11 Useful Natural Treatments for Eczema
Eczema affects many people and can be very irritating to the skin, and therefore I wanted to share with you in this article natural treatments to relieve eczema. Eczema is a form of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin. The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions that include dryness, recurring skin rashes and itchy skin caused by inflammation. It is most commonly found in children, although adults can get it too. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. The main types of dermatitis are cause when the skin comes in direct contact with an allergens such as detergents and chemicals, or when consuming or inhaling allergens such as certain foods, dust and pollen.
If you suffer from eczema, there are certain natural cures for eczema that might help you in relieving its symptoms:
1. Trigger foods
Many studies have linked food allergies to eczema. What you need to do is to select a potential food and then eliminate it completely from your diet for at least a week, preferably longer. This is called an elimination diet. Then see whether your symptoms improve. It might seem a long process if you go through every food, but the fact is that most people eat certain food all the time. Start with those foods that you eat on a regular basis.In fact, there are common foods that are potentially causing to eczema more than others, for example: cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, cheese, fish, chocolate, artificial food colors and tomatoes. If you don’t get much success with the elimination diet, you can try sensitivity testing that identifies food and environmental irritants that may affect your condition.
2. GLA supplement
Some studies suggest that eczema may be caused by the lack of important enzyme that creates omega 6 fatty acid called GLA. GLA has been shown to be very beneficial in treating eczema. Lack of the enzyme means lack of GLA thus resulting in aggravating eczema. Therefore the solution might be to take GLA as a supplement. It is recommended to use the GLA supplement for at least 4 weeks. Then symptoms should improve gradually.
This is the good bacteria in our gut that is essential for proper digestive system function. If the digestion system doesn’t work properly, our body is more sensitive to allergies and skin irritations. Studies show that taking probiotic supplement reduced significantly eczema in children.
Further reading: You can read more about probiotics in my article 9 reasons to take probiotics and why it’s so good for you.
Recent research has identified chamomile’s anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic benefits. Chamomile is used to soothe skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection. If you have a small area affected by eczema, instead of preparing a bath you can boil up chamomile tea and let it cool. Then apply on the affected area with cotton. Chamomile is a common herb to treat various ailments. You can find more useful information about chamomile and other herbs in my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.
5. Witch hazel
The predominant benefit of witch hazel is its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It is helpful to treat acne, cuts, psoriasis and eczema. It is also a natural remedy for insect bites, sunburn, puffy eyes and itchy skin. All you need to do is to apply it on the affected area as needed.
6. Colloidal oatmeal bath
Colloidal oatmeal is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. When added to bathwater, it creates a milky dispersion that prevents the oatmeal from settling rapidly. You can make Colloidal oatmeal at home by grinding the oatmeal into the finest powder possible, so it dissolves easily in your lukewarm bath. Colloidal oatmeal helps smooth and comfort itchy, scratchy and dry skin. Make a lukewarm bath before going to sleep whenever necessary.
7. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Many people claim that ACV offers relief from eczema. But remember to apply moisturize after using ACV because ACV is a drying agent. Always opt for organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized, and unprocessed apple cider vinegar and not the clear stuff you find in most stores. If you try to look through the vinegar you should see a cobweb-like substance, which is the good stuff, floating in it. There are several ways in which you can use ACV to relieve eczema: the first methos is to mix equal amounts of ACV and water and apply it directly to the eczema affected part of the skin by using a cotton ball or a spray bottle. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the ACV more. Repeat the treatment twice a day once in the morning and once in the night before going to bed. The second method is to add 2 cups of ACV and add this to warm or tepid bath water. Soak in this bath for at least 30 minutes. Repeat this treatment for at least 3 times a week. The third methos is to take 1-2 tablespoons of ACV and mix it into a cup of water (you can add honey for a better taste). Drink once or twice every day.
Further reading: find more information about ACV in the articles 10 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar for Great Health and At Home, 11 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Revolutionize Your Health and How To Easily Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar.
8. Coconut oil
Many eczema sufferers claim that organic unrefined virgin coconut oil is an effective moisturizer which gives them better results than much more expensive products. It has anti inflammatory properties and can safely be used for your babies and young children too. Apply coconut oil to the affected area several times a day and before you go to sleep. It will help to relieve itching and flaking.
9. Baking soda
Baking soda has antiseptic properties that are effective for treating eczema. Prepare a baking soda bath by adding half a cup of baking soda to a full warm bath. Soak for 20 minutes. After the bath, don’t forget to apply a mild moisturizer on the affected area. You can also use baking soda in a paste form: make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the affected area to relieve itching. Leave for few minutes, then rinse and apply moisturizer.
Further reading: read my previous article about 6 uses for baking soda as a kitchen medicine.
10. Aloe vera
Applying aloe vera to the affected area is an effective and natural way to relief a dry and itchy skin. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which help to improve the symptoms of eczema. It can be also used for infants and kids as it has low risk for adverse effects. Apply pure aloe vera from the plant or natural products that contain a high concentration of aloe vera.
Further reading: Find here the best uses of aloe vera for great and healthy skin.
11. Licorice cream
Licorice is known to help skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. According to the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA), lab studies have shown that licorice has anti-inflammatory activity, and researchers have tested it for skin conditions that involve inflammation. In one study, licorice gel applied to the skin, relieved symptoms of itching, swelling, and redness. A gel with 2% licorice worked better than one with 1%.
You may also be interested to read my article about natural psoriasis treatments which include calming salve and nourishing skin oil blend: