DERMATITIS – causes, symptoms and treatments

* Dermatitis is a condition that causes inflammation to the skin. There are a number of types of dermatitis including:
– Seborrhea – facial and scalp dermatitis,
– Eczema – fluid filled blisters that may ooze or crust over,
– Atopic dermatitis – hereditary dermatitis where rash occurs on the bends of elbows and knees,
– Dermatitis herpetiformis – an itchy dermatitis resulting from intestinal or immune system disorders,
– Nummular dermatitis – circular or coin shaped rashes occur on the limbs.

* There are many causes of dermatitis including allergies, sunlight, intestinal and or immune system disorders, chemical exposure, and genetics. Stress may exacerbate or contribute to the onset of dermatitis.

* Symptoms of dermatitis include rashes, which may be scaly, flaky or itchy. The skin may also be thickening, blistering, weeping or crusting over.

Lifestyle symptoms
* Have food allergies diagnosed and treated appropriately, as dermatitis is quite often caused by food intolerance. Foods that commonly cause allergic dermatitis are wheat and dairy products.
* Avoid eating any food that contains raw eggs as it prohibits absorption of biotin, which is used by the body for healthy skin.
* Avoid processed foods including white flour, fat and fried food, sugar and dairy products.
* Avoid chemical exposure, detergents, perfumes, cosmetics, etc., as they may cause or exacerbate dermatitis.

Treatments for dermatitis:

* The treatment of dermatitis depends upon the cause. Some people may respond to acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle changes, nutritional and herbal therapy, or aromatherapy. Others may only respond to ointments and drug therapy prescribed by the physician. Naturopaths and Chinese herbalists often have great success when treating dermatitis.


VITAMIN B3 – NIACIN – Used for circulation, nervous system and improves the health of skin. Skin eruptions and inflammation may occur with niacin deficiency. Natural sources of niacin include carrots, fennel seed, parsley, peppermint, dates, brewer’s yeast, dandelion greens, potatoes, alfalfa, tomatoes and chamomile. 200 – 300 mg daily in divided doses may help symptoms of dermatitis. Do not exceed 300 mg daily. Do not take niacin if you have diabetes, liver disease, glaucoma peptic ulcers or gout.

dermatitis VITAMIN B12 – CYANOCOBALAMIN – helps with cell formation, protects nerves and helps to extend cell life. Natural sources of vitamin B12 include seaweed – dulse, kelp, kombu and nori, soy products, alfalfa, brewers yeast and hops. 200 mcg daily in divided doses of lozenge form vitamin B12 may help symptoms of dermatitis.

VITAMIN B6 – PYRIDOXINE – used in the nervous system, for cellular growth, helps with allergies and assists the absorption of vitamin B12. Deficiency may be linked with skin disorders. Natural sources of vitamin B6 include blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds, avocados, brown rice, soy products, corn, alfalfa and oat straw. 150 mg daily in divided doses may help with symptoms of dermatitis. Note that the use of cortisone drugs prevents the absorption of vitamin B6.

VITAMIN E – helps with tissue repair, healthy skin, scarring and circulation. Natural sources of vitamin E include watercress, alfalfa, seaweed – dulse and kelp, oatmeal, legumes, sweet potatoes, nuts, leafy green vegetables, seeds and dandelion. 400 iu daily may help with symptoms of dermatitis. Applied topically (vitamin E oil mixed with goldenseal root powder and honey to a thick paste) soothes and heals the skin. Seek medical advice before using vitamin E if you are taking anticoagulant medication, have diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, thyroid problems or high blood pressure.

BIOTIN – helps cellular growth and improves the health of the skin. Natural sources of biotin include brewer’s yeast, whole grains and soy beans. 300 mg daily in divided doses may help improve dermatitis. Note that raw eggs, heated oils and fat, saccharin and antibiotics may inhibit the absorption of biotin.

ZINC – helps to heal skin. Natural sources of zinc include brewer’s and torula yeast, pecans, parsley, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, soybeans, seaweed – dulse and kelp, mushrooms, rose hip and alfalfa. 50 – 100 mg daily in divided doses of gluconate lozenge form of zinc may help symptoms of dermatitis. Excess zinc intake may cause copper deficiency. For prolonged periods of zinc intake, copper is recommended ie: 30 mg zinc with 2 mg of copper. Do not use more than 100 mg daily as excess zinc may depress the immune system.

BURDOCK – excellent for most skin conditions.

CHAMOMILE MATRICARIA, GERMAN CHAMOMILE, ROMAN CHAMOMILE. – essential oil. Is used for eczema, rashes and dermatitis. Use undiluted (sparingly) on the affected area. Do not use for a prolonged period or if allergic to ragweed.

DANDELION – blood purifier that has antimicrobial properties, useful for dermatitis. Use according to label instructions. May be used in a poultice with yellow dock and chaparral and applied to affected areas. Avoid dandelion if you have ulcers or gall stones.

GOLDENSEAL – has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties, helps the immune system and central nervous system. Use according to label instructions. Goldenseal root powder may be mixed with honey and vitamin E oil to a paste and applied to infected areas. Do not take goldenseal for a prolonged period. Do not use if pregnant, have diabetes, glaucoma or cardiovascular disease.

PAU D’ARCO, TAHEEBO, LAPACHO – has cleansing, antibacterial and healing properties. Use according to label instructions.

CHAPARRAL – A poultice using chaparral, yellow dock root and dandelion and applied to the affected area may help symptoms of dermatitis. Do not use chaparral internally for prolonged periods as it may cause liver damage – recommended for external use only.

RED CLOVER – used for skin conditions and has antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Use according to label instructions.

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