A number of medical conditions can adversely affect people and negatively impact their overall quality of life. This can be caused by a number of factors such as family history, genetic makeup, exposure to various elements found in nature, and even outright disregard for hygiene or health. Some of these medical conditions may be minor while some could be more serious or life-threatening. One such medical condition is eczema. Fortunately, this chronic skin condition may be treated by different alternative medical treatments or cures. One such proposed treatment for eczema relief is Histidine. But is histidine really effective against eczema? In this article, let us look at what eczema is, what histidine can do for people with eczema, and the other alternative treatment options for people with eczema.
Eczema: What is this Skin Condition?
Eczema, more scientifically called atopic dermatitis, is a condition that can make the skin itchy and red. Children are more commonly afflicted with the said skin condition but eczema can affect anyone at any age. This type of skin condition is considered chronic or lasts for a long time and has been observed to sporadically occur. It is also observed to occur alongside hay fever and asthma. Currently, there are no direct and confirmed medical treatments for eczema or atopic dermatitis. There are some self-care and alternative measures that can aid people in finding relief from the itching caused by eczema and in the prevention of further eczema outbreaks. Some possible self-care tips to avoid the aforementioned skin condition include the application of medicated ointments and creams, regularly moisturizing the skin, and the avoidance of soaps that are harsh.
Some of the symptoms of eczema may be different and unique for each person. Eczema, however, will generally have the following signs and symptoms:
- Skin that has already turned swollen, sensitive, and raw due to excessive scratching
- Scaly, cracked and thick skin
- Infant’s scalp, face, elbows, and knees, eyelids, upper chest, neck, wrists, ankles, feet, hands caused by patches that are brownish-gray and red.
- Bumps that are small but raised can crust over and have fluid leaking once scratched.
- Itchy skin particularly during nighttime
- Dry skin
Some of the complications of eczema include:
- Problems sleeping: The quality of sleep of people with eczema may be adversely affected by the constant scratching and itching.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Those with atopic dermatitis are more prone to this condition.
- Irritant hand dermatitis: This condition will usually affect those individuals whose hands are constantly exposed to disinfectants, detergents, and soaps that are harsh.
- Infections of the skin- Scratching repeatedly can lead to breaks in the skin which can result in cracks and sores. These breaks can increase the risk of exposure to harmful microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria (ex. herpes simplex virus)
- Scaly and chronically itchy skin: Lichen Simplex Chronicus or neurodermatitis can start off with an itchy area of the skin. Once the area is scratched, the portion of the skin can get progressively itchier. Once this repeated scratching becomes a force of habit, the skin can become leathery, thick, and discolored.
- Hay fever and asthma: Most patients afflicted with atopic dermatitis (especially those that are young kids) may also experience hay fever and asthma.
Eczema and Histidine: Relief from the said Skin Condition
An amino acid currently being looked at as a possible treatment option for eczema, L-Histidine is something that the body does not naturally produce and should be acquired through the food consumed by individuals. It is a crucial component of the barrier of the skin and in the maintenance of the hydration of the skin which can help in the treatment and even the prevention of eczema. A recent study in 2017, showed that L-Histidine, when orally taken in amounts of 4 grams per day for two months, lowered symptom severity of eczema by as much as topical steroids that are considered topical.
This reduction in the symptoms of eczema was observed to go beyond the said eight (8) week or two (2) month period and were also beneficial in the sense that the L-Histidine treatment did not produce any unwanted side effects. While there were only 24 participants in the aforementioned single study, eczema relief through L-histidine treatments may have a significant impact on improved skin health.
Alternative Treatments For Eczema Treatment and Management
Aside from L-histidine, other more unconventional or alternative eczema treatments have been identified in the past few years. Some of these treatments include Vitamin B12, Primrose Oil, and sunflower seed oil. Listed below are some of the other alternative treatments for eczema treatment and management:
It may benefit those afflicted with eczema. Honey has been historically linked with helping the body in terms of its infection-fighting and healing abilities and has also been shown to boost some of the functions of the immune system. Two (2) studies have been conducted to specifically observe what honey can do for people with eczema. The first one used Manuka Honey overnight on portions of the skin with eczema while the other one focused on honey being applied to the external ear afflicted with eczema. Both studies showed symptom improvement particularly in terms of eczema related discomfort, scaling, redness, and itching.
EISO or East Indian Sandalwood Oil
East Indian Sandalwood Oil may have some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties coupled with some properties that could be considered anti-microbial. One recent study conducted in 2017 showed improved symptoms for people who were suffering from eczema and given EISO through colloidal oatmeal.
This supplement may have some sort of short term effectiveness in eczema relief. As an essential nutrient, vitamin e can have some positive effects on the human immune system. Those who were treated with Vitamin E showed better recovery from eczema treatments. It also helped in addressing certain symptoms such as skin thickening, excoriation, swelling, and redness.