Dermatitis or otherwise known as eczema is a skin disorder present with redness, itching, dryness, scaling, thickening of the skin, fissuring. It starts with redness, swelling, and formation of papules (raised patches on the skin). As the condition progresses, the formation of papulo-vesicles, vesicles, and blisters are formed from which there is the continuous discharge of mucus starts. Later on, when the papules heal they form thickening, and fissures are formed. Itching is an important feature of this condition.
Types of dermatitis
1- Irritant contact dermatitis
It is mainly caused by damage to the skin by an irritant. This irritant can be a chemical or any physical agent. Excessive use of these agents can lead to this condition. It may appear in many forms ranging from dryness to redness. It can be easily seen dorsal parts of the fingers and hands in housewives or nurses with chronic irritation caused by frequent hand washing.
2- Irritant contact dermatitis is more common than allergic contact dermatitis.
3- Allergic contact dermatitis
It can be seen in two forms
- Acute allergic contact dermatitis – It is characterized by features of acute eczema-like redness, the formation of papules, the formation of vesicles, and continuous discharge from the affected site.
- Chronic allergic contact dermatitis– It can be due to repeated exposure to the allergen (a substance that causes the allergy). It is characterized by dryness, scaliness, thickening, and fissuring of the skin.
Common allergens are as follows-
Cheap jewelry (earrings, or metal accessories on clothing such as studs on jeans).
In men- watches can cause dermatitis. This type of dermatitis is a result of Nickel sulfate as an allergen.
Another type of allergen is Chromate sensitivity. This is often seen as occupational dermatitis. It is often seen in laborers as cement is the cause of dermatitis. So they form a chronic disease. It is characterized by dryness, scaliness, or hyperkeratotic lesions.
4- Medicine caused dermatitis
Dermatitis can also be caused by medicines like neomycin and lanolin are common sensitizers that can cause this condition.
Cosmetics like deodorant sprays can also cause contact dermatitis.
5- Berloque Dermatitis
This type of dermatitis is due to the interaction of light above 320 nm and methoxy-psoralen in bergamot oil found in perfumes used as such or present in cosmetics and oils used for hair or skin. It can occur as small spots if the perfume was sued as a spray, as irregular smudges if the perfume was applied with the hand or cotton balls. If hair oil is used, the pigmentation is seen in the forehead, ears, side of the face, and upper central part of the back in females.
6- Atopic Dermatitis
This is seen within the family. Genetic and environmental factors play a vital role in this type of condition. It is seen with various types of disease like asthma, urticaria, hay-fever, or allergic dermatitis. These patients have increased IgE antibodies in their body. The patient has usually a yellow face. He has persistent itching. If atopic dermatitis is seen during the period of infancy, it is called infantile eczema. Lesions in this type appear at any time between 2-6 months of age and continue to appear during the first two years of life. The baby has severely itchy, red papules that ooze exudation and form crusts on the cheeks. It can spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes pus is seen in these lesions as a result of secondary infections. This condition can cure itself, and the patient is symptomless in entire life. But at times this condition can reach to childhood stage. The childhood stage starts from two years of age onwards. This condition is seen mainly in the folds of the forearm and the folds of the legs. The condition is very itchy, mild red in color. At times thickening of the skin is seen. As age advances, the lesions tend to become drier and thickened. At this time it involves the face, neck, and trunk. This is the adulthood stage. At times the whole body can be involved.
It is an inflammatory and pigmentary reaction of the skin to sunlight in the presence of chemicals in some plants called furocoumarins. If the patient is exposed to the leaves of the plant as during lying down on lawns or sea beaches, the pattern of the lesion may resemble the shape of the leaves of that plant.
8- Exfoliative Dermatitis
It is also called erythroderma. In this, the whole-body skin becomes red and scaly. The patient is unable to control the temperature. So he suffers chills and rigors. These patients develop other infections in the form of various raised nodules of the skin. They may develop an infection of the lungs. In severe cases, there may be loss of hair, but this condition is temporary. ‘
9- Dermatitis Herpetiformis
It is seen as itchy urticarial, patches which are red in color. These patches are often seen as groups. It is mainly seen on the buttocks. These patches are symmetrical. This seen in adults and middle-aged people. This condition can be symptomless at times but can appear again.
Causes of Dermatitis
- lichen planus
- Generalized contact dermatitis
- Drugs like isonicotinic acid hydrazide, para-chloroquine, and sulphonamides.
Site of dermatitis
Hands- site of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. It is seen in house-wives.
Face-Here cosmetics and medicines are important allergens. Allergy from exposure to sunlight and its sensitivity can also be seen in cases.
The mucosa of the mouth can be sensitive to flavors of toothpaste. Allergic reactions to dental amalgams of nickel, mercury, palladium, or gold can also be seen. It starts with redness and swelling and progresses to the formation of ulcers, atrophy, and formation of leukoplakia in later stages.
Homeopathic Medicines used for the treatment of Dermatitis
1- Anacardium Orientale – These kinds of patients have a weak memory, has depression, and very irritable. The patient has fear of examination. There is the weakness of all senses, like sight, and hearing. They do not want to work, they lack self-confidence. There is an empty feeling in the stomach which is relieved by eating. Eating relieves all discomfort. The patient has anxiety when walking. He feels as if pursued. The patient is also absent minded. He is very revengeful, has a suspicion of others. The patient has intense itching. Complaints of eczema. Swelling is seen in the body. It is a good remedy for urticaria, Lichen planus, and neurotic eczema. Ulcers are seen on the forearm. The patient has a sickly face, with hollow eyes. He has dark rings around his eyes. He looks wild, childish. Has an expressionless face. Eczema is seen on the face and neck.
- Worse- application of hot water.
- Better-from eating, from rubbing.
- Dosage-200 potency, given 3 times a day for 10 days.
2- Arsenicum album-Patient is very weak. He cannot do the slightest work. Pains are burning type. The feeling of burning is relieved by heat. The patient’s condition is worse when he eats watery fruits. He has a gradual loss of weight from impaired nutrition. The patient is very angry and restless. He has fear of death. He has a fear of being left alone. He has great despair, which drives him from place to place. He lacks courage. Skin is itching and burning. There are various eruptions that are dry, rough, scaly. This is worse from cold and from scratching. Pus filled eruptions are also seen. It can be given for urticaria, with burning and restlessness. It is a very good remedy for psoriasis.
- Worse- wet weather, after midnight, from cold, from cold drinks or foods.
- Better- from heat, from warm drinks.
- Dosage- 1M potency, 2 times a day for 10 days.
- The best result is obtained when the medicine is taken in any part of the day, except midday and midnight.
3- Borax Veneta- Patient has fear of downward motion. He has extreme anxiety, from going downstairs. The patient is excessively nervous and easily frightened. He is sensitive to sudden noises. He has fear of thunder. It can be given for psoriasis. Itching is seen on the finger joints. The patient has unhealthy skin. It can be given for herpes. Eruptions are seen on fingers and hands with itching and stinging. The face of the patient is pale and swollen and has earth like expression. The patient is obese with a lightweight. The skin of the patient is wrinkled. The patient has herpetic eruptions on the face.
- Worse- from downward motion, noise, smoking, warm weather, after menses.
- Dosage- 200 potencies, 3 times a day, for 10 days.
4- Cantharis vesicatoria- Skin complaint of this remedy is often associated with urinary complaints, as this remedy often acts on the gastric and urinary system. There is intolerable, constant urging to urinate. The patient is very anxious. He has restlessness, which ends in rage. He has constant attempts to do something but accomplishes nothing. It is given for Dermatitis with bleb formation. It can be given when a patient has secondary eczema around the scrotum and genitals, followed by excessive perspiration. There are various vesicles with burning and itching. It can be given for Sunburn. Burning with rawness can be better by cold applications. It can cure burning in the soles of feet at night.
- Worse- from touch, urination, drinking cold water, or coffee.
- Better- rubbing.
- Dosage-30 potency, 3 times a day, for 20 days.
5- Flouric acid-It is a remedy for bed sores, ulcerations, varicose veins, and ulcers. It is suited for old age people or those people who are prematurely aged. The patient lacks any emotions towards the loved most. They are unable to realize their responsibility. They are very happy persons. It can be given when a patient has itching especially in the various openings of the body and this is worse by warmth. There is profuse sour, offensive perspiration.
- Worse- warmth, morning, warm drinks.
- Better- cold, while walking.
- Dosage- 30 potency, 2 times a day for 10 days.
6- Lycopodium- It is suited for people who develop disease gradually. They are very weak. The patient has difficulty indigestion. This remedy suited to old people, with earth-like complexion, having difficulty in uric acid synthesis. All symptoms which begin from the right go to the left. All conditions are worse from about 4 to 8 p.m. Patient wants everything warm. These people are intellectually very intelligent, but physically are very weak. They have weaknesses, es, especially in the morning. Skin is very unhealthy and ulcers are formed very easily. There are various kinds of abscesses beneath the skin. These abscesses are worse from warm applications. There is violent itching along with fissured eruptions. The patient has chronic eczema associated with urinary, gastric, and liver disorders. Skin becomes thick because of this condition. The patient has brown spots and freckles which are worse on the left side of the face and nose. There are offensive secretions, especially of feet.
- Worse- on the right side, from right to left, from above downward, from 4 to 8 p.m., from heat, in a warm room, from hot air, from warm applications.
- Better- by motion, after midnight, from warm food and drink, on getting cold, from uncovering.
- Dosage-30 potency 3 times a day, for 20 days.
7- Nux- vomica-It is suited to people who are thin, quick, active, nervous, and irritable. He does a good deal of mental work. Because of these mental strains, he lives a sedentary life. He does prolong office work and does overwork. He is habitual of taking drugs like coffee, wine, excess of tobacco, opium. He is very irritable and sensitive to all impressions. He cannot bear noises, odors, light. He does not want to be touched. Even the least ailment affects him greatly. His body burning hot, especially the face. He is very sensitive to cold. His skin is very red and unhealthy.
- Worse- morning, from mental exertion, after eating, from touch, from taking spices, from stimulants, from taking narcotics, from dry weather, from cold.
- Better- from taking a nap, in the evening, while resting in damp, wet weather.
- Dosage-200 potency, 3 times a day for 15 days.