Dermatitis (also called eczema) is an itchy inflammation of the skin. There are many types of dermatitis.

Signs and Symptoms

What Causes It?

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your health care provider will try to determine the cause of your dermatitis and make sure you have dermatitis and not a similar disease, such as psoriasis, skin cancer, or some psychological conditions.

Treatment Options

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Following nutritional guidelines and using herbal support may help reduce inflammation and hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity associated with stress and anxiety may be helped by mind-body techniques such as meditation, tai chi, yoga, and stress management.


Note: Lower doses are for children. Herbs
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers; 10 to 20 minutes for roots.

Flavonoids, a substance found in dark berries and some plants, have anti-inflammatory properties, strengthen connective tissue, and reduce hypersensitivity. The following flavonoids may be taken in dried extract form. The following herbs support skin healing and lymphatic drainage; use in combination as a tincture (15 to 30 drops three times per day) or tea (2 to 4 cups per day). Peppermint (Mentha piperita), red clover (Trifolium pratense), cleavers (Gallium aparine), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and prickly ash bark (Xanthoxylum clava-herculis).

Sarsaparilla (Smilax species) helps heal hot, red, inflamed skin, and gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is good for dry, scaly, crusty skin. Use 3 ml sarsaparilla and 2 ml gotu kola tincture daily, or 3 cups tea per day.

Oregon grape (Mahonia aquafolium) or red alder bark (Alnus rubra) taken as tincture (20 to 30 drops three times a day) helps the liver process waste.

Creams and salves containing one or more of the following herbs may help relieve itching and burning, and promote healing. Chickweed (Stellaria media), marigold (Calendula officinalis), comfrey (Symphytum officinale), and chamomile (Matricaria recutita).

Peppermint leaf tea may be cooled and applied to relieve itching and burning. An external menthol ointment can also help.

Some of the most common remedies used for dermatitis are listed below. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours until your symptoms get better. Acupuncture
Acupuncture may help restore normal immune function and reduce the hypersensitivity response.

Massage may help reduce stress, which makes dermatitis worse.

Following Up

Carefully avoid whatever gives you dermatitis and prevent infection and scarring by not scratching.

Special Considerations

Check with your provider before using any medication if you are pregnant.


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