Eczema and dermatitis are now regarded as the same thing. You can treat just the symptoms with antihistamines or cortisone cream or you can work with the body to strengthen and balance the immune system and improve the condition permanently. To get results this way it helps immensely to have an understanding of the root causes of eczema and work on those.
Eczema represents an imbalance in the immune system caused by things like low stomach acid, overgrowth of bad bacteria in the intestines and a leaky gut, food allergies, zinc deficiency and an inherited tendency to atopy (genetic tendency to form excessive IgE antibodies). It’s said that ‘genes are the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger’. This genetic tendency to atopy can be brought out by antibiotic usage, deficiency of zinc and essential fatty acids and can be modified by diet, nutrition and the right probiotic.
Once the eczema has been established for a while, the barrier function of the skin is compromised and normally harmless skin bacteria can cause infection, adding to the inflammation. Also, airborne allergens can penetrate the damaged skin and aggravate the inflammation.
To assess a child with eczema, we would take a case history including relatives’ health issues, birth and breast feeding history and antibiotic usage. We would do an Indican test on a urine sample to check for leaky gut and a zinc taste test to check zinc status. We may use applied kinesiology to assess food allergies, or iridology. All these tests except the zinc test can be used with infants.
Once we've found the causes for that particular child, it's a simple matter of using the right diet and remedies to bring the immune system back into balance. Usually there is a great improvement in 2 to 3 weeks.
The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG has a proven track record of improving eczema. If we found the child or infant to have leaky gut and bacterial overgrowth, we would use remedies to kill off bad bacteria and well as this probiotic to balance the immune system. Eczema Relief cream containing Calendula and Myrrh gives symptomatic relief from itching and inflammation.For natural relief of eczema or dermatitis, see Naturopaths Cameron Stirling or Michelle Carroll, or Herbalist Mylinda Johnson at Sunshine Health, 5483 7688.