upper arms, wrists, cheeks, scalp, or eyelids. From the
homeopathic point of view, the suppression of skin eruptions
(especially with cortisone or other drugs) can lead to deeper health
problems. Homeopathic and herbal remedies can be soothing during
flare-ups—but for deeper treatment, a constitutional remedy should
be chosen by an experienced practitioner, to fit a person on many
levels, and bring the body into better balance.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Antimonium crudum: People likely to
respond to this remedy have eczema with thick, cracked skin and are
also prone to indigestion. They are usually sensitive and
sentimental, love to eat (craving pickles, vinegar, and other sour
things), and may be overweight. Children can be shy and irritable,
insisting that they not be touched or looked at. Itching is worse
from warmth and sun exposure. Antimonium crudum is often
indicated for impetigo, plantar warts, and calluses, as well as
Arsenicum album: People who need
this remedy usually are anxious, restless, and compulsively neat and
orderly. The skin is dry, itches, and burns intensely. Scratching
can make the itching worse, and applying heat will bring relief.
Indigestion with burning pain and a general feeling of chilliness
are often seen when Arsenicum is indicated.
Arum triphyllum: This remedy can be
useful when allergic skin eruptions are focused on the lower part of
the face, especially around the mouth. The chin may look chapped and
feel hot and irritated. The lips are cracked (and usually raw from
the person picking them) and the nostrils may be sore. People who
need this remedy are often inclined toward throat irritation and
Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is
suited to people who are chilly with clammy hands and feet, and tend
to develop eczema and cracking skin that is worse in the wintertime.
They are easily fatigued by exertion, and feel anxious and
overwhelmed if ill or overworked. Cravings for sweets and eggs, a
sluggish metabolism, and a tendency toward weight problems are other
indications for Calcarea.
Calendula: This remedy (in
potentized homeopathic form) can be helpful if the irritated skin
has a tendency to get infected. Topical use of the unpotentized herb
in lotion, gel, or tincture form is soothing to irritated skin, and
can often ease inflammation and prevent infection without
artificially suppressing it.
Graphites: People likely to respond
to this remedy have tough or leathery skin with cracks and soreness,
and often have a long-term history of skin disorders (impetigo,
herpes, etc.) The areas behind the ears, around the mouth, or on the
hands are often cracked, with a golden oozing discharge that hardens
into crusts. Itching is worse from getting warm in bed, and the
person will often scratch the irritated places till they bleed.
Difficulty concentrating, especially in the morning, is often seen
in a person who needs Graphites.
Hepar sulphuris calcareum: This
remedy may be helpful to very sensitive, chilly people whose eczema
is extremely sore and becomes infected easily. The skin, especially
on the hands and feet, looks chapped and deeply cracked and is very
slow to heal. The person usually feels vulnerable and irritable,
with a low resistance to illness and infection.
Mezereum: A person who needs this
remedy often has strong anxiety, felt physically in the stomach.
Intensely itching eruptions start as blisters, then ooze and form
thick crusts, and scratching can lead to thickened skin. Cold
applications often help the itch (although the person is chilly in
general). A craving for fat and a tendency to feel better in open
air are other indications for Mezereum.
Petroleum: This remedy is indicated
for individuals whose skin is extremely dry and tends to crack,
especially on the fingertips and palms. Eczema is worse in winter,
with deep, sore cracks that often bleed. The person feels a cold
sensation after scratching. Itching is worse at night and from
getting warm in bed. The skin is easily infected, and may get tough
and leathery from chronic irritation.
Rhus toxicodendron: A person whose
eczema has blisterlike eruptions that look red and swollen, itch
intensely, and are soothed by hot applications may respond to this
remedy. The person is restless from discomfort and often is very
irritable and anxious. Muscle stiffness, relieved by warmth and
motion, is also likely. A person who needs Rhus tox often
craves cold milk.
Sulphur: Intensely burning,
itching, inflamed eruptions that are worse from warmth and worse
from bathing suggest a need for this remedy. Affected areas may be
red, with scaling or crusted skin. Eruptions can be either dry or
moist. This remedy is sometimes helpful to people who have
repeatedly used medications and ointments on their eczema without
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
The results reported may not necessarily occur in all
individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health
problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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