Eczema affects approximately 10% of infants worldwide and unfortunately there is currently no cure for the disease, but can be managed by different medication and home remedies. Eczema is also known as dermatitis.
Eczema affects different areas of the skin and causes inflammation including blistering, bleeding and a lot of itching. It really can affect any skin area but it typically creates a rash on the face, behind the knees, inside the elbows and on the hand and feet. We’ve reviewed some of the best natural cures for eczema to see which ones work and which ones don’t.
We’ve reviewed some of the best natural home remedies for eczema, but we always recommend to seek medical advice first. The diagnosis and treatment should be dealt with by a medical professional. The natural cures outlines below can be used to supplement any advice by your doctor, but we always recommend checking with your doctor first before using any alternative treatments.
The Causes Of Eczema
The exact cause of eczema is actually unknown, but studies show it can often be hereditary. So you have the allergy and you want to understand what worsens the situation. Well here are some of the common triggers of eczema:
- Irritants (no, not a sibling or annoying colleague)
- By this we mean the fabric softener to clean your clothes, the soap you use to wash your hands, bubble bath and even coming into contact with fruit and vegetables. Eczema can flair up by many different things but considering your choice in washing up detergent, soap and the bubbles for your bath are a good start. You can often now find quite a number of goods in the supermarket which are removing different chemicals from these products, so bear it in mind if you or one of your family is an eczema sufferer.
- I’m afraid to say…the adorable hairballs like the cute and adorable Labrador, or the character filled Burmese….probably won’t help with your eczema. Similarly, neither will dust mites, dandruff or even the seasonal high pollen count too.
- Not a surprisingly one for the list probably, but unfortunately stress can encourage the symptoms of eczema. Studies haven’t quite understood the connection but reducing the stress in your life is beneficial for a multitude of reasons!
- Hot or cold temperatures
- Extreme temperatures make the skin react in different ways and this also tends to lead to heightened itchiness for the eczema sufferers of this world.
- Some foods
- Eczema can be brought on by a food allergy. Avoiding dairy, soy and wheat can be a good start at trying to reduce the impact of that rash!
Recommended Natural Remedies For Eczema
So the bit you’ve all been waiting for – the herbal remedies for eczema. Here are a few which we believe, in conjunction with mitigating some of the causes above, can really alleviate that itch!
Coconut oil contains properties which reduce inflammation and itching. Pass me the stuff now I hear you cry!
It’s a good moisturiser for the skin and can create a protective screen on the outer layer of the skin.
There are various ways of using the coconut oil on the inflamed area but a couple of suggestions are as follows:
- Drink 2-4 tablespoons a day
- Tip: if you don’t like the taste – add it to a smoothie to help get it into your system
- Use the oil on the inflamed area 3 times a day.
- Tip: leave the oil on overnight for maximum benefit
Sesame oil is high in vitamins as well as magnesium and calcium. It’s a good oil to help soften dry eczema.
So how do you use it effectively to combat eczema? We would suggest a simple massage of the oil into the skin in the evening. Leave it on overnight and rinse well in the morning. An easy and effective way of minimising that itch!
As with the coconut oil, you can also ingest the oil. Perhaps have it on your salad for lunch to make it go down easily!
This is the fatty oil found within the Jojoba plant, found in a number of cosmetics these days.
It sort of replicates the oil found within human skin and helps to reduce dry patches. It encourages a good balance of oil production within the skin itself.
As with some of the other oils, we would suggest simply massaging the oil into the affected areas on a regular basis, say once or twice a day.
Evening Primrose Oil
The plant originally from North America can create an oil extracted from its seeds.
Evening primrose oil has a number of medicinal benefits including the soothing of the skin for conditions such as eczema. It can also help acne, bruising, osteoporosis to name but a few.
We would recommend ingesting this oil but in small dozes to ensure no allergic reaction/side effects occur. To ensure the correct dosage – consult your doctor as this will depend on age.
This is quite an old fashioned oil that has been used on eczema for many many years. It absorbs into the skin very easily which aids it positive effects on the skin. It’s cleansing, nourishing and moisturizing.
Apply to the affected area for maximum benefit. Do this daily.
This can be controversial and therefore we would recommend trying this with caution. However, there are a number of studies that show that salt water can benefit and reduce the effects of eczema.
Sea water has antiseptic properties. This is good.
Adding salt to the wounds (if you pardon the pun), can hurt. This is bad.
The studies show that the positives outweigh the negatives in this case…but obviously bear it in mind before jumping in the sea!
Manuka Honey is known for its exceptional healing properties. It is known to regenerate skin at a very fast rate and it has many antibacterial agents which can help reduce the risk of further infections and flair ups.
It is recommended to take 1 teaspoon of the honey 2-3 times a day.
For extreme cases, you should also apply the honey to the affected area twice daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
An unusual remedy maybe, but also a highly recommended one. Vinegar (and preferably apple cider vinegar) is a great combat to the effects of eczema.
Vinegar’s natural properties can boost the immune system, and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. It can relieve that awful itching sensation along with the inflammation and quite often dryness of the skin.
To use the vinegar we would recommend three main options:
- Dilute the vinegar with water, apply to a cotton ball and then to the affected area. Repeat twice daily.
- Add two cups of vinegar to a warm bath. Soak for up to 30 minutes. Repeat 3 times a week.
- Drink the vinegar with 16 oz of warm water…mix some honey or something sweet to help with the taste. Drink 3 times a day before food.
Aloe Vera is a super effective natural product that has many healing properties. Aloe Vera is said to encourage the development of your immune system as well as providing a soothing agent on the skin to reduce the inflammation of the irritated areas of skin.
As with a number of the remedies noted, the way to utilise the benefits of the aloe vera is to digest them. Please do this cautiously and increase the amount you have as a daily intake over a period of time rather than drinking a lot of the product straight away. As is always the case, be sensible with it. Listen to your body.
If you don’t fancy this option, then consider applying the gel to the affected areas 3 to 5 times a day. Aloe Vera for eczema is on of the top herbal remedies which has stood the test of time.
Yes I’m talking about the oatmeal you would have for breakfast. Don’t write it off…it’s still a possibility ok? Try it and see?
Oatmeal is soothing and hydrating. It’s a wonderful product to help with eczema. It contains colloidal oatmeal which relieves that itch again. It really is worth a try.
So how do you make it?
- Choose the oats and grind into a fine powder (a really fine powder…no clumps please!)
- Add to the bath under warm running water
- And relax! (for about 15-20 minutes)
- Pat your skin dry (gently please!)
Our final recommendation as a home remedy for eczema is calendula cream. It’s another anti-inflammatory which encourages skin regeneration.
A little goes a long way with this cream. You should only need a very small amount applied to the affected area.
So a quick summary….as is always the case with these things…some work for some people, and some work for others. These are some ideas and suggestions which we hope will give you food for thought and help you reduce the painful side effects that eczema can bring. Please please please always consult your doctor if in doubt and remember to trial these options in small dozes and on small areas of the skin first. As I’m sure you’ll agree – you really don’t want to make things worse!