A Medical Herbalist aims to treat the underlying causes as well as the symptoms to reduce the frequency and severity of these flare ups. Each child will vary in the causes, symptoms and severity of eczema so treatment is tailored to their individual requirements.
To find possible causes of eczema, herbalists look at the role of allergies to food such as dairy products, and airborne allergens such as house mites. Poor digestive function resulting from low stomach acid or changes to bowel flora composition may also contribute to the allergic response. Other possible triggers include temperature, stress, and soaps or detergents.
Treatment consists of a combination of herbs to be taken internally and rubbed on to the skin. The choice of herbs is individually tailored. For example, the choice of herbs in a cream depends on whether the skin is dry, weeping, itch or inflamed. Supplements could include: adding Vitamin B12 to the topical cream; a probiotic, Evening Primrose oil; and Vitamin D. Changes to the diet may also work.
Herbalists will try to work out ways to reduce scratching of the skin as this increases itching and can lead to secondary infection. Herbal treatment can be taken on its own or combined with orthodox treatment.
The following herb actions are considered for inclusion in the treatment:
· Anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation, redness and help soothe the skin
· Immune enhancing to help balance the immune response
· Antimicrobial to help fight infection
· Alteratives which help clear metabolic waste
· Anti-allergy and anti-histamine to reduce allergic responses
· Anti-puritics and emollients to reduce itching and soothe dry skin
· Nerve tonics to help cope with any stress
· Bitters to improve digestion