Scratching The Surface Of Eczema

Eczema can be a great nuisance and can cause considerable discomfort if the skin is scratched and becomes infected by bacteria. Childhood eczema is very common and often begins in infancy. 

There are many causes – contact dermatitis is common and is caused when an irritant either damages the surface of the skin or penetrates more deeply into it, and sets up an allergic reaction. Repeated irritation by domestic cleansers, caustic chemicals, washing powders, face creams, shampoos, perfumes and others may cause it.

Some eczemas are due to sensitivities to certain types of foods such as dairy products, eggs, wheat, tomatoes, oranges, pork, chocolate and fish. A very common cause of eczema and other skin diseases are found in faulty metabolism, poor elimination of toxic wastes (eg constipation), nutritional deficiencies and even emotional stress.


Avoid scratching the affected area as this spreads the infection and thickens the skin. Too much soap and hot water can produce a rash or make it worse, so oatmeal soap is recommended. Be aware of any cosmetic products or other chemicals that you might be coming in contact with directly or indirectly.


The main herbal treatment for this condition is internal and I am happy to say that I have been able to help many people who suffer from eczema and other chronic skin disorders, using the following mixture of blood cleansing herbs, taken from an old herbal book: 

  • 50 g Red clover
  • 50 g Stinging nettle
  • 25 g Speedwell
  • 25 g Yarrow

Directions: Place the above herbs in an airtight container, mix and shake well, and store the mixture in a dark place.  Infuse one heaped tsp of herbs with one cup of boiling water for approximately three to five minutes and strain. Drink 3-4 cups throughout the day.


 The following herbal remedies can be used simultaneously:

1. Oat or Wheat Bran baths are effective – boil 2 kg of bran in 5 litres of water and add the strained brew to the bath water.

2. Camomile and Walnut  baths or washings are very soothing.

3. To reduce inflammation, apply a compress made of either Horsetail, Camomile or Plantain. 

Find out more about the herbal treatments for common skin disorders in our Urinary System and Skin Lesson 4 !

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