Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Breast Cancer?
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
over 40 years
over 45 years
over 50 years
over 55 years

 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: ECZEMA - THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 11, Issue 12)
The epidemic of eczema, which affects one fifth of children, may be the fallout from our obsessive concern with keeping our children free of germs.

Eczema is now a worldwide epidemic. In the UK, up to one fifth of school age children and one in 12 adults suffer from it. It is itchy, painful, reduces the quality of life and has no cure.

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema forms part of the 'atopic triad', a group of disorders including allergies and asthma all of which are becoming increasingly common. Each of these conditions is thought to be a different manifestation of the same internal chaos, and they commonly appear in the same person all together at the same time or serially.

Some argue that without a clear understanding of the cause of a disease, it is impossible to provide effective treatment eczema appears to be a good argument in favour of this idea. Treatment, usually with ointments and creams, topical steroids, antibiotics and antiinflammatories, can be hamfisted or hit and miss. Most of these treatments are poorly researched (Health Tech Assess, 2000; 4: 1-191), not suitable for long term use and certainly not safe for children. Often, they will appear to work for a short time before the disease flares up again even worse than before.

Just how poor most eczema treatments are was illustrated last year at a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. There, Dr Amy S. Paler, professor of dermatology at Northwestern Medical School, revealed the results of a study on patient satisfaction with conventional eczema medications.

In a study which surveyed the parents of 429 paediatric eczema patients, one third of parents considered the medications prescribed for their children ineffective (Skin Allergy News, 2000; 31: 29). According to Dr Paler's results, prescription medications such as the topical corticosteriods betamethasone dipropionate, clobetasol propionate, hydrocortisone and mometasone furoate were considered not effective (32 per cent), somewhat effective (26 per cent) and fairly effective (23 per cent). Only 19 per cent of parents felt that the medications were very effective for their children. This held true even when the medications were considered to be moderate to high potency.

Non prescription remedies did not fare much better. Asked to judge agents containing hydrocortisone, 36 per cent of parents rated them as not effective, 57 per cent said they were somewhat effective or fairly effective, and only 7 per cent found them to be very effective.

Apart from being ineffective, topical steroids bring other problems, such as allergic skin reactions (J Dermatol, 1991; 18: 454-64; Skin Pharmacol, 1992; 5: 77-80), bone and organ damage (Dermatol Clin, 1992; 10: 505-12; Lancet, 1995; 345: 330), permanent adrenal suppression (Zeitschr Hautkrankh, 1988; 63: 302-8), eye damage (Br Dermatol, 1989; 120: 427-3; Eye, 1993; 7: 664-6) and damage to vital organs such as liver and kidneys. While it behooves us to find safer alternatives, no such initiative has yet taken place (see box, page 4 ).

The hygiene hypothesis

The causes of eczema are many and varied. It is thought that the tendency towards atopy is inherited, and that it involves an excessive immune reaction to allergens in the environment. The link between eczema and food allergies is well established in the literature, yet few physicians use restrictive diet or test for allergies as a first line treatment. But if the link between food and atopy is rarely acted upon, the link between childhood drug use and atopy is positively ignored.

CONTINUED    1  2  3  4  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Thinking, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar