Dr.Hauschka Med

Stories of total confidence

It makes me itch. But why? Although tips from other sufferers are useful, neurodermitis comes in many forms. Ultimately, this skin disorder can develop in so many different ways that everyone must figure out what causes their own specific suffering. Two patients report on their experiences.

Easter 1999. The then 30-year-old Christian Wolters* from Dresden goes climbing with his friends in Saxon Switzerland, where they spend the night in the open air. “The next morning, my underarms were covered in a rash”, he remembers. An allergy? Multiple tests showed not. It was a case of neurodermitis flaring up again. This is something Christian Wolters first developed when he was just six months old but had not suffered from since he was 18.

Ulm 1994. When the now 16-year-old Tobias Bechtle* was six months old, his mother Sandra Bechtle* found sore, bloody creases on his neck. The diagnosis: neurodermitis linked to a susceptibility to candida fungal infections.

Back in Dresden. Since Christian Wolters’ neurodermitis flared up again his condition has continuously deteriorated. The anthroposophic paediatrician who treats his two-and-a-half and five-year-old sons, who also both developed neurodermitis at six months, recommends that he sees an anthroposophic dermatologist, who asks targeted questions about possible triggers. Christian Wolters’ observations are clear. Further to an atypical alleviation of the neurodermitis in autumn and winter and a tendency to suffer less in the mornings than in the late afternoons, he identifies stress as the trigger for the attacks. Sweat, dirt and the build-up of heat on his skin all make the itching worse. Taking regular hot showers and then moisturising his skin helps him.

I had to learn to listen to my child

Tobias’s situation was quite the contrary. Sandra Bechtle regularly bathed her baby son as the warm water helped relieve his wind. “When he first suffered from neurodermitis, an esthetician recommended that I should simply stop washing Tobias as much.” For eight weeks, she therefore mainly cleaned him with oil cloths. The solution was a success. The symptoms disappeared for the first time since the neurodermitis broke out. “I also had to learn to listen to my child”, said Sandra Bechtle. The fact that he did not want to eat apples or wear a particular t-shirt was not him being an awkward child, but rather an expression of his intolerance to fruit and fabric treatments.

Our skin and allergies are closely linked to our digestion

The anthroposophic dermatologist Dr Lüder Jachens explains further: “whether material or spiritual, things that are undigested or untolerated negatively impact the skin, which quasi metabolises them. If we move this misplaced process of metabolism from the outside of our bodies to the inside, towards the intestines, our skin condition improves and our mental wellbeing is fortified.” A general digestion-boosting, skin-stabilising treatment is therefore the right solution for Christian Wolters. “This summer, I did not experience any severe outbreaks”, stated a delighted Christian, who attributes this to the treatment.

Two neurodermitis sufferers. Both have found their way

Tobias Bechtle can now control his neurodermitis without medical treatment. He does not eat fruit and always washes new clothes at least once before wearing them. If his skin starts to itch, he immediately applies cream, which usually enables him to curtail the problem.

Christian Wolters meanwhile still assiduously heads off into the mountains. “If my hands are cracked, that can sometimes be distracting as I climb.” But the euphoria of scrambling up a rock face under his own steam outweighs this and lets him forget his skin.

*Name changed by the editorial team