What is Atopic Dermatitis
The word ‘atopic’ refers to diseases that are hereditary and tend to run in families. The word ‘dermatitis’ means inflammation of the skin.
Atopic dermatitis is also known as ‘AD’.
It is a skin disease characterized by severe itching, redness, scaling and excoriation. Excoriation means loss of surface of the skin.
The skin of a patient with atopic dermatitis becomes allergic and prone to infections.
In young children it generally affects scalp, neck, face, arms, and legs.
Older children and adults are usually affected on the neck, inside of elbows and back of knees.
Itching aggravates atopic dermatitis.
It usually alternates with other allergic disorders like asthma.
Atopic dermatitis is not contagious.
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known.
Most probably it is caused by a combination of autoimmune disorder, environmental & genetic factors.
Stress makes the symptoms worse, but it does not cause the disease.
In young children’s lesions are red, scaly, oozy, and crusty. It generally involves scalp, face, neck, arms & legs.
In older children’s lesions are dry, thick, scaly, and itchy. It generally involves neck, folds of elbows and knees.
In adult’s lesions are thick, leathery and dull looking. It involves face, neck, hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
In conventional treatment there is no cure for atopic dermatitis. Allopathy only improves symptoms to some extent.
- Topical corticosteroids: These are available in the form of creams or ointments which help to control skin itching and inflammation. Overuse of these causes various side effects like thinning of skin, change in skin color, increased hair growth, acne, steroid rosacea, glaucoma, tachyphylaxis and so on.
- Topical Immunomodulators: These are relatively new creams but loaded with serious side effects.
- Oral corticosteroids: When creams and ointments do not work then the doctor prescribes oral corticosteroids. These have lots of side effects like:
- Suppression of immune system leading to bacterial, fungal infections like cellulitis, tinea, candida, tuberculosis and so on.
- Skin thinning resulting in easy bleeding, injury, slow healing and stretch marks.
- Multiple acne on face, chest and upper back.
- Antihistamines: These medicines control itching. These have many side effects like headache, dizziness, drowsiness, irritability, dryness of mouth & nose, vision changes, stomach upset, loss of appetite.
- Antibiotics: These are given to treat secondary infections due to itching. These have many side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, stomach pain, bone marrow depression, damage to liver & kidneys.
The biggest frustration is that atopic dermatitis comes back as soon as allopathic medicines are stopped and usually it becomes more worse than before.
Classical homeopathy does not believe in suppression of skin symptoms.
In my practice, which I have been doing since 1997, I avoid prescribing external creams or ointments.
I prescribe remedies which helps in correcting the altered immune system of the patient because the basic cause of atopic dermatitis is disturbed immune system.
Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine which treats the body including mind.
For example, stress can worsen atopic dermatitis. In homeopathy we give special attention to treat stress. This helps in complete recovery of atopic dermatitis.
In many cases patients get atopic dermatitis due to inheritance through their parents.
So, when I treat atopic dermatitis then I prescribe remedies which deal with this inherited tendency so as to provide long lasting betterment.
It is seen quite often that when atopic dermatitis gets better then asthmatic bronchitis develops; but this does not happen with homeopathic treatment.
According to my clinical experience some improvement in atopic dermatitis starts in first couple of months but for complete recovery it takes approximately 1 to 2 years.
Number of Medicines
There are around 196 medicines in homeopathy for atopic dermatitis which are very effective.
Now which of these medicines are to be given, in how much potency, how many times in a day – this is a complicated process which only a highly qualified and experienced doctor can do.
A sensible doctor never prescribes on the name of the disease atopic dermatitis. He takes complete history of the patient, then studies his symptoms properly.
After this he selects the medicines keeping in mind the susceptibility of the patient and decides upon the potency and repetition of medicines.
In atopic dermatitis I prescribe for one month and then review the patient after that. Every month the case is studied again thereby finetuning the medicines and their potencies.
Nothing is fixed in homeopathic treatment; and remedies change according to the condition of the patient. As I always say, “homeopathy is not readymade, it is tailormade” and the treatment constantly changes according to the situation of the patient.
How much improvement you get in atopic dermatitis depends upon your choice of doctor.
Name of Medicines?
Friends, in this blog I have not named any medicines, nor I have promoted medicines of any company; because by doing so I will be playing with your health and may harm you. A sane doctor will never do this.
Research Studies About Role of Homeopathy in Atopic Dermatitis
In 1998 a study was conducted at Nehru Homeopathic Medical College, New Delhi which is a government institute.
A total number of 265 dermatitis cases were treated with homeopathy. Out of these 31 cases dropped out of study for various reasons, 67 cases were completely cured, 34 cases had major improvement and 104 cases had improvement ranging from mild to moderate degree. Only 28 cases got no relief which is around 10% and only 1 case became worse after treatment.
The results clearly show that homeopathy is effective and can cure 90% cases of dermatitis and that also without any side effects.
Top 12 Home Remedies
- Moisturize your skin twice a day; that is once after bathing and then before sleeping. You can use natural coconut oil or any dermatologically tested moisturizer.
- Don’t take long bath or shower. Don’t use hot water; you may use warm water. Take bath only once a day.
- Use only gentle soaps. Perfume soaps, antiseptic soaps should be avoided because they remove natural oils and dry your skin. You can use a good quality bodywash which has natural ingredients.
- Dry yourself carefully. After bathing pat skin dry with a soft towel and apply a good quality moisturizer while your skin is damp.
- Try to identify and avoid triggers that worsen your atopic dermatitis. I have seen in my clinical practice that triggering factors are different for every patient.
- Keep yourself cool; consider a humidifier.
- Avoid rough, scratchy, tight clothing and woollens.
- Loofahs and brushes should not be used while bathing.
- Avoid dusty and polluted environment.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- Try to avoid foods which have artificial colours and preservatives.
- Do yoga and meditation because stress aggravates atopic dermatitis.