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Natural: What About Eczema? (January 19, 2012)

I have been asked by a colleague for any information on resolving eczema. I have no personal experience with this condition, but lots of opinions gained through dealing with acne and general health issues, opinions I believe can guide you to a successful resolution.

Eczema is unsightly and uncomfortable and persistent. How we might address it involves our theory of health and medicine in conjunction with an understanding of the functioning of the skin.

Let me begin by stating clearly my own view is at odds with that of western orthodox medicine. I find that pharmaceutical drugs are helpful, but in a very limited way. Generally I am opposed to them. But freely admit they saved my life a few years ago when I had a thyroid disorder.

Without explaining how I arrived at my current understanding (which is long and convoluted), let me say I am most impressed with the explanation of dis-ease as a result of imbalances in the organs and systems of the body. I also am impressed by the view that sees illness entering the physical body as a result of untreated imbalances in the body's life energy (chi), emotions, and mind.

A modern doctor in San Francisco, Thomas Cowan, offers a simplified approach to health based on nutrition, therapeutics, movement, and meditation—what he calls The Fourfold Path to Healing. I can recommend this to you.

We take problem-free skin for granted, but get alarmed when skin acts up. Our society has been conditioned to focus on symptoms, so we are tempted to apply topical substances to just make the look and feel of eczema go away. We can spend a lot of money that way to no effect.

Eczema is the name given to a wide variety of symptoms. Consider them as cries for attention. Skin is first and foremost an organ of elimination. So it is safe to begin with the theory that the patient has an elimination imbalance, they they are unable to eliminate some substances in the normal way and their body has turned to the skin as a way to rid themselves of particular substances. Surface treatments may improve the look and feel temporarily, but will not resolve the underlying cause(s).

I would begin treatment by adopting practices to improve metabolic elimination. This must include diet as a way to stop introducing substances into the body which must be eliminated because they are harmful. You can simultaneously treat the skin externally to relieve discomfort. Key to all this is the exclusive use of natural foods, pure water, and medicinal herbs and clays. Discontinue all synthetic, industrial products and processed foods. Brush your teeth with fine sea salt and montmorillonite clay. Follow my program of natural skin care. Choose herbs known to support the elimination processes. Take light regular exercise.

Adopt practices familiar to people with environmental allergies; the idea is to minimize, if not eliminate altogether, home environmental allergens. I would like to say this includes eliminating industrial home care and laundry products, but that leaves so few choices as to be impractical. Do stop using fragranced products and laundry softener. Rinse your laundry several times in lots of water so no detergent is left on the clothes. Make a glass and mirror cleaner of water, white vinegar, and liquid soap—it really works.

In addition to these methods, I would also consult with a Chinese Five-Element Theory acupuncturist and an energy healer. These healers can help you fine tune your physical body program while supporting energetic healing.

I was taught that people cannot cure disease, only nature cures disease. Also that as disease moves from the outside in, it leaves in reverse order: from the inside out. A change in symptoms can show the cure is real, or that something is wrong.