Eczema Symptoms & Treatment

Not just a simple allergy to dust, house dust mites, pets or moulds.

Boy with Eczema

Many people and children with eczema have a simple allergy to dust, house dust mites, pets or moulds. With allergy testing it is possible to identify specific triggers.

His skin is softer than I have seen it in all his years. His eczema rashes are reducing greatly and I have had no use for the steroid cream for a few days now.  A.C. Lancs

Eczema, Mites, Pets & Homes

House dust mites thrive in a warm, humid environment such as modern, well insulated, centrally heated homes; their main habitat is bed mattresses, carpets and soft furnishings.  We know that they die in very low or very high temperatures and where the humidity is low.  Cooler, well ventilated homes discourage inhalant allergies.  Some patients have made the observation that their severe eczema, previously thought to be a permanent or irreversible problem, actually improves within days of arriving in any Mediterranean country or high in the mountains, where humidity is low, only to relapse on their return to the UK.  This confirms that eczema can partly or totally be reversed if we could effectively control the quality of the air we breathe.Eczema on man's hands

Eczema & Diet

Contrary to popular belief, eczema is not always caused by allergens in the air.  Some people find that their symptoms get worse after eating certain foods or additives and get better when they leave them out of their diet for 1-2 weeks.  On the basis of this observation, we can define by dietary tests, an elimination & challenge process which aims to identify specific foods, responsible for one's eczema. It is called Type-B, delayed or masked allergy and is a common cause of eczema as well as asthma and rhinitis. This kind of allergy is very different to peanut allergy, which is fast and potentially life threatening.

Eczema and chemicals

Several modern chemicals have been associated with contact eczema, which varies from the so-called housewive's hands, if it is caused by washing up liquids; allergy to latex, often affecting health professionals using latex gloves; to nickel sensitivity. It is relatively easy to pin point the specific substance causing this type of eczema.

Treatment for Eczema

Once the cause of eczema has been identified then the appropriate course of action will be discussed.  These could be simple avoidance, if specific food items are the cause.  If inhalants are the problem, such as house dust mite or pet dander, then we have a low-dose method of desensitisation which is very effective called Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation.


Clinical Trials re: Eczema

The following is a paper to give a flavour of some of the evidence to support the view that allergy, environmental medicine and nutritional medicine has a major role to play in the modern medical practice.

Double Blind Controlled Cross-Over Trial of an Antigen-Avoidance Diet in Atopic Eczema.
Atherton D.J. et al., Great Ormond Street.  Lancet: Feb 1978; pp401-3

With the avoidance of just two foods (milk and eggs), 14 out of 20 children improved  Link to article


How can we help you?

Identifying the root cause.
Eczema is often caused by allergies to common natural inhalants and intolerance to some foods. These factors can be identified with specific tests and come under control. Only a small proportion of eczema is caused by contact with chemicals such as detergents or nickel containing jewelery, which can be easily identified with blood tests or patch testing. Severe forms of atopic eczema often require a combination of therapeutic measures, including Desensitisation.

Specialist tips and notes

  • Eczema is used to describe many miscellaneous skin eruptions but the word means nothing with regard to underlying causes
  • One in two children is likely to grow out of eczema, but this can relapse in adult life
  • Most types of eczema seem to occur randomly in different parts of the body such as one or both palms or one side of the torso

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