/Eczema (Nar-E-Farsi)

Eczema (Nar-E-Farsi)

Skin is the largest organ enveloping the whole body and performing multiple functions, including temperature control, fluid balance, sensory perception and immune responses, protection from ultra violet damages and the expression of facial and sexual characteristics. It is exposed to a variety of physical, chemical and biological substances, pathogenic organisms, allergens, radiations and micro- and macro- organisms. Reacting to these substances appears the inflammatory condition known as contact dermatitis (Iltehab-e-Jild Lamsi or Hissasi). If this condition is left untreated it may lead to lesions of characteristic eczematous changes and lastly generalized eczema. Eczema is a Greek word comprising two parts “Ec” means ‘out’ and “Zeo” means ‘boil’. The whole word implies to “boil-out”. The Hindi name of eczema is Chambal, Chhajan, Akota. The term “dermatitis and eczema” are often used interchangeably. According to modern medicine eczema is a non-contagious inflammation of the skin in response to endogenous or exogenous stimuli characterized by erythema, oedema, vesiculation, oozing, weeping and crusting. It is due to an antigen-antibody reaction, and classified depending on aetiology and presentations. There are different clinical presentations of eczema the main types being atopic eczema irritant and allergic contact eczema, discoid eczema, venous eczema and pompholyx.

The causes of eczema are many and varied and depend on the particular type of eczema that a person has. Atopic eczema is thought to be hereditary condition, being genetically linked. People with atopic eczema are sensitive to allergens in the environment which are harmless to others. In atopy there is an excessive reaction by the immune system producing inflamed, irritated and sore skin. Associated atopic conditions include asthma and hay fever. Other types of eczema are caused by irritants such as chemicals and detergents, allergens such as nickel, and yeast growths. In later years eczema can be caused by blood circulatory problems in the legs. The causes of certain types of eczema remain to be explained, though links with environmental factors stress are being explored. Diseases of the skin are commonly occurring in India. There are not many statistical evidences regarding the exact frequency of skin diseases in our country, but hospital records revealed that out of total attendance about 10 percent of the patients suffer from skin diseases, and the incidence of eczema is about 3 percent of all medical problems and about 30 percent of all skin ailments.

The primary cause of Nar-e-Farsi (eczema) is production of excess quantity of abnormal Safra (Yellow bile) mixed with abnormal Sauda and Sauda-e-Muhtariqa. Therefore all the Unani physicians are of the opinion that its treatment should be started with Tanquiyah-e-Badan (removal of harmful material from the body) through different means of evacuation like Fasd, Munzij & Mushil etc. Besides eradication of diseased matter, tissue metabolism and their faculties may also be strengthened which include Quwwat-e-Jazeba (power of absorption); Quwwat-e-Masika (retentive power); Quwwat-e-Mughaiyirah wa Mushabbeha (transformative faculty) and Quwwat-e-Dafia (expulsive power).

The primary goal of treatment in eczema is to relieve discomfort by controlling the signs and symptoms. Since eczema is usually dry and itchy, most treatment plans involve applying lotions, creams or ointment to keep the skin as moist as possible. The treatment plans may also require lifestyle modifications. Psychological interventions such as habit reversal techniques are a useful addition to conventional therapies in selected cases.  

Some tips for Nar-e-Farsi (Eczema) patients :-

1. Avoid rough, scratchy, tight clothing and woollens.

2. Avoid frequent use of soaps, hot water and other cleansing procedures to remove natural oil from the skin.

3. Bathe not more than once daily.

4. Wash clothes and brushes should not be used while bathing.

5. After bathing, the skin should be patted dry (not rubbed).

6. Avoid secondary skin infections.

7. Avoid stress and anxiety.

Some common foods that may trigger an eczema flare-up and could be removed from a diet include:

• Citrus fruits.
• Dairy.
• Eggs.
• Gluten or wheat.
• Soy.
• Spices, such as vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon.
• Tomatoes.
• Some types of nuts