Eczema is a non-specific term that refers to an inflammatory presentation of a certain skin disorder of known or unknown origin. Eczema is a very common skin disease of children. If the baby develops eczema at the very early age of two or three months, there is often a family history of eczema or asthma. However, if a young baby does have eczema, it does not necessarily mean that he will suffer from this irritating skin condition all his life. Many children outgrow infantile eczema by the time they are around three years.
Eczema Causes and Symptoms
In eczema there is redness, localised swelling, vesicle formation, rupture of this vesicle, and subsequent moist or actual weepy, watery discharges from the lesions that leave behind raw surfaces. There is also an intense desire to itch. The person scratches the affected area, and the condition gets worse. The symptoms are often worse and aggravated at night.
There are various theories which suggest that this disorder has a constitutional / genetic predisposition. Other studies claim that a disturbed metabolism, nutritional allergies, stress, autoimmune dysfunction, emotional upheavals, precipitate an inherent predilection to present with this very distressing picture. This condition has two distinct presentations a dry eczema where there are dry lesions with a tendency to itch, and wet, weepy lesions that make it difficult for a person to function normally. According to ayurveda, the accumulation of toxins in the body, and their inadequate elimination, or a blockage in their elimination, leads to eczema.
In chronic eczema, the skin becomes thick and the skin surface marking is more prominent. Other changes in the skin which may accompany eczema include scratch marks and secondary bacterial infection. Prolonged scratching and rubbing the skin tends to polish finger nails.
Home Remedies For Eczema
Skin applications to cure eczema may give temporary relief, but if the exudation is suppressed, some other more serious disease of childhood may develop. The best way to deal with eczema is to cleanse the blood stream and the body.
Olive may be applied to dry, scaly patches. This will be sufficient to keep the rash under control.
Use of black strap molasses (sheera) has been found beneficial in this treatment of this disease. This is presumably due to its high nutritive properties. One tablespoon of molasses mixed in a half a glass of milk should be taken twice daily by grown up children. Improvements will be noticeable within two weeks time.
When there is a fresh patch of dry eczema, applying freshly made ghee (from cow’s milk butter only) and washing the area well a number of times, relieves the itch.
Dry the peel of a watermelon, the large variety that has a deep green skin and bright red pulp with black seeds. Burn the dried peel to an ash. Take a spoonful of this ash and add enough warm coconut oil to make a paste. Apply this on the eczematous patch.
This remedy can only be tried in summer when this fruit is in season-a 40-day diet of eating only sweet muskmelons should be undertaken under the supervision of a qualified and experienced ayurveda. Fresh juice taken daily is also beneficial. This can be taken as a beverage, and also used for local application.
6. Finger Millet
The green leaves of finger millet (ragi) are valuable in chronic eczema. The fresh juice of these leaves should be applied over the affected area in the treatment of the eczema.
Take a piece of sandalwood and rub it on a smooth stone or chopping board with a few drops of water. Collect a tablespoonful of the paste. Use a nutmeg to do the same, and collect a tablespoonful of this liquid too. Mix the two together and apply it on the skin. Nutmeg blocks the pain and sandalwood soothes the itching of inflamed tissue. This remedy should only be used sometimes to relieve extreme distress. Nutmeg gets absorbed and may cause toxic symptoms if the accumulated dose is too much. Use sparingly. A pinch of camphor can be substituted for nutmeg. Camphor is also derived from a tree-cinnamomum camphora. When used topically, it has an antipruritic effect. However, this too can have a toxic effect, so it should be used sparingly.
8. Neem Decoction
Use a diluted neem decoction for washing the weepy lesions twice a day, then pat them dry.
9. Neem Leaf
Apply a paste made with a tablespoon of fresh, crushed neem leaf and a teaspoon of turmeric powder. If possible, use a fresh turmeric root. Add a spoonful of sesame seed oil. Apply once a day.
The baby or child should get as much fresh air as possible. He should drink plenty of water and bath twice daily. the skin with the exception of part affected with eczema, should be vigorously rubbed with the palms before taking bath. The child patient avoid tea, coffee and all condiments and highly flavored and tinned or bottled foods.