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Eczema Information: Types of Eczema, Eczema Causes, Eczema Treatment

Atopic Dermatitis

To face the perplexity of numerous customers confronting skin problems, we propose you a simple and straight forward synthesis of skin problems related to eczema or atopic dermatitis

We recommend the following:

- Have the willingness to understand the pathology
- Accept its complexity
- Accept that there will never be one universal care or drug
- Accept that efforts should be done at all levels simultaneously and regularly

... Down the road is healing for young children and a soft healthy skin for others.

Eczema is different from psoriasis, even though they share similar symptoms.

Eczema and psoriasis are two diseases for which there are currently no cure. You can only calm the symptoms often with use of corticoids.

Eczema is a disease linked to the immune system, environmental factors have an adverse effect on eczema.
An atopic skin is one pre-disposed to allergic reactions.

Allergies can be triggered by contact with the skin but also possibly through the respiratory system and the digestive system (especially with young children).

About Eczema and Th1/Th2 (Lymphocytes-key to immune defense system)

Th1 : lymphocytes which combat germs and viruses. They are generally more numerous than Th2.
Th2 : lymphocytes which activate when faced with allergies (and parasites).

These lymphocytes normally live in a balanced harmony. If however Th2 are present in majority, an atopic skin is born.

Eczema Symptoms

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is essentially a non contagious inflammation of the skin.
It is accompanied by red, itchy plaques, dry skin crust.
Those plaques may appear on various body areas (depending on the type of eczema) and the appearance of vesicles is possible.
The skin becomes thicker, drier, loses its elasticity and changes pigmentation.

For young children with an atopic skin, it is necessary to re-balance his/her immune system before the age of 7 years old.
Therefore, for everyone, the first thing to do is check up on allergic triggers in our environment which have led to atopic skin pathology and enabled it to flourish.

With babies,
this type of eczema appears on places like the cheeks, scalp, shoulders, thorax and thumb (if they are sucked).

Between ages of 2 and 7,
the skin folds of the elbows, wrists, knees and ankles are affected.

At adolescence,
the zones around the eyes and the sole are affected.

In adults,
eczema is often found on the neck, ankles, feet and hands. When eczema is more apparent than usual, we speak of "eczema outbreaks".
These "outbreaks" are often punctuated by periods of remission, of varying lengths.

There are many types of eczema, and the diagnosis itself is difficult to make.

Contact dermatitis/ contact eczema

Eczema carries the name dermatitis when it comes about because of contact with products for the bath (soap, shower gel, sweat, saliva etc…).
The reaction can be instantaneous, or can appear a few hours later (if touched by plants, a specific chemical product or a metal, like nickel in jewelery or coins).
The symptoms vary in size and intensity according to the particular reaction. People can see slight redness to ulceration.

How to recognize contact eczema?
Often seen with red, itchy plaques with a crumbly-like edge.

The reaction begins where the skin makes contact with the allergic element and can spread.
This type of eczema can typically weep from the start of the reaction which often leads people to think it’s infected.
The lesions then dry out and remain itchy.

They can disappear spontaneously if contact with the allergic element is halted.

There are different types of eczema, depending on where they are located:

Neck eczema : Skin here is particularly fine and sensitive. Often linked to a perfume allergy or nickel.

Hand eczema: can be linked to nail varnish
•Foot eczema with different forms. Odishydrose : Small serose ‘blisters’ often linked to athlete’s foot between toes, more profoundly, linked to the shoe leather for example…

• Eyelid eczema: Eczema here attacks very fine and sensitive skin. Eyelids can become inflamed due to an allergy to eye drops or cosmetics (mascara, cream, make up).

Certain substances can provoke contact eczema

Cement (cement eczema), rubber plant, hair dye, plasters/bandages, Peru oil (In certain food/industrial products). Cloves, curry, lanolin (In many beauty/industrial products, also suet), epoxy resins, Parabens, perfumes, plants, also after applying creams with calendula, arnica, nickel,
(in costume jewelery, jean buttons and coins).

Seborrheic Eczema

Patches of oily, yellowish skin and squama form, mostly on the scalp. It is commonly called "cap" in infants. It occasionally causes serious dandruff for adults.
The adult seborrhoeic eczema sometimes spreads to the face, ears and chest.

It may be accompanied by an infection of Candida fungus.

Atopic Eczema

Atopic Eczema is the most common form of chronic eczema.
The atopic Eczema results in an overreaction of the immune system, a kind of hypersensitivity to allergens (dust, pollen, animal dander, etc...) which appears on the skin.

Atopic individuals often suffer simultaneously or alternately from multiple allergic reactions such as hay fever, hives, asthma or food allergies.
These allergies are often hereditary. In 90% of the cases, this type of eczema occurs before the age of five.
Adults exposed to allergens or irritants at their workplace can also suffer from atopic eczema.

The main allergens in food potentially responsible for eczema

The European Directive of November 2005 now specifies the list of 12 components to be born on all labels, even if they are present in the form of trace:

cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye and products based on these cereals), crustacenas and crustacean products,

eggs and egg products, milk and milk products, soya and soy product,

nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts and products
containing these fruits,

celery and celery products, mustard and mustard-based products, seeds sesame-based products and sesame.

Two products have been added to this list at the end of 2006: lupine and mollusks.


The consumption of certain drugs associated with a food allergen can aggravate the manifestations of allergy:

Aspirin,anti-Inflammatory steroids prescribed particularly in case of pain, the prescribed ß-blockers in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, angina pectoris,
hypertension.. The inhibitors of enzyme conversion used in the treatment of hypertension. The sulfur dioxide and sulphites at a more
than 10 mg/kg or mg/I.

Vaccines against yellow fever, influenza and tick-borne encephalitis, contain egg protein.

Numerous cosmetics, shampoos and some medications contain peanuts.

Some shampoos may contain egg protein. (This is obviously NOT the case for our Dermatological Shampoo Pso Natura).

Aero-allergens come from animal pheromones. Airborne parts circulate, come from their epithelium, saliva, excrement).

The pollens of trees, flowers, grass, molds, mites and droppings and cockroaches are another allergen.


other factors

Skin affected by atopic dermatitis also becomes more sensitive to contact allergens mentioned above. Let's add the main allergens that atopic skin
may be sensitive to:

- Wool and synthetic fibers, soaps and detergents, perfumes, cosmetics, sand, cigarette smoke, but also, essential oils, silk, leather,..
- Humidity
- Frequently wetting and drying the skin
- Emotional factors, such as anxiety, relational conflicts and stress. Experts recognize indeed to great importance the emotional and psychological factors
in the exacerbation of multiple skin diseases, including eczema.
- Infectious toxins, such as Staphylococcus aureus are present in an atopic dermatitis. Toxins of these germs are major allergens.
Streptococci can also transform impetigo lesions.

Eczema treatments - Inventory

Here we have brought together a list of existing treatments for eczema or atopic dermatitis.
This dossier is the result of extensive research on skin ailments, but is not exhaustive. We are presenting the different treatments available, from those
prescribed by doctors to those of a non-medical root for combating eczema and atopic dermatitis.

Our derma-cosmetic laboratories have a range of non pharmaceutical treatments which effectively treat eczema, squama and affected skin: Pso Natura.
- Regenerating Complex,
- Dermatological Shampoo
- and Rich Restructuring Cream are derma-cosmetic treatments based on plants.

Their excellent results and ease of use make Pso Natura products highly sought after by people suffering from eczema.

Read more on Pso Natura.

Today, there are no definitive treatments for eczema.
Classic treatments only limit the inflammation and discomfort brought about by eczema.
Patients are able to find out which allergens irritate their skin causing eczema development, and learn to avoid these irritants which in turn
diminish the symptoms.

Eczema treatments often contain corticoids (found in anti-histamines, a renowned allergy treatment).


Creams, with a cortoticosteroid base, are applied to the skin directly and thus reduce the inflammation and itching. In serious cases, oral corticosteroids are prescribed, but for a short period thanks to their side effects (loss of bone mineral,for example). A very thin layer of cortisone cream is applied, the least often possible, to control a bad patch of eczema.


It can be used occasionally to reduce itching. Young children are able to sleep better, avoiding scratching during the night (often when eczema flares).

Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus

These two immunomodulating medicines are new on the market. They reduce the action of the immune system (which leads to inflammation). It gives another option as the side effects are not as important as the corticosteroids.


Only used in very serious cases, cyclosporine is a fungal agent which contains immunomodalating properties. Taken orally, it would be more effective topically, but more dangerous. Taking into account the side effects on the liver and blood pressure, this treatment can only be taken during very brief periods.

Note. Antibiotics are necessary in cases of bacterial infection (notably Impetigo) or if there is a fungal infection which has entered through an eczema patch.

Ultraviolet light treatment

Phototherapy (ultraviolet light treatment combined with a drug to render the skin light sensitive) can be prescribed, except in cases of overly sensitive skin. UVB or UVA rays are emitted from machines. Patients must realize that by prematurely aging their skin, they increase the risk of cancer. However, light exposure to sun can have many beneficial effects for many people.

Psychotherapeutic approaches

Emotional and psychological factors are recognized as playing a key role in eczema by all medical experts.

Other eczema treatments

- Anti dandruff shampoos for seborrheaic eczema can complement an anti-fungal treatment. Dermatological shampoos can soothe flaky scalps.
Pso Natura represents the Natural alternative to ease your scalp.

- Using compression stockings or having varicose veins worked on is used in cases of varicose eczema.

Complementary treatments

Treatments giving eczema relief

These treatments relieve the breakouts of eczema and are applied on the skin as a salve, cream or compress.

- Aloes (Aloe vera): Aloe vera gel contains emollient agents (Note. Aloe Vera can cause dermatitis in exceptional cases).

- Witch Hazel: (Hamamelis virginiana). Contains astringent and anti-inflammatory agents.

- Oats (Avena sativa): The straw of the oat in balneotherapy can be used to treat skin diseases with symptoms of inflammation, seborrhea and itching.
(No scientific study has been done in relation to eczema at the point of writing this).

- German camomile (Matricaria recutita): A recent study give surprising results. It was not judged more effective than the placebo,
but the two treatments were more effective than hydrocortisone cream.

- Peppermint (Mentha piperita): External usage only. The oil can soothe itching. Avoid applying to respiratory areas in children under 4.

- Scotch Marigold (Calendula officinalis): Recognized in all European labs for its anti-inflammatory properties and used widely all over the
world in cosmetics and dermatological cases for its healing power.

- Tar: This viscous material comes from petrol and coal. Has been used for centuries to fight eczema. Nevertheless, research has not confirmed its effectiveness in these cases.

- The 3 Treatment Pso Natura range: is a natural, effective alternative for squama, plaques, redness and scratching.

Very dry skin and irritated scalps. This range does not attack the causes of the problem.
The Pso Natura range helps to erase the visible traces on the skin.

Support treatments
Hypnotherapy: Diverse studies have shown a reduction in eczema (reduced use of cortisteroids, scratching, sleep troubles, tension) in children and adults
who have shown resistance to other more classical treatments. In adults, this treatment can include autohypnotherapy, relaxation techniques,
stress control as well as direct pointers (stopping scratching, having a fresh feeling on the skin, reinforcement of self-esteem)
and posy-hypnotic techniques.

Vitamin E: A daily dose of 268 mg Natural Vitamin R (400 UI) over a period of 8 months or more can relieve the symptoms and reduce the
amount of immunoglobulin E in the bloodstream (indicators of allergic sensitivities).

Burdock (Arctium lappa): Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) et Chicory (Cichorium intybus) are frequently used plants in the relief of eczema.

Chinese medicine. According to this regimen, various problems, notably atopic diseases, can be explained by an unbalanced energy in the body.

Acupuncture and special plants are used in Chinese medicine to treat this imbalance.

Sites of interest on eczema

United Kingdom

The British Association of Dermatologists

Supporting Groups

Consult the list of the supporting groups of Eczema:

National Eczema Society

National Eczema Association


Association of Dermatologists of Quebec

Canadian Association of Dermatology (in French and in English)

Eczema Canada (Canadian site in French and in English)

National Eczema Society

A program of support, information and awareness of Eczema, funded by a pharmaceutical company, Fujisawa Canada, and endorsed by the
Canadian Dermatology Association.

It is possible to get free documentation by calling the information line of this program on 1-866-432-03621-866-432-0362, or by visiting the website: