Tag: dermatitis

Herbal Medicine research blog – Nov – Dec 15

In November and December the following health research has caught my eye.

1. A new study showed that Andrographis reduced triglyceride levels in patients with raised triglyceride levels (one of the measurements of high cholesterol).
2. A new study of celery seed has shown that when given to patients with arthritis, it reduced pain and inflammation to a greater extent than aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

3. A new study has shown that Ginkgo improved attention spans of children with ADHD and hyperactivity.

4. Turmeric has been shown to be effective at treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

5.Holy basil has been found to improve cognitive function and reduce stress in healthy people.

6. A new study has shown that patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy for head and neck cancer with radiation dermatitis, were treated effectively with a combination of St John’s wort and neem oil.

Eczema – what is it?

Part 1 – What is eczema?

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write a blog about eczema as it’s actually something that I not only see a lot of in my clinic but also suffer from myself. It was also what started me on the journey of becoming a medical herbalist.

Accrording to the Eczema society, one in five children and one in twelve adults suffer from eczema.

So what is it?

Eczema is actually a very broad term meaning ‘itchy red skin’, and that covers a lot of different skin conditions with different causes.

So what are the main types of eczema?

  1. Atopic eczema

Atopic eczema is the genetic type of eczema, it often runs in families and has links to hayfever and asthma.

  1. Contact eczema or dermatitis

This type of eczema flares up when in contact with for example harsh chemicals. It is most commonly found on hands but can show across the body, if for example the irritant to blame is washing powder.

  1. Pompholyx (sometimes known as dyshidrotic) eczema

This type of eczema presents with blisters of clear fluid on hands and feet, restricting movement and causing pain.

There are other forms of eczema but these are the main types, for pictures and more detailed information visit http://www.eczema.org/types-of-eczema.

I personally suffer from all three of the main types of eczema. As I’m typing this my hands are covered in red scaly and dry skin typical of atopic eczema. I used a hand wash that was too strong my skin and it has taken over a week for my skin to recover.

In the next parts of this blog I will talk about the role of diet, and natural treatments that are available.

For more information on eczema please see the NHS website and the National Eczema Society website.

If you suffer from eczema and would like to see a medical herbalist, you can find one local to you via this link.