Eczema, also referred to as Atopic Dermatitis, is a condition wherein there are patches of skin that become red, inflamed and itch intensely. This itching may become so annoying that a person will literally scratch until the skin breaks down and begins to bleed. There’s not usually any obvious reason for this intense itching and the more you scratch, the worse it becomes.
If you, or someone you love, lives with the condition of eczema, you already know well the search for a cure. You’ve likely already tried nearly everything you can think of and more. You may have even been given a prescription medication that tends to make the area where it’s applied burn or sting which seems counteractive to relieving the annoying symptoms of eczema. Thankfully, there are many great home remedies for the condition of eczema. We’ve gathered a list of favorites for you to try for treating your eczema.
When it comes to treating eczema, many are willing to try just about anything to rid themselves of the horrible itch and the red scaly skin. Keep in mind that if you’re already using a prescription medication to treat your eczema, you’ll want to first check with your doctor before you try any of these all natural remedies for treating your eczema.
Coconut oil is extracted from coconuts and works well as a skin emollient and to soothe rough dry patches of skin. You can use it as a skin cream on the intense itching areas and you can also add it to a warm bath. Always select the virgin organic version of coconut oil.
Made from fine ground oatmeal, this will soothe and calm irritated skin. It’s available in powdered and cream forms. If you don’t have colloidal oatmeal you can put some in a food processor or blender and then add it to a bath. This helps it to break down more readily. As an alternative, you can also put it in a muslin bag and use it in the bathtub or shower to massage into the affected areas. Add it to a lukewarm bath for best results.
Evening Primrose Oil
Made from the oil of the Evening Primrose plant, you use the oil topically in order to soothe skin irritation. You can also take it orally in order to ease eczema. Full of Omega 6 fatty acids which may help to reduce inflammation.
From Sesame seeds, this oil used topically helps to ease and soothe irritated skin. Simply massage it into the affected areas. As an alternative, you can also add this to a warm bath.
Extracted from the seeds of sunflowers, this helps to protect the outer layer of skin and keep the moisture in. It also seals the skin to prevent bacteria from entering the irritated skin and causing infections.
This astringent is made from the bark and the leaves of a shrub that is called Witch Hazel. It’s been used for many centuries and works as a topical application for inflammation. It’s also sometimes found in topical creams for application. Read the labels of skin creams in your local pharmacy to find one that contains witch hazel.
From the marigold plant which is a species of the calendula, this has long been used as an old fashioned folk remedy for healing burns, cuts, and skin inflammation. It’s believed to work by improving the blood flow to the affected area. It also hydrates the skin and helps to fight off infections.
Homemade Skin Care Creams
Here is an excellent recipe for a homemade skin care cream from The Homesteading Hippie. You can find it here. It’s a soothing cream made from easy to find ingredients.
This flowering vine is a tropical vine that is native to both India and to Africa. The flower is pressed and the extraction is then added into a gentle soothing topical ointment that helps to ease inflammation as well as reduce bacteria on the skin and relieve the intense itching of eczema.
Many have found relief by designing their own cream by adding several drops of any of the following essential oils into coconut oil or another carrier oil and applying it to their skin. Lavender, Plantain, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Geranium, Chamomile, Helichrysum or Tea Tree Oil. You could also combine several drops of your favorites and design your own “eczema cream” for relief. Can also be added to a soothing unscented cream for an added boost if desired.
Soothing Oil Cream
Combine equal parts of Olive Oil (I use an organic extra version Olive Oil), Coconut Oil (again, organic) and Vitamin E with several drops of lavender oil (to your scent preference, or any other essential oil that suits you) and then I drizzle in just enough bees wax to make it thick like a cream. Gently stir well and then spread over the affected areas.
Acupuncture Or Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure have long been used to ease various symptoms and clear the flow of the chi or energy in the body. While there is certainly promise to this remedy, there is still a lot of research being done regarding how well it works. Acupressure works in the same way except that it’s a pressure on specific areas of the body vs an acupuncture needle.
It’s long been known that stress is a trigger for many for eczema. It’s the body’s way of warding off stress. While there is little information regarding this, learning to relax more and reduce stress has helped more than one person to cope with their eczema.
Meditation, visualization, deep breathing, listening to soft soothing music, talking a walk and other relaxation methods have been showing some promise for many. If you’re always stressed, working too hard and not taking care of yourself try some relaxation and see if that doesn’t help you to alleviate some of your eczema.
While we’re on the subject of relaxation, massage therapy has also shown some promise as a way to ease eczema flareups. Just make sure to select a masseuse that has been accredited and is experienced in treating skin conditions that aren’t contagious. Always make sure that any lotions or oils that are being used won’t trigger an allergy for you personally or bring your own lotions or creams if you prefer. Make sure to let the masseuse know that you’re struggling with eczema before the massage begins.
Soaps And Detergents
We can’t stress enough how soaps and detergents can affect your eczema. Some people are simply more sensitive to such products than others and must be mindful of this when choosing their soaps and detergents.
Choose unscented products whenever possible and watch for allergies. Make sure to rinse laundry well and use smaller amounts of detergent and soap to help reduce allergen exposures. If a particular brand tends to make you break out, stop using it and try another. Trial and error may seem challenging but it usually only takes one or two tries to get to one that works well and won’t cause an eczema breakout.
Some types of fabrics may trigger eczema in some people. Avoid fibers that are scratchy such as wool. Choose instead cottons, rayon’s, silk, bamboo, or softer fabrics. Opt for those that are eco friendly as these are typically more forgiving on tender skin.
Epsom Salt Bath
Take a bath in Epsom salts. You can also combine this with ½ cup of Pink Himalayan sea salt, ¼ cup of coconut oil, and 7 to 10 drops of your favorite scented essential oil for a nice soothing soak in warm water. Avoid hot water soaks as they do dry the skin out more and you want to avoid this with eczema. Be sure to use a good moisturizer after you pat your skin dry with a soft fluffy towel.
It seems like everywhere you turn lately turmeric is in the news, and with good reason, turmeric has excellent antibacterial properties and works well as an anti-inflammatory. You can take turmeric capsules, or you can make a paste with water and turmeric and apply to the affected areas during a shower. Rinse well and pat the area gently dry with a soft fluffy towel. If you’re really struggling with your eczema, you can use both to give your body a jump start on the eczema treatment.
Add more olive oil to your cooking and to your foods. Olive oil not only works topically, but it also works internally to ease inflammation and itching of skin. Spritz some on salads and other greens, use it to fry your foods in, add it to a smoothie or simply take a teaspoonful each morning and evening to see if that doesn’t help ease your symptoms.
Choose the most pure vegetable shortening that you can find in your local supermarket. Rub it into the affected areas and apply plastic warp to the area over the shortening. You can use medical tape to keep it on or simply cut the end off of a long tube sock and pull that over the plastic wrap to help hold it on your skin over the shortening. Leave the plastic wrap over the area overnight and remove it in the morning. You should see great results.
Bathe In Oils
Try adding ½ cup of your favorite soothing oil into a warm bath. Add in several drops of your favorite essential oils as well and relax in the warm water for about 20 minutes. You can use Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Coconut oil, Sesame oil or any other oil of your choice.
Many people find that if they avoid eating products that contain gluten their skin calms. Keep in mind too that many products contain gluten if they have wheat in them (wheat germ oil is a common ingredient in many skin care products). Consider removing or cutting back on gluten. Make sure to read labels, gluten is hidden in many foods and skin care products.
Avoiding Scented or Perfumed Body Care Products
Many products that we use daily have scents added to them. Try using unscented deodorants, body wash, soaps, detergents, make up, and other skin care products and see if the eczema doesn’t calm down.
Stopping Your Food Allergies
Many people are allergic to a particular food and if they can determine what that particular food is and avoid eating it, they can help to ease their symptoms. You can do this all on your own if you wish. Simply keep a food journal for about 3 weeks and be sure to write down what you eat each day in full detail (include snacks, beverages etc.).
Also note the days that eczema is at its worst and make sure to note when it’s doing well or you’re suffering mildly, moderately or to the extreme. Then, sit down with the food journal and the calendar of when the eczema breakouts were worse and see what foods were eaten the day before and the day of the breakouts.
Is there a pattern? If so, try eliminating that particular food for 2 weeks and then reintroduce it and see if there is a breakout. If there is a breakout after a 2 week elimination period then there is likely a food allergy. Wheat, nuts, soy, and dairy are frequent culprits of food allergies.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic apple cider vinegar will have the “mother” in it. This “mother” looks like there is debris or settlement in the vinegar. Actually, it’s the good bacteria that are helpful to treat a variety of ailments including skin conditions. Grab a cotton ball and dab some onto the affected areas for great results.
Caution, if there is broken skin this may sting a bit. I avoid using vinegar on cracked or broken skin. You can also water the vinegar down to half vinegar and half sterile or distilled water. Many people also drink a teaspoon to a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar in ¼ cup of warm water twice per day to help heal the skin from the inside out.
Aloe Vera Gel
That lovely plant sitting in your window that you use for burns is also very helpful in treating eczema. Simply break a leaf open and spread the gel on the affected skin areas. You can also find Aloe Vera Gel in a bottled form at your local pharmacy. You can also refrigerate the Aloe Vera Gel and when applied to the skin it will help to soothe the irritated areas.
You can add one cup of baking soda to a warm bath and soak in it for about 20 minutes. You can also add about a cup to a cup and a half of baking soda to sterile or distilled water and mix well and then massage the affected areas of the skin with the solution. Rinse off in tepid water and pat the skin dry with a soft fluffy towel.
Break open some Vitamin E capsules and massage the oil gently into the affected areas. Apply a soft flannel or cotton cloth to the area if desired to help keep the Vitamin E on the skin. You can also ingest the Vitamin E capsules and work from the inside out to prevent or help to ease the symptoms of eczema.
Take a fish oil supplement of Omega 3 daily. Ask your doctor about adding more fish oils to your diet for more relief. You can find Omega 3s in tuna, flax seed, many nuts, salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Try to increase your daily intake of Omega 3s from whole foods, and see if you don’t find some relief.
There are a lot of great probiotics on the market today. Consider adding some to your diet to see if it doesn’t help ease your symptoms. You can also apply the probiotics to your skin if they are the “gel” type. Simply break the capsules open and gently apply to the affected ares of the skin.
Eat more yogurt. Yogurt is a great source of probiotics and will help you to encourage better gut health. You can also massage plain yogurt into the affected areas and find some instant relief. Check your yogurt brands as some are more organic than others.
Increase the foods that are rich in Vitamin A for some relief. Many doctors prescribe Vitamin A to help ease many skin conditions but you can simply add foods that are high in Vitamin A to see if that doesn’t give you some relief. You can find Vitamin A in cod liver oil (maybe grandma was right), and in chicken livers. Try adding a bit of either in your meals now and again to boost the Vitamin A content in your foods. Kids rarely notice if you only add in a small amount.
Save those bones when you’re cooking and put them in a soup pot or a crockpot. Allow them to simmer all day long and then remove the bones and drink some of the broth. Many patients swear by this treatment and say that they sip at least one to three cups of warm bone broth on a daily basis and have found great relief.
Bone broth is also an ideal way to ward off the many viruses that go through schools and other areas during the back to school season. You can season the bone broth as desired as long as you drink it warm you should find a bit of relief from your symptoms.
Many people who suffer from skin ailments have found great relief in the natural sunlight. Just 20 minutes of exposure on a daily basis can sometimes ease symptoms. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t go out in the heat of the day and expect to avoid a sunburn. Be wise in using sunlight for a treatment.
Keep the house a bit cooler in the winter months and see if that doesn’t help. I have wood heat and I notice when the room is warmer, my eczema is more irritated. When I dial the wood stove down it’s much more manageable. Keep the room temperature at about 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.
There are clearly many all-natural remedies for treating eczema to choose from, and you can try as many or as few of these as you like. If one doesn’t work, feel free to try another. Since they are all natural you can even combine two or more to find great relief from your eczema symptoms.
Eczema, just as any other medical condition, can present itself differently on each individual person. What works well for one person may not work at all for another person. What triggers an eczema breakout for one person may not trigger it at all on another person. Some cases may be more severe than others, even on the same person.
If your eczema is severe and your doctor has prescribed a pharmaceutical ointment or cream be sure to check with them prior to using any of the above mentioned treatment options. Sometimes there are ingredient combinations that may work against one another and a doctor can best advise you in regards to this. What works for your eczema treatment?