Natural Eczema Treatment - What Works Best?
Home Remedies for Eczema
Eczema is an extraordinarily common and irritating skin disease. Don’t worry if you or your child has it; there should be an effective remedy that will work for you.
Eczema mainly affects children, although this disease isn't uncommon in adults. The most common form of eczema is atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis), which gives rise to symptoms of a red rash and itchy skin. This skin disease tends to affect those who have dry skin. It has a genetic component, since it tends to run in families.
Symptoms can be triggered by an irritant, which can be a detergent, clothing, house dust mites, pet fur, pollens, or particular foods. Peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, and wheat are typical food triggers. Stress can also trigger attacks.
Contact dermatitis (the medical term is a contact eczema) is another form of eczema, where symptoms are triggered by direct contact with an irritant, such as a detergent, a cosmetic ingredient, or industrial oils or solvents.
How to Treat Eczema?
Effective eczema treatment involves avoiding irritants or allergens that trigger eczema, but some attacks may still occur. Along with commercial anti-eczema products, there are a number of useful remedies for this skin disease that can help as well.
Different people will respond to these home remedies to a greater or lesser extent. If one doesn’t work, try another, until you find the best cure for your eczema symptoms. When first trying out a new remedy, only use a small amount, since allergies or other adverse reactions occasionally occur.
The following home remedies for eczema are worth trying:
Consult Your Physician
If you experience severe and/or persistent symptoms, always consult your physician or dermatologist.
Coconut oil is a soothing, moisturizing oil that can help stop the skin drying out. It has anti-inflammatory properties, so it should gradually help the eczema heal.
A recent research published in the International Journal of Dermatology showed that the virgin coconut oil was superior to mineral oil in alleviating mild to moderate atopic eczema symptoms in children.
To get rid of eczema, you should apply this oil regularly to the affected areas, at least twice a day. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is considered superior to the normal coconut oil (known as RBD oil), since the latter undergoes more processing, which may remove some of the beneficial compounds present.
Oatmeal baths are one of primadonna home remedies for relieving eczema. Colloidal oatmeal, which is a finely powdered form of oatmeal, is the best type to use. A review published in 2014 concluded that oatmeal baths were beneficial for atopic eczema in both adults and children.
Simply add the oatmeal under the running faucet so that it becomes well dispersed in the water. Take care not to slip in the bath, since the oatmeal tends to make the floor of the bath more slippery.
Oatmeal baths are a great way to eliminate itching and moisturize your skin. Dry your skin gently after the bath. Do not rub it roughly; otherwise you’ll tend to undo the good work the bath has done.
Chamomile oil is another popular eczema remedy. This oil is usually derived from the German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), although the Roman chamomile plant or Chamaemelum nobile is occasionally used. It is probable that they are both of similar effectiveness.
Commercial creams are also available. Apply the oil or cream to the skin as directed. Some people prefer to make chamomile tea, allow it to cool, and then apply it to their skins. Chamomile tea bags can also be added to your bath water to give a soothing chamomile bath. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that drinking chamomile tea helps eczema, although many people find the drink calming.
Allergic reactions to chamomile occasionally occur. Avoid chamomile entirely if you are allergic to anything in the ragweed family. When you first try chamomile, only use a very small amount. If it seems to irritate your skin, stop use immediately.
A scientific study published in 2005 reported that eating hempseed oil helped reduce the symptoms of atopic eczema; it was a superior treatment to olive oil. A number of parents confirmed that their children’s eczema complaints had improved significantly once they started to give them regular doses of hempseed oil.
Hempseed oil is made from industrial hempseeds. It is not the same as the cannabis oil: it won’t make you high, since it has negligible amounts of the compound THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis).
Hempseed oil is available from some health food shops or online. It’s best kept in the fridge as it can deteriorate if stored for too long at room temperature. It should always be eaten cold, since heating tends to decompose it. Three teaspoons a day would be a typical adult dose.
Jojoba oil is derived from the seeds of jojoba shrub (Simmondsia chinensis), which is found in some southern states and Mexico. Jojoba oil can be applied to the affected areas at least twice a day.
Good quality jojoba oil can be purchased in bulk, making it an inexpensive treatment for eczema and other related skin conditions.
Glycerin (or known as glycerol) is a good moisturizer, and is found in a large number of commercial products. Glycerin is usually diluted with water (in about a 1 to 1 ratio) and then applied to affected areas.
Glycerin gradually absorbs water from the air (it is hygroscopic). Keep the top on the bottle, so it doesn’t absorb too much water before use.
High quality glycerin derived from the vegetable oils can be purchased in bulk from a variety of suppliers. It is an inexpensive natural eczema treatment, which might work just as well for you as many much more expensive commercial moisturizing creams.
Fish oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which tend to be lacking in western diets. A German study published in 2008 confirmed that the severity of eczema decreased in adults given the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Further scientific work is needed to confirm these findings.
You can buy either capsules or bottles of fish oil. Always buy fish oils that are high in omega-3 fatty acids (some economy brands aren’t). The oils should be eaten, not put directly on the skin; you don’t want to smell of fish all day.
Natural Eczema Treatment, by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Natural Eczema Treatment Options
Apply this oil to the affected areas twice daily.
Pick Virgin Coconut Oil for the best result.
Simply add oatmeal to your bath water.
Colloidal oatmeal is the best type to use.
Take three teaspoons of this oil a day.
It is best to keep this oil in the fridge.
Apply chamomile oil, cream, or tea to your skin.
Avoid use if you are allergic to it.
Apply this oil to the affected areas twice daily.
Avoid this oil if you have a sensitive skin.
Dilute it with water and apply to affected areas
Avoid this oil if you have an oily skin.
6 one-gram capsules (containing 32% DHA, 51% EPA, and 3.6 IU/gram of DL-alpha-tocopherol) for 12-16 weeks.
Never put this oil directly on your skin.
Eczema is an extraordinarily common skin disease that can take a toll on your quality of life. Fortunately, a number of effective treatment options are available—everything from medical to natural—to ease the symptoms and manage your condition.