Eczema – Causes, Symptoms & Best Homeopathic Medicines

Eczema - Causes, Symptoms and Best Homeopathic Medicines

This article will cover the best homeopathic remedies for eczema, causes of eczema, symptoms, risk factors, management & complete treatment.

The term eczema is derived from the Greek word ‘to boil’ and it is also called ‘dermatitis’.

It often affects children. In many cases, eczema gets better over years, and it may go away for a while or disappear forever. Acute flare-ups can affect the quality of life. The itching is the main cause of uneasiness, making it difficult to concentrate and sleep well.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a non-contagious inflammatory disease of the skin in response to an endogenous (internal) or exogenous (external) stimulus.

Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin which is characterized by itching, redness, and oozing of vesicular lesions which can become scaly, crusted, or may get hardened.

Eczema weakens the skin’s barrier function, which is responsible for helping the skin to retain moisture and protect the body from outside elements. Eczema is a skin disease that occurs due to a weak immune system.

Types of Eczema

The eczemas are classified into two groups based on their causes, which are as follows:

Exogenous (or contact)

Endogenous (or constitutional)


  • Irritant contact dermatitis:

Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by repeated exposure to a substance that irritates the skin, eg: acids and alkalis, harsh detergents, fabric softeners, solvents, hair dyes, cement, and some shampoos

People who regularly use or work with these substances have a higher risk of developing irritant contact dermatitis.

Napkin’s eczema in babies is common and is due to irritant ammoniacal urine and feces.

  • Allergic contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the immune system of a person reacts to a particular substance which is known as an allergen.

Possible allergens include:

  • glues and adhesives
  • latex and rubber
  • some medications, such as topical and oral antibiotics
  • fabrics and clothing dyes
  • some plants, including poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac
  • ingredients in some makeup, nail polishes, creams, hair dyes, and other cosmetics
  • certain metals, such as nickel and cobalt


  • Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, is the most common type of eczema. It is a genetically determined disorder in which there is increased liability to form IgE antibodies and increased susceptibility to certain diseases like asthma, hay fever, and dermatitis.

Symptoms are usually present from an early age and they can range from mild to severe. A child is more likely to develop atopic dermatitis if one of their parents has had it.

Children with atopic dermatitis have a higher risk of food sensitivity. They are also more likely to develop asthma and hay fever.

Some children may grow out of atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis causes dry patches of the skin which can become red, itchy, and inflamed. These patches usually appear in the folds of the elbows and knees and on the face, neck, and wrists.

Scratching can make the itching worse and make the skin ooze clear fluid. With time repeated scratching or rubbing can cause the patch of skin to thicken.

An individual with atopic dermatitis usually experiences flare-ups, where eczema gets worse for time being.

Triggers of flare-ups include:

  • low humidity, cold weather, and extreme changes in temperature
  • irritants, such as detergents, soaps, perfumes, and fragrances
  • dust
  • animal hair and saliva
  • skin infections
  • certain fabrics, such as wool and synthetics
  • hormonal changes, often before periods or during pregnancy
  • food allergies
  • Seborrheic dermatitis:

The word “Seborrheic” means the “sebaceous” glands, while the word “derm” means “skin”, and ‘itis’ stands for inflammation. It’s called “dandruff” (pityriasis capitis) when it’s on a teenager’s or adult’s scalp, and “cradle cap” when it’s on a baby’s.

Seborrheic dermatitis can occur in other areas of the body. These are areas with the most sebaceous (oil) gland activity: upper back and chest, face/forehead, the folds at the base of the nose, behind the ears, navel (belly button), eyebrows, under the breasts and in the folds of the arms, legs, and groin.

Seborrheic dermatitis usually last lifelong, it appears, disappears with treatment, and flares up from time to time.

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include

  • Itchy white flakes of skin on the scalp (dandruff). When the scalp is scratched, the flakes become loose, mix in with the hair, or fall onto the neck and shoulders.
  • Red scales on the skin.
  • Crusty yellow scales on infants’ heads (cradle cap). The cradle cap should be avoided to itch, since scratching it may cause additional inflammation in the area and break the skin, leading to bleeding or mild infections.
  • Blepharitis (scaly redness on the edges of the eyelids).
  • Pinkish plaques (thick skin) of scales on both sides of the face.
  • Flaky patches on the chest and at the hairline that are shaped like a flower petal or a ring.
  • Redness in the folds and creases of the genitals, armpits, and beneath the breasts.
  • Inflamed hair follicles on the cheeks and the upper half of the trunk.

Factors that are thought to play a role include:

  • A type of yeast called Malassezia is present on everyone’s skin but overgrows in some people.
  • An increased level of androgens (a hormone).
  • An increased level of skin lipids.
  • An inflammatory reaction.
  • Family history (dermatitis runs in the family).

Other factors that trigger or worsen seborrheic dermatitis include:

  • Stress.
  • Cold and dry climate.
  • Oily skin.
  • Using alcohol-based lotions.
  • History of other skin disorders, including rosacea, psoriasis, and acne
  • Discoid eczema

Discoid eczema or nummular eczema is recognizable due to the disc-shaped patches of itchy, red, cracked, and swollen skin that it causes.

The discs typically appear on the lower legs, torso, and forearms. Sometimes, the center of the disc clears up, leaving a ring of red skin.

Discoid eczema can occur in people of any age, including children.

As with other types of eczema, the causes of discoid eczema are not fully understood. However, known triggers and risk factors include:

  • dry skin
  • skin injuries, such as friction or burns
  • insect bites
  • poor blood flow
  • cold climate
  • bacterial skin infections
  • certain medications
  • atopic dermatitis
  • Varicose eczema

Varicose eczema is also known as venous or gravitational eczema. It is seen commonly in older adults with varicose veins.

Getting older and being less active can weaken the veins in a person’s legs. This can lead to both varicose veins and varicose eczema.

Varicose eczema typically affects the lower legs and symptoms can include:

  • hot, itchy spots or blisters
  • dry, scaly skin
  • weepy, crusty patches
  • cracked skin

The skin on the lower leg may become fragile, so it is important to avoid scratching and picking at the spots and blisters.

  • Dyshidrotic eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema may cause small blisters.

Dyshidrotic eczema, or pompholyx eczema, typically appears in adults under 40 years of age. It usually occurs on the hands and feet and has characteristic symptoms, including intense itching and the appearance of small blisters.

In some cases, the blisters can become large and watery. The blisters may become infected too, which can lead to pain and swelling with oozing pus.

Blisters typically clear up within a few weeks. The skin often becomes dry and cracked following this, which may lead to painful skin fissures.

It is unclear what causes dyshidrotic eczema. However, it is more common in people who have:

  • hay fever
  • atopic dermatitis or a family history of atopic dermatitis
  • fungal skin infections

Dyshidrotic eczema may be a form of contact dermatitis. People with dyshidrotic eczema also tend to experience flare-ups from time to time.

Causes of Eczema

The exact cause of eczema is unclear.

Recent studies explain atopic dermatitis as a complex skin disease that is caused by an interaction between a person’s environment and their genes. People with eczema tend to have an overactive immune system that responds to topical irritants or allergens by producing inflammation.

Following are some of the causes of Eczema:

Immune system:

If the individual has an overactive immune system, it will react to slight allergens and triggers.

The immune system considers these allergens as foreign invaders, which are a threat to the body, in response to this it activates the body’s defense mechanism leading to inflammation.


Environmental triggers include exposure to pollutants, low humidity, harsh soaps, medications, etc. which can trigger a set of an immune responses.


The individual is more likely to develop eczema if he has a family history of it.

In some cases genetic mutation has taken place, hindering the normal protective function of the skin.


High levels of stress, depression, and anxiety also lead to flare-ups of eczema.

Symptoms of Eczema

Acute eczema symptoms:

  • Redness and swelling, usually with ill-defined margins.
  • Papules, vesicles, and more rarely big blisters.
  • Exudation and crackling.
  • Scaling

Chronic eczema symptoms:

  • Many show all of the above features though it is usually less vesicular and exudative.
  • Thickening: lichenification, a dry leathery thickening with increased skin markings is secondary to rubbing and scratching and is most often seen in atopic eczemas
  • Fissures and scratch marks
  • Pigmentation

Risk factors of Eczema

The following are the risk factors of Eczema:

  • Age – Being younger has been seen to be a risk factor for atopic dermatitis as infants and young children are most commonly affected by the condition with roughly 65% of cases occurring before the age of one and roughly 90% occurring before the age of five 5.
  • Harsh detergents and soaps – these irritate the skin and may cause flare-ups.
  • Low humidity – The lack of moisture in low-humidity areas may trigger the skin to react adversely.
  • Overwashing of the skin and frequent hand washing, can dry out and agitate the skin.
  • Sweating – The sodium found in perspiration can dehydrate the skin and lead to irritation.

Diagnosis of Eczema

There is no specific lab test to diagnose eczema.

The physician will make a diagnosis based on the examination of the skin and by taking a medical history.

A skin patch test can be used to rule out other skin diseases.

Diagnosis can be made based on Identifying conditions that weaken the immune system like diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid, these diseases may accompany eczema. Laboratory investigation should be performed to rule out such conditions.

Identifying potential food allergies is also an important factor in diagnosing the cause.

Prevention and management of Eczema

The risk of developing eczema is mostly hereditary. No studies have shown that anything can effectively prevent it.

Breastfeeding possibly lowers the risk of eczema somewhat. But the research results are not clear. There are so many different factors involved because of this it is very unclear say the exact cause of eczema. Also, the causes of this skin condition are not completely understood.

Eczema is a chronic condition. Treatment cannot cure it, but regular skin care and medication can help to keep the itching and rash at bay. The main treatment options are:

  • Basic treatment: Lipid-replenishing and moisturizing products (emollients) are generously applied to the skin at least twice a day to keep it from drying out. This protects the skin from germs and irritants and also relieves itching.
  • Special soaps, liquid cleansers, and shampoos: Normal soaps and products like shampoo or shower gel contain various substances that can dry out your skin. Special cleansing products without these substances are available to get around this problem.
  • Steroid creams: Eczema flare-ups are usually treated with steroid creams because they can relieve the itching and inflammation. They are typically used only for acute symptoms. But they can be used at regular intervals together with moisturizing skin care products (basic treatment).
  • Other eczema treatment options include wet wraps, UV radiation, and medications that suppress certain immune responses.
  • Allergy medications (antihistamines) are also commonly used to relieve itching.

Homeopathy has proved effective in treating all types of eczema.

Best homeopathic medicines for Eczema

Eczemas are considered to be an immune-mediated condition which means that the origin is from within the body. Hence the treatment should also involve the internal process, which is only possible in homeopathy.

Hence, homeopathy will help alter the body’s immune mechanism and help reduce the intensity and frequency of eczema. That is, the condition is uprooted from the root cause and not superficially by applying local ointments.

The duration of treatment will depend upon the severity of eczema. In mild cases, improvement can be seen in 4-5 weeks, whereas in severe cases will take a longer time.

Now, let’s go through some of the homeopathic medicines that can help to treat eczema.

Some of the best homeopathic medicines for the treatment of eczema are mentioned below.

  • Arsenicum album
  • Graphites
  • Hepar sulph
  • Mezerium
  • Rhus tox
  • Sulphur
  • Antimonium crudum
  • Aurum triphyllum
  • Calendula
  • Petroleum

1. Arsenicum album: Eczema with burning, itching, dry skin.

Arsenicum album is a wonderful remedy for eczema which is accompanied by asthma.

The symptoms include dry, rough, itchy skin with a burning sensation of eruption.

Itching and burning of the skin are worsened by cold.

Arsenicum album is indicated in cases where eczema is present with asthmatic symptoms, marked with dyspnea, suffocative attacks, cough, and feeling of constriction of the air passage.

Arsenicum album is an excellent remedy for cases of eczema associated with hay fever. Both these conditions may co-exist or may alternate with one another.

Indicated in patients who are usually anxious, restless, and very neat and orderly.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

2. Graphites: for dry eczema and moist eczema oozing glutinous discharge.

Graphites work wonderfully in cases of both dry and wet eczema.

Indicated in dry eczema where the skin becomes excessively dry and rough, accompanied by intense irritation.

Indicated in moist eczema where the skin eruption oozes moist and sticky glutinous honey-like discharge.

This remedy is also used for treating the eczema of eyelids with red margins and scaliness.

It also works for eczema between fingers and toes oozing glutinous fluid.

Dosage and potency:- 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

3. Sulphur: for eczema where the skin is skin is dirty looking, dry with intense burning.

Sulphur is useful in treating cases of eczema associated with excessive itching and dry eczema rash. This patient tends to scratch intensely which usually gets worse at night and from the heat of bed.

Scratching brings relief from the itching but it is followed by a burning sensation.

The skin of sulphur patients looks very dirty and unhealthy.

Indicated for eczema of folds of skin and hairy parts. Pruritis which is worse by washing.

Sulphur is helpful in people who have repeatedly used ointments and other medications without any healing of eczema.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

4. Hepar sulph: eczema which gets infected easily and which is worse by cold.

Hepar sulph is an effective remedy for moist eczema with itching in the folds of the skin, and eczema of the genitals and scrotum.

Indicated in individuals where eczema becomes extremely sore and gets infected easily.

The eczema is worse during cold dry winds and better in damp rainy weather and warmth.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

5. Mezereum: for eczema where the eruption starts as blisters and then oozes and forms a thick crust.

A person who needs this remedy often has strong anxiety, felt physically in the stomach. Intensely itching eruptions start as blisters, then ooze and form thick crusts, and scratching can lead to thickened skin.

Cold applications often help the itch although the person is chilly in general. A craving for fat and a tendency to feel better in the open air are other indications of Mezereum.

Useful in the treatment of eczema on the hairy parts, with intolerable itching. Head covered with thick, leathery crusts with thick pus underneath. Hair becomes glued together. Bad smell from crusts and pus.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

6. Rhus Tox: for eczema of blister-like eruptions with a lot of itching.

Rhus Tox is an effective remedy for eczema of blister-like eruptions that look red and swollen, with a lot of itching, which is better by hot application.

When the blister disappears the skin becomes red. The patient is restless from the discomfort and often very irritable and anxious.

The secretion is offensive. Burning eczematous eruptions in winter and damp weather.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

7. Petroleum: for dry eczema with the tendency to sore crack and bleed.

Petroleum is an effective remedy when eruptions appear on palms and feet with excessive and offensive perspiration.

Itching and burning are always felt. The itching is worse at night and from the warmth of the bed. Petroleum has yellowish-green thick crusts on the face and neck. On scratching a liquid comes out which often bleeding.

Petroleum is effective for eczema disappears in summer and reappears in winter. Eczema with a fissure on hands and behind ears. The discharge is thin and watery.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

8. Antim crud: for eczema thick cracked skin.

Indicated in individuals suffering from eczema with thick, cracked skin and are also prone to indigestion. They are usually sensitive and sentimental, love to eat there is crave pickles, vinegar, and other sour things, and may be overweight.

Children can be shy and irritable, insisting that they not be touched or looked at.

Itching is worse from warmth and sun exposure. Antimonium crudum is often indicated for impetigo, plantar warts, and calluses, as well as eczema.

Dosage and potency:- 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

9. Calendula-For preventing infection

This remedy is useful in eczema that itches excessively and causes bleeding on scratching, some wounds result from scratching.

Calendula promotes the formation of healthy skin, it can be used as a specific in eczematous conditions anywhere on the skin surface.

It acts as an antiseptic and prevents infection

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

10. Aurum triphyllum: fro eczema due to an allergic cause.

This remedy can be useful when allergic skin eruptions are focused on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth.

The chin may look chapped and feel hot and irritated. The lips are cracked and usually raw from the person picking them and the nostrils may be sore.

People who need this remedy are often inclined toward throat irritation and hoarseness.

Dosage and potency: 30c to 200c depending upon symptom similarity.

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