Eczema from a Naturopathic Perspective

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is one of the most common skin conditions that affect our infants and children today.  Eczema typically presents with redness and swelling which ultimately leads to the development of an itchy, red rash.  It commonly arises in infancy or early childhood and may occur on any surface of the body.  This rash often leads parents to seek out medical attention.  The most common form of treatment for eczema is hydrocortisone cream applied to the area a few times a day.  This cream often resolves the rash while it is being utilized, however for many parents if they forget to apply the cream to their child’s skin the rash returns.  This is typically when parents present to our office looking for a more permanent solution or an alternative to the conventional topical steroid treatment.

The way that we approach eczema tends to differ slightly.  The problem is the result of an over reactive immune system so rather than treat the problem from the outside, we try to address it from the inside.  We want to understand why the body is creating this symptom on the skin.  One of the first things we look to address is to determine whether or not the child is suffering from any food intolerances.  If so, we will often eliminate the food for a short period of time to allow the flare up to calm down and will discuss with the parents an appropriate rate of re-introduction to avoid another flare.  We will also look at the health of the child’s digestive system, ensuring that they have the appropriate amount of healthy bacteria present as these healthy bacteria have been known to decrease our likelihood of developing eczema or future allergies.   We will address a child’s nutrient status and recommend various foods or supplements should they be necessary.  We will also look into any environmental factors that could be contributing (ie. is this due to a new laundry soap, shampoo etc.)  To learn more about how our Naturopathic Doctors would treat eczema book a complimentary 15 minute consultation today.

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