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Homeopathic Remedies for Eczema

Also indexed as: Atopic Dermatitis, Dermatitis (Eczema), Skin (Eczema)

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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 Is Homeopathy?

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 eczema.

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 hoarseness.

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 forCalcarea.

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.

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.

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.

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 success.

Homeopathy Dosage Directions

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.

Many homeopathic 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 sufficient.

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 Homeopathic Potencies.

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