Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a group of diseases that results in inflammation of the skin. These diseases are characterized by itchiness, red skin, and a rash. In cases of short duration there may be small blisters while in long-term cases the skin may become thickened. The area of skin involved can vary from small to the entire body.
>Dermatitis is a group of skin conditions that includes –
- Atopic dermatitis
- Allergic contact dermatitis – eczema due to allergy to certain things.
- Irritant contact dermatitis,
- Stasis dermatitis – eczema due to stasis in venous return.
The exact cause of dermatitis is often unclear, though environmental & genetic factors are more likely to cause eczema / dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis can occur from exposures to substances a person is sensitive to.
Signs & symptom –Dermatitis symptoms vary with all different forms of the condition. There are certain common signs that are for all of them, including redness of the skin, swelling, itching and skin lesions with sometimes oozing and scarring. Also, the area of the skin on which the symptoms appear tends to be different with every type of dermatitis. More rarely, it may appear on the genital area, such as the vulva or scrotum. Symptoms of this type of dermatitis may be very intense and may come and go. Irritant contact dermatitis is usually more painful than itchy.
- Common symptoms of atopic dermatitis are — dry, itchy, red skin. Typical affected skin areas include the folds of the arms, the back of the knees, wrists, face and hands. Perioral dermatitis refers to a red bumpy rash around the mouth.
- Dermatitis herpetiformis symptoms include — itching, stinging and a burning sensation. Papules and vesicles are commonly present. The small red bumps experienced in this type of dermatitis are usually about 1 cm in size, red in color and may be found symmetrically grouped or distributed on the upper or lower back, buttocks, elbows, knees, neck, shoulders, and scalp. Less frequently, the rash may appear inside the mouth or near the hairline.
- The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis tend to appear gradually, from dry or greasy scaling of the scalp (dandruff) to hair loss. In severe cases, pimples may appear along the hairline, behind the ears, on the eyebrows, on the bridge of the nose, around the nose, on the chest, and on the upper back. In newborns, the condition causes a thick and yellowish scalp rash, often accompanied by a diaper rash.
>Diagnosis — It is based mostly on the history and physical examination
Management – it includes
- Lifestyle – Bathing once or more a day is recommended
- Medications — Corticosteroids
- Light therapy
>Treatment of atopic dermatitis is typically with moisturizers and steroid creams. The steroid creams should generally be of mild- to high strength and used for less than two weeks at a time as side effects can occur.
- Antibiotics may be required if there are signs of skin infection.
- Contact dermatitis is typically treated by avoiding the allergen or irritant.
- Antihistamines may help with sleep and to decrease nighttime scratching.
Homoeopathic treatment–Though there are so many medicines available in homoeopathy for eczema / dermatitis, one should consult homoeopathic physician for proper treatment & complete cure according to patient’s individuality. There are some medicines given below here, which are very effective in the treatment of eczema.
- Natrum Muriaticum — for dry Eczema. It is mainly prescribed for dry Eczema which is present at the edges of hairy scalp or in bends of joints like elbow or knee joint. The affected area appears red and inflamed. Eczema getting worse due to eating too much salt is a unique feature for relying on this medicine. Eczema which gets aggravated at the seashore. The patient cannot bear the heat of sun and craves for salty things in excess.
- Graphites — for Eczema of Weeping Type. The weeping type of Eczema occurs between toes or fingers, scalp and behind the ears. The leading symptom for Graphites to be used is the discharge of transparent sticky fluid from the eruptions of Eczema. It also works well for the treatment of Eczema of eyelids where the eyelids appear red and there are crusty eruptions with glutinous discharges. The eczematous eruptions of scalp also discharge a sticky fluid of foul odor and heat on the top of the head accompanies it.
- Sulphur — for Eczema with excessive itching which usually gets worse at night, from the heat of the bed. Scratching brings relief from itching, but a burning sensation follows scratching. The skin of patients is very unhealthy and always looks dirty. A dislike for bathing is a strong indication for Sulphur. Excessive heat in palms and soles. There is an unusual craving for sweets in excess. Sulphur is very beneficial for cases of Eczema that have got worse by the indiscriminate use of external ointments.
- Lycopodium Clavatum — for Eczema with gastric or urinary trouble. It is suited to those patients, in whom violent itching and bleeding is present in eczematous eruptions. The itching is mainly worse from around 4pm to 8pm. The itching can get worse from heat and better by uncovering the affected part. Lycopodium Clavatum is also of great help where deep fissures with hardened skin are present in longstanding cases of Eczema. An unusual craving for warm drinks is usually noted.
- Sepia Officinalis — for dry Eczema in bends of elbow, knee joints. The indicating feature is a violent itching in eruptions, but there is no relief from scratching. The itching gets worse from cold air exposure. The skin is dry with cracks in it. Sepia Officinalis can also be of great help for women of menopausal age suffering from Eczema.
Homeopathic medicines for treatment of Stasis Eczema — Stasis Eczema affects legs due to stasis of blood in the varicose veins. To treat Stasis Eczema, Homeopathic medicines Calcarea Fluorica, Pulsatilla Pratensis and Hamamelis Virginiana prove to be very effective. These Homeopathic medicines help in reducing Eczema by improving the blood flow in the veins.