Case Study: Healing Extreme Eczema with Aromatherapy

The Problem: Jill is married with two children, works full-time and often manages the household solo as her husband frequently travels for work. She is easily stressed and has extreme eczema on both hands, which leads to cracking and bleeding from the fingers and joints.

The Condition: Eczema is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis.The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes which are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, swelling, itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. There are several reasons why some people are prone to eczema. They include genetic factors, organ weekness (the skin starts out detoxing but isn’t efficient and it becomes weakened over time), certain foods (naturopaths treat it with dietary changes and supplements) and possibly even cellular memory.

The Practioner: Jill sought guidance from Monika Meulman, who has been working as an aromatherapist and healer for over 10 years.

The Diagnosis: Read Monika’s assessment and prescription for treatment.

Priority#1: Eczema soothing and healing

Priority #2: Stress counseling

Monika’s Prognosis:

There has been lots of research done on stress factors and the body’s response. Each person has a preferred pathway for detoxifying their body. Some people are affected in the digestive system, some in the liver, pancreas, etc. The body’s largest organ, the skin, is quite a great detoxifying mechanism. However, like any imbalance, our body has a tendency to take the easiest route or path of least resistance.

So, in Jill’s case, as with many people, once the body finds an outlet such as the hands, feet, underarms, scalp etc. for eliminating toxins, it rarely tries to find new avenues unless these are blocked. The body will keep using these pathways, ie: her hands and knuckles for detox. The problem arises when Jill doesn’t have enough down time for her skin to recover. The skin becomes damaged and even after a stressor subsides, her hands keep getting raw and damaged from everyday use. When the skin has been altered due to an initial outbreak of eczema, dermititis, psoriasis, etc. we become more vulnerable/susceptible to further damage. The skin can even become hypersensitive to minute exposure of harmful chemicals, clothing fibers, wind or hot and cold temperatures.

While Jill is very down to earth and has few problems in her life, it seems that her body chooses her skin to channel out toxins and stress. When she is at home, the kids are doing well and her husband is home to support her, radical improvements to Jill’s skin occur. When she is stressed, working long hours, her husband is away and she feels like she’s not managing her life well, her hands crack and dry up so much that they bleed.

I created a custom blend of oils to speed up healing of the damaged skin. The greatest success for Jill has been with mango butter and rosehip oil and neroli essential oil. In addition to cream, she also uses a rosemary and lime body spritzer I make in a base of lavender hydrosol and witch hazel. She regularly uses my handmade soaps to reduce any chemical harshness.

Jill’s home treatment has consisted of weekly yoga classes, regular meetings with a local gardening group and seeing her friends for coffee on a regular basis. The routine of personal time as well as social engagements has allowed her to open up and de-stress. Moving her body, breathing work and vocalizing her concerns were all excellent ways to reduce stress levels. Combining a physical treatment (aromatherapy to the hands) and counselling her to take more personal and social time has been a winning formula for Jill.

Monika Meulman is based in Toronto and can be reached through her web site: