Natural Home Remedies for Eczema
Natural home remedies for eczema include the use of herbs, vitamins and other natural supplements, homeopathy, and aromatherapy. These
remedies are safe and effective in treating eczema.
Eczema, medically known as "atopic dermatitis", is a common skin disorder that causes the skin to be red, dry, itchy, and inflammed. It affects about 15 percent of the
There are two forms of eczema: acute eczema and chronic eczema.
Acute eczema is typically brought on by an allergic reaction, e.g. to a certain food, or by contacting an irritant. If the cause of the allergic reaction can be identified
and removed, the eczema will usually disappear.
Chronic eczema is a complex condition that is usually linked to a family history of eczema, hay fever, or asthma. It may also result from stress, food allergies, a
malfunction in the body's immune system, or repeated exposure to the irritants that cause the acute eczema in the first place.
Chronic eczema is most often seen in infants and children, but it can continue into adulthood or first appear later in life. It tends to flare periodically and then
subside for a time, even up to several years.
Eczema typically affects skin on the arms, in the folds of the elbows, and behind the knees. It can also develop on the face and the head.
Symptoms of Eczema
- Red, dry, inflammed skin.
- Itching, which may be intense especially at night.
- Small, raised bumps, which may ooze and crust over when scratched.
- Continued itching.
- Color changes in skin - red to brownish-gray colored patches.
- Thickened, cracked or scaly skin.
Causes of Eczema
The exact cause is unknown, but is likely due to a combination of some of the following factors:
- Food allergies.
- Contact with irritants, such as topical medications, plants, soaps, perfumes, dyes, etc.
- Dry, irritated skin
- An imbalanced immune system
- Long term use of certain medication (e.g. topical steroid medication)
- Heredity - Eczema often occurs along with allergies and frequently runs in families.
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema
Many people who have chronic eczema can attest to the fact that conventional medication does not work too well. Very often, such medication includes oral antihistamines,
topical and/or oral corticosteroid medicines which only suppress the symptoms without treating the root cause(s).
To get rid of eczema, a holistic approach addressing the underlying problem(s), detoxifying the body system, and strengthening the immune system, is more effective.
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema - Herbs
Several herbs can be used to detoxify the body and to cleanse the system. For this purpose, use herbs such as:
Herbs can also be used topically to heal the skin, for example:
- Burdock root: It has a cleansing effect on ths skin.
- Dandelion root: It supports the liver in the process of detoxifying the body.
- Calendula: Use a cream of this herb to heal broken or oozing skin. Calendula is antiseptic and has excellent skin healing power.
- Chamomile: Use a cream or a cool compress of this herb to reduce itching and swelling. Other herbs with similar functions include chickweed and
- Oat: Oat soothes the skin and reduces irritation caused by inflammation. You can put a cup of oatmeal in a bag made of cheese cloth.
Put this bag under a running tap and swish it through the bath water. Then squeeze and rub the wet bag over the skin.
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema - Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential home remedies for eczema. In particular:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes skin healing. If you have eczema, take high dosage of vitamin C
(2000-3000 mg per day for adults, and 500-1000 mg for children).
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A also promotes skin healing. Adults can take up to 5000 IU and children 2000 IU per day.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E promotes skin healing as well. Adults can take up to 400 IU and children 200 IU per day.
- Zinc: This mineral is also essential for skin healing. Adults can take 30 mg twice a day and children 5 to 10 mg twice a day.
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema - Other Natural Supplements
The following natural supplements are essential home remedies for eczema:
- Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs reduce inflammation and dryness of the skin. Take a formulation that contains Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids,
such as fish oil or flaxseed oil.
- Quercitin: This supplement has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Probiotics: Probiotics replenish the body with "friendly bacteria" that help with digestion, detoxification, and support the immune system.
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema - Homeopathy
Homeopathy is effective in alleviating symptoms caused by eczema. Choose a remedy that most closely matches your symptoms.
Continue taking the remedy until there is an improvement. Once the skin begins to improve, stop taking the remedy. If however, the skin worsens after taking the remedy,
stop using it and consult a holistic practitioner.
Common remedies to treat eczema include the following. It is advisable to consult a practitioner as to dosage.
- Arsenicum album: This remedy is for very dry, itchy skin and swollen, tender skin eruptions. The irritation feels worse with warm applications. The itchiness usually
intensifies at night.
- Graphites: This remedy is indicated if patches of skin become think, are moist and oozing, with a clear or slightly yellow discharge.
- Mezereum: This remedy is to be used if eczema is blistered, infected, and oozing and then forms a thick, crustlike layer.
- Psorinum: This eczema remedy is helpful for chronic eczema that is worse on the legs, and that causes people to scratch until they bleed.
- Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy is for the person who feels better from warm applications. It is good for the dry, itchy areas in the folds of joints, which are usually
accompanied by small blisters on the skin.
- Sulfur: This remedy is for dry, red, and itchy skin that feels worse with bathing and warmth. If you feel hot and sweaty at night, then this
remedy is better suited to you.
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema - Aromatherapy
If your skin irritation caused by eczema is very itchy and inflammed, you can try making a healing oil mixture using the following essential oils:
Dilute these oils in:
Apply to the affected skin areas two to three times a day.
- 10 drops of Chamomile (anti-inflammatory, good for eczema)
- 5 drops of Lavender (anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, good for skin problems such as eczema)
- 5 drops of Yarrow (anti-inflammatory and an astringent)
Natural Home Remedies for Eczema - Prevention
These are some of the things that you can do to help reduce skin flare-up:
- Bathe less frequently: If you are prone to eczema, try going a day or two without a shower or bath. When you do bathe,
limit yourself to 15 to 20 minutes, and use warm, rather than hot, water. Take an oatmeal bath once or twice a week to soothe your skin.
- Use mild soaps: Choose mild soaps that clean without excessively removing natural oils.
- "Air out" your skin: Expose affected areas of skin to the air as much as possible. However, do not expose your skin to sunlight for extended
period of time as this will have a detrimental affect on the eczema, but 30 minutes in the sun can help to reduce inflammation.
- Wear soft cotton clothing: Cotton clothing does not rub against and irritate your skin. When washing your clothes, use a gentle detergent
and make sure that the detergent is rinsed off completely. A second rinse of clothes, towels and washcloths may be useful.
- Identify possible allergens: If you are prone to eczema caused by certain kinds of foods or environmental allergens, identify them and eliminate
them from your diet and surroundings. As a general rule of thumb, avoid food additives and inflammatory foods, such as sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy
- Live stress-free: Try to reduce everyday stress by relaxing as much as possible.
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Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Worwood, V.A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (New World Library, 1991).
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