I have a two-year-old son who is suffering from eczema since he was one month old and it has spread to various parts of his body. We have been using creams but with little effect unless we use steroid-based creams. But when we stop using this cream, the eczema returns. Can homeopathy help?

There are several types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrhic dermatitis also known as cradle cap seen in infants, and dyshidrotic eczema.

Atopic eczema is the most common type seen in most children. It’s considered an immune–mediated inflammatory disease, and is caused by a combination of genes and external factors. The common symptoms of atopic eczema are redness, dry skin and intense itching which can be dry or weeping. From the description, it is most likely that your son has the atopic form.

While there could be several reasons for eczema one of the important factors playing a role could be food that the child has been eating which they can be intolerant to. For example, dairy or eggs are the most common ones.

Since every child is different there is no fixed remedy; once we have a detailed history, your homeopath will try and determine the cause and prescribe a constitutional remedy.

In case of food intolerance, certain foods must be eliminated from the diet for a period of time as well.

I would also not encourage skin applications and steroidal creams; however, I would recommend coconut oil or any natural oils for dryness.

Dr Riyaz Badami is a Dubai-based homeopathic practitioner and is the medical director at Good Living Medical Centre