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Itchy Itchy Scratchy Scratchy

Seems that November is the declared month for Eczema. Now you know!

Eczema is a chronic condition or can become chronic. This is a condition where a consult with a homeopath is your best option. And homeopathy has success with eczema…supporting healing from the inside out rather than treating the skin symptom only.

Conventional treatment by medical doctors relies on moisturizers as the first line of treatment. If the skin becomes inflamed, then corticosteroids are prescribed.

Eczema Asthma Connection

Recent published scholarly research is concluding that eczema in infancy can increase the odds of developing asthma.

From a homeopathic perspective, suppressing eczema with steroid creams can lead to deeper, more serious chronic conditions like asthma. I have even observed this with my own son when he was a child. The surprise with that? I had used a ‘natural’ herbal cream on his eczema, and within a couple of hours, he was wheezing. I never used the cream again! After one particular frightening night of wheezing and labored breathing, with the help of my homeopath at the time using only homeopathic remedies, he was fine…no more respiratory problems that severe! More eczema but that eventually cleared as well.

From the research:

Although some previous prospective studies were not able to show an association between early childhood eczema and later development of asthma and rhinitis [6,8], our findings are robust and in line with the study by Arshad et al [9]. In addition, similar results regarding severity have been found in both Gustavsson’s and Ricci’s eczema cohorts [12,13], which reported that eczematous children with high severity scores were at increased risk of developing asthma. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first prospective cohort to show that early onset of eczema or persistent eczema increases the odds of later onset of asthma in both boys and girls, which is in contrast to a previous study that only showed a relationship in boys [20].

Conclusions of the study:

Eczema in infancy independently increases the odds of developing asthma and rhinitis during the following 5-year period. This association is present for children with eczema at baseline; however when they are divided into subgroups (severe eczema, early onset of eczema and persistence of eczema) the odds of the incidence of asthma and rhinitis further increases. Identifying risk groups is important for healthcare planning.

…a period of breastfeeding shorter than 6 months increased the risk of developing asthma by 57% (Table 2).”

The study does not address the idea of suppression with topical creams but it does provide validity to the connection between eczema and asthma.

Remedies for Eczema

The homeopathic repertory (a very large book of symptoms) has rubrics (a way to state the symptom) to help you search for this particular symptom: ‘asthma alternating with suppressed eczema (skin eruptions).’ This is what it looks like in the homeopathic books (for ease of reading, I am only including the remedies that are more well known):

Respiration; ASTHMATIC; eruptions; suppressed, after: Aconite, Apis, Arsenicum, Calcarea carb, Carb-v, Cuprum (this is the remedy my son was given), Dulcamara, Ferrum, Hepar sulph, Ipeca, Mezereum, Phosphorous, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Veratrum.

So how would a homeopath choose a remedy for you or your child?

This is the beauty of a homeopathic consult. So many remedies but the skill of your homeopath will be in the ability to find and individualize a remedy most suited to you or your child’s eczema/asthma and their overall constitution. The healing then comes from the inside as the vitality is supported in the direction of self-healing.

Robin Logan’s book The Homeopathic Treatment of Eczema is an excellent resource and one that will help you understand how your homeopath is approaching eczema/asthma.

One Possible Remedy – Homeopathic Poison Ivy

Screenshot 2014-11-25 10.50.02(Great website for all information Poison Ivy.)

How many of you have ever had poison ivy? My sister did for years. Even being near poison ivy in the summer could bring on an outbreak. For those of you who have never seen poison ivy, here is a link to a photo.

Note the blisters. There is severe itching. Blisters form and then break with a watery discharge, leaving crusts. There can be swelling, redness and inflammation.

Now…here are the symptoms of eczema:


  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling
  • Dark colored patches of skin

This is an example of Hahnemann’s principle, the Law of Similars – like curing like.

“A substance that causes, in a healthy person, symptoms similar to those of a disease state, can cure a sick person in that disease state.”

Rhus tox (homeopathic poison ivy) is not in the rubric above, but it is one of the well-known remedies for eczema. Always, when looking for a remedy to match the symptom picture of a child or adult with symptoms of eczema, a homeopath looks for what is characteristic about the rash and what makes it feel better or worse (modalities). In Rhus tox, the characteristic symptom that is unusual (or strange, rare, and peculiar) is that itching is better from heat rather than the more common symptom of itching better from cold and worse from heat. (Shingles has this modality and might also be helped by Rhus tox in homeopathic potency.)

From Logan’s The Homeopathic Treatment of Eczema:

“The Itch
Better for warmth and worse in cold air.
Better for hot bathing.
Worse on hairy parts.
Worse from perspiration and on perspiring parts.
Scratching can aggravate or ameliorate.
Wool aggravates.

Characteristic Mental Symptoms
Restless, especially at night.
May come across as rather stiff, narrow-minded people.
Dwells on the past, especially at night.
Superstitious, fearful of ghosts, death, people being hurt.
Forsaken feeling.
‘Causeless’ weeping.
Wants to go home.
Anxiety about business.”

One other very unusual symptom of Rhus tox is a craving for ice-cold milk. If your child or you find you have an extreme craving for icy cold milk and you have eczema with the other modalities of Rhus tox, you might consider discussing this as a possible remedy with your homeopath.

Eczema can be incredibly frustrating for the whole family as well as for the individual. Give your homeopath a call today if this is something you or your child suffers with…you might find some relief for that itchy itchy scratchy scratchy!

Yours in health and healing,


P.S. If you live in Calgary or nearby in Alberta, check out the Bach Flower Remedy course. Been hearing fabulous things about the instructor! And the Bach Flower Essences are a terrific adjunct to regular homeopathic treatment…work on the same principles.

You might even get some tips on Bach Flower Essences and Eczema!

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