Q: Good morning Doctor, My name us Doris. I have a 16 months old son and a 6 weeks old baby girl. My son has this skin problem that started like fungi infection on the face then gradually, it’s all over his body . I later took him to a dermatologist who said its eczema. My daughter also has it as I have seen some skin rash and discoloration on her face. I have used all sort of creams and ointments prescribed by the hospital but still no improvement. Now I have been advised to use the Yoruba, ‘Agbo’ to cure it. Please what do you advise?
A: I have seen people who swear by Agbo and claim not to have been to the hospital for ‘gazillion’ 😀 years as a result of the fact that they take this. This cuts across different social strata as I have met people in different strata of the society that use it. So, is it effective? This herb is thought to be effective against malaria, typhoid, sexually transmitted infections and now eczema etc.
Now, I am always personally worried when one drug cures a multitude of things…it’s sorta worrisome. However, some scientists have done some work and noted that the original Agbo herbs have some anti-oxidant activity and so it could very well be curative of some illnesses.
But, the alcohol and other additives that are packed into it makes one even more skeptical about its usefulness in treatments except the aim is to knock out the person taking it 😀
Again, there are no specific dosages for these herbs and they are generally hawked in very unhygienic conditions. Some of the components could also pose health threats to children and adults alike if it is not known whether they are allergic to these components.
All in all, a lot of work needs to be done on Agbo, if it is to be accepted as a useful treatment for any ailment. This will help confirm exact components, dosage and possible drug interactions.
So, in the meantime, leave well alone…seriously 😀
Now as to the skin problem, eczema is usually found to run in families with a history of allergies.
Preventive/control measures include using mild soap to take a bath, followed by a mild moisturizer.
Also do not use water that is too hot for a bath as this dries out your skin and makes the itching from eczema worse.
Use warm water if you must and then dab your skin leaving some moisture. Lock in this moisture with a moisturizer.
Stress is also a trigger for this and so reducing your stress levels and exercising may be helping in more ways than one.
Anti-histamines (helpful with itching) and over the counter steroid creams are also useful.
For severe cases, please see your doctor for a prescription of more potent steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, ultra violet light therapy etc.
If the situation is not improving with the prescribed medications, please see the skin doctor (dermatologist) again for other treatment options as noted above or perhaps, get a second opinion.
All the best!
Have a good night everyone 😀