Eczema is a chronic form of dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). The skin becomes red, and fluid-filled pimples, called vesicles, may form, or crusts and scales may develop on the skin surface. Usually the area itches. Scratching the skin destroys the pimples or removes the crusts and scales. For this reason, the appearance of the area changes.
Doctors believe eczema is usually a form of allergy that results from extreme sensitivity to some substance. The substance may be in something the person eats, or it may be found in his surroundings.
Some of the more common substances which are said to cause eczema are plants and trees, citrus fruits and onions, chemicals, medications, cosmetics, household detergents and polishes; and a number of fabrics including wool, silk, synthetic fibers, leather, fur, and dyed goods.
Contact dermatitis may be caused by a primary chemical irritant or may be what the physicians describe as "delayed hypersensitivity reaction."
Direct irritants may damage normal skin or irritate an existing dermatitis. Weak or marginal irritants, such as soap, may take several days of exposure to cause visually recognizable changes. Many soaps, deodorants, detergents, etc., contain harsh chemicals which are poisonous and may be absorbed through the skin. The body recognizes these poisons and tries to stop them from entering the system by initiating an inflammation response to local and "encapsulate" these poisons. Strong irritants, such as acids and alkalis, cause observable changes within a few minutes. These actually cause direct damage to the skin and the inflammatory response is immediate.
Medications, cosmetics, household cleaners, etc., all contain poisonous substances which are rejected and eliminated by the body. In certain individuals, this elimination occurs through the skin in the form of eczema. The wisest thing to do is simply not to use these toxic chemicals. Cosmetics are not needed as the skin of the healthy individual has a beautiful color which cannot be enhanced by cosmetics. Care should be taken in choosing household cleaners. Use only those which do not have harmful ingredients. Shakley's Basic H is quite good.
Allergic contact dermatitis is also said to be due to delayed hypersensitivity and requires a latent period ranging from five to six days to years between the time of first exposure and re-exposure that preceded that dermatitis.
Topical medications most often used include antibiotics, antihistamines, anesthetics, antiseptics and stabilizers. These are poisons and result in toxicosis. The reason that the symptoms of eczema do not appear immediately is that these toxins are often stored in the tissues and accumulate there until a saturation point is reached. At this point, the body initiates a "housecleaning" and begins to eliminate these toxins, and the skin is one route taken. At this time, eczema appears. It has really nothing to do with being "allergic." These toxins are eliminated through the skin in some individuals; in others the route would be elsewhere and termed a different disease.
Avoid toxin-building practices, and the need for eczema will not exist. It has been contended that eczema is also due to allergic reactions to normal elements in our environment, and is associated with the presence of IgE antibodies and peripheral eosinophilia. First of all, the underlying cause of eczema is the same—toxicosis. Secondly, the presence of numerous white blood cells including lymphocytes and eosinophils indicates that an inflammatory response is in progress and healing is taking place. All we must do is to allow the healing to take place and not add any further toxins to impair the body.
Hypersensitivity to wholesome foods, such as citrus fruits, is always due to a state of toxicosis and steps should be made to remove the need for eczema through a more healthful lifestyle.
Home > Lesson 71 - Allergies, Hay Fever, And Other Chronic Diseases
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