Eczema and Dermatitis
Eczema is one of the commonest reasons for dry, sensitive skin, taking its name from the Greek word ECZEMA, meaning to boil. This is an apt description of the inflamed rash, which is often accompanied by an intense itching, which makes scratching almost inevitable. One person in ten has eczema at some time in their life, and it affects all age groups.
Types of Eczema
There are many types of eczema. These are some of the main types of eczema :
Atopic Dermatitis : It may develop at any age but it is most commonly found in babies and young children. Atopic eczema is thought to run in families and it is part of a group of atopic conditions, which include eczema, asthma and hay fever.
Seborrhoeic Eczema : Seborrhoeic eczema is not normally itchy. There are two types of this condition: one is most commonly seen in babies; the second is fairly common in younger adults. Areas affected tend to be the oily parts of the body, such as the scalp, face, groin and chest.
Discoid Eczema : This condition is usually confined to the arms and legs and consists of scaly, itchy, coin-shaped patches that can blister and weep.
Varicose Eczema : This is a condition of the legs, commonly found in the elderly and people with varicose veins.
Contact Dermatitis : There are two types – irritant and allergic. Irritant is caused by exposure to substances such as soaps, detergents, engine oils, hair dyes and bleaches. Allergy is caused by specific sensitivity to a material such as nickel, chrome or rubber.
Atopic Dermatitis or eczema is an itchy, dry hypersensitive skin disorder affecting many people. It is common in children but can occur at any age. It is not infectious or contagious. The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown. It may be hereditary. The patient or some family members may have other hypersensitive conditions like asthma or hay fever. The rash may appear red, wet and weepy or dry, thickened and scaly. When the disease starts during infancy, it is sometimes called infantile eczema. This is an itchy, crusted rash that tends to be localized principally on the face and scalp, but can appear at the other sites. Scratching often aggravates the rash. The skin thickens and becomes darker. It is a chronic condition. It can affect any part of the body, particularly the elbow bends, back of the knees and the neck.
Decoction of Rubia cordifolia (Manjishtha) should be taken in the dose of 30 ml. thrice a day.
Paste of margosa leaves (Neem) used for local application of works well as a disinfectant.
Powder of three myrobalans, embelia seeds, and long pepper should be taken in the dose of 2 Gms. daily.
Powder of leadwort root, embelia seeds, three myrobalans, fruits of puncture vine, black pepper, and turmeric along with equal parts of powder of margosa leaves and bark should be taken in the dose of 2-3 gms. thrice a day.
Food recipes, which are light to digest, such as recipes prepared from green grams, horse grams, embolic myrobalan, bitter gourd, drumstick, etc., are advised in chronic dermatoses.
Pungent, spicy, very sour and salty food items, yogurt, fish, black grams etc. should be avoided as far as possible.
Personal hygiene should be maintained and contact with the allergens should be avoided.