Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a condition that causes the skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy and is one of many types of dermatitis. In the word ‘dermatitis’, “derm” means skin and “itis” means inflammation so it translates to “inflammation of the skin”. Eczema originates from the Greek word “ekzein” which means to ‘boil over’ or ‘break out’. Eczema doesn’t harm the body but it damages the “glue” of the skin barrier function. When the skin loses this function, it becomes much more sensitive and susceptible to infection, and prone to dryness. Eczema is not contagious, yet it affects upwards of 15 million Americans and 10%-20% of our infants have it, though fortunately nearly half will either outgrow it or have significant improvement, as they get older. Eczema affects genders equally but is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma or other food or environmental allergies.
Eczema is caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental or food triggers, and stress. Any of these triggers by itself or in combination can cause the immune system to overreact. Genetically people with a family history of asthma or allergies potentially do not have control over a protein that helps the body maintain healthy skin, and without normal functioning levels of that protein, your skin will not be completely healthy. Regardless of the initial trigger, extremes in the environment (heat, humidity, pollutants, etc.) and stress levels definitely can worsen eczema outbreaks.
Neil Naturopathic products are designed so that each ingredient becomes synergistically therapeutic. The Naturopathic synergy in our Root & Scalp Formula has proven extremely effective at helping those suffering from eczema. There are so many ingredients that provide the proper nutrition, oxygenation, hydration and detoxification that make this formula so effective but for the purposes of this blog I will discuss two of the most powerful agents that come from the kingdom of the earth: pine tar and burdock root.
Tar from pinewood has probably been produced in Scandinavia since the Iron Age and became one of Sweden’s most important exports for hundreds of years. Pine tar was also known in ancient Greece, in fact Hippocrates was the first to describe its use in medicine more than 2000 years ago. It’s topical use for a range of skin and scalp ailments including eczema, seborrheic dermaitis, psoriasis, fungal infections, and other dry itchy, flaky or inflamed conditions has been used and known around the world for thousands of years. Pine tar has also been shown to clean, moisturize, sanitize and deodorize. Although pine tar has been used for treatment for centuries, it’s mechanism for action is poorly understood because of its chemical complexity.
Burdock root is a vegetable native to Northern Asia and Europe, though it now grows in the United States. Burdock has been used for centuries in holistic medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. Burdock root has been shown to contain multiple types of powerful antioxidants that protect the scalp and hair from free radicals as well as reducing inflammation. Research also has found that burdock root effectively detoxified the blood and promoted increased circulation in the surface of the skin. The increased circulation the root provides bolsters opening up the capillaries under the dermatitis layer and eliminating waste and toxins. Burdock has long been used to treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and acne. Many studies have shown the root’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can help resolve skin issues when applied topically to the skin.
It is important to identify the triggers that are causing eczema to occur and do one’s best to eliminate them from their life. In the meantime, Neil Naturopathic products can provide the proper care and therapeutic ingredients to effectuate the healing of this condition. Internationally renown Dermatologist, Dr Julia Hunter, has written, “I have been blessed to have access for my patients, recommend and use this MOST therapeutic shampoo for my patients since Dr. Neil created it a number of years ago. I prescribe this shampoo for my patients with seborrheic dermatitis, plaque psoriasis and eczematous plaques in their hair and psoriasis and ezcema on their faces and necks and body skin and in my experience no pharmaceutical that I can prescribe works better in resolving the multitude of symptoms and CERTAINLY NOTHING can do so nontoxically. I energetically recommend this product as Physician strength therapy…”. We further recommend using our conditioners as a mask to counteract and repair the dryness, redness and itchy flaking of eczema. Learn more about our conditioners at: Why Neil Naturopathic conditioner is different from others.