By Tom Cowan MD, author The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care
Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions in the world with at least 31.6 million sufferers in the United States alone. Ironically, despite the high prevalence of this disease, there is a persistent lack of effective eczema treatment for moderate to severe cases.
Among children, the prevalence of eczema is roughly 11% and as high as 18.1% in individual states. Approximately one out of every three children with eczema suffers from moderate to severe disease. What’s more, these children do not tend to outgrow the condition as research has suggested that the prevalence of eczema in adults is only slightly lower than cases of childhood eczema.
The standard conventional treatment for eczema is topical steroids such as hydrocortisone. While this eczema treatment magically clears up the skin within a matter of days, it can drive the disease deeper into the body with more serious negative health repercussions over the long term. In addition, steroid creams have serious side effects such as blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, uneven heartbeat, sleep problems, and weight gain or puffiness.
As a result, resolution of eczema via holistic, nontoxic therapies is of paramount importance so as not to cause additional health woes through a drug based approach to illness. With this in mind, here are 7 nontoxic suggestions for eczema treatment that have worked effectively in my practice over the years.
In addition to the therapies below, Sally Fallon Morell, co-author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care, suggests the application of raw, organic apple cider vinegar to help dry up and heal eczema lesions by restoring proper pH balance to the skin. She also suggests elimination of pasteurized dairy even if organic and switching to whole, raw grassfed milk which oftentimes produces miraculous results as a food based eczema treatment!
Healthy Fat and Probiotic Supplementation
For eczema and atopic dermatitis, the GAPS Diet along with a cod liver oil and probiotic supplement can prove extremely helpful. In addition, an oil mixture containing multiple seed oils such as evening primrose oil, coconut oil and flax seed oil can prove effective for eczema treatment. The brand I recommend is YES Essential Fatty Acid Blend. The dosage is 2 capsules, 2 times per day.
An effective, holistic alternative to drug based steroid cream like hydrocortisone is Dermrash from Dr. Kang Formulas. The primary ingredient of Dermrash is Sophora, an herb commonly used in Chinese medicine to counteract allergies. This is accomplished by stabilizing the mast cells, which produce histamine in the body. I have seen severe cases of eczema clear up with this sole remedy when this cream is applied to affected skin.
Consumption of Sea Vegetables
Detoxification is important for resolution of eczema problems. Sea vegetables are helpful to this end as they bind with heavy metals and other toxins and promote their excretion through bowel movements. A good choice that is available in capsule form is the brand Seagreens. A safe and effective dosage for treatment of eczema from mild to severe is 1-2 capsules, 2 times per day.
Seaweed baths soothe and nourish the skin and provide another avenue for detoxification via the body’s largest organ. In particular, Aalgo baths are helpful as an eczema treatment as they exfoliate the skin which allows it to breathe and regenerate healthy skin tissue more quickly.
If the eczema flare-up seems to be related to one or more vaccines, Thuja Thymus Complex from Uriel pharmacy can be used. The dosage is 3 pellets under the tongue first thing in the morning for treatment of eczema and atopic dermatitis. Thuja is the homeopathic remedy for vaccine reactions. The thymus extract helps to stimulate the thymus gland to normalize the immune response to the shots. The thymus gland makes T cells, which are an important player in the immune system.
Protomorphogen of the Skin
A protomorphogen is an extract from the same tissue type as that involved in the underlying illness. For issues with atopic dermatitis, the eczema treatment suggested is Dermatrophin from Standard Process which is a protomorphogen of the skin. This remedy binds the antibodies produced and facilitates excretion through the bowels instead of eruptions and inflammation of the skin. The dosage for eczema treatment is 1 tablet, 3 times per day, ideally between meals.
Eczema Treatment for Skin Infections
Sometimes eczema lesions can result in infections. This is something to watch out for and be very careful to discourage. If, despite your best efforts, skin infections are a problem, I recommend Andographis Complex to help them clear and heal quickly. The dosage for eczema treatment is 1-2 tablets per day until the infection is resolved.
Learn More About Holistic Baby and Child Care
If you found this information on holistic eczema treatment encouraging and would like to learn more about how to care for your child in a nontoxic manner, my 300+ page book The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care could be a helpful resource for you! It provides suggestions and alternatives to conventional medical advice from pre-pregnancy right through to the adolescent years.
About the Author
Thomas Cowan, MD, discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price and a fellow volunteer explained the arcane principles of Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Cowan graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Dr. Cowan is the author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care along with The Fourfold Path to Healing, a companion book to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the Foundation’s quarterly magazine and has lectured throughout the US and Canada. He has three grown children and currently practices medicine in San Francisco where he resides with his wife Lynda Smith Cowan.
Sources and More Information
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