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Natural Health News and Articles

10 Natural Remedies for Eczema

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, that usually occurs in children, but that can occur at any age.

Symptoms of the condition, which tends to flare up and subside, include cracked, dry or scaly skin that itches, often getting worse at night; red or brown patches, commonly inside the bend of the elbows and knees; and red, swollen skin that’s irritated from scratching.

Below are 10 natural remedies for eczema relief:

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

    Moisturizing is very important when trying to relieve eczema symptoms. Heavily moisturize the skin with shea butter or a moisturizing cream, which is better at holding in moisture than a lotion.
    Moisturize your skin 2 to 3 times a day and apply the moisturizer within 3 minutes after bathing to lock in moisture.

  2. Take a warm bath

    Sprinkle oatmeal or baking soda into a lukewarm bath and soak in the bath for about 20 minutes until your skin starts to wrinkle. After the bath, pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer.

  3. Choose mild soaps and detergents

    Choose mild soaps and detergents without dyes or perfumes. Also, make sure to rinse the soap completely off your body when bathing.

  4. Take measures to stop itching

    Apply an ice pack, a cold compress or a package of frozen vegetables to the affected area to reduce the itchiness.
    Cut your fingernails and wear cotton gloves at night to reduce the tendency to scratch the area.
    Use a humidifier in the winter time to reduce hot or dry air, which can lead to itchier skin.

  5. Stay cool

    Heat tends to further irritate eczema, so try to stay as cool as possible. Keep the temperature at home below 75 degrees Fahrenheit and wear loose-fitting clothes that keep the skin cool. Avoid synthetic fibers and wool fabric, which may cause more itchiness.

  6. Drink green tea

    Green tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce eczema symptoms. Antioxidants help protect the skin and body from free radicals. The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the skin’s inflammatory response to environmental factors.

  7. Avoid dairy products

    Eliminating or greatly reducing your intake of milk and milk products may help ease eczema symptoms. A possible cause of eczema is a dysfunction or weakness of the immune system. Dairy products may irritate the immune system, leading to more vulnerability for eczema flare-ups.

  8. Consider essential oils

    Essential oils like lavender oil and tea tree oil can act as restorative agents to the skin as well as provide aromatherapy to aid in relaxation and reduce stress.Lavender oil has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties that act to restore the skin. Lavender oil gently eases irritation while working to promote a healthy balance of nutrients on the skin.

    Tea tree oil acts as a protective agent for the skin with its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also has been shown to help reduce the appearance of scar marks, which may result from constant scratching.

    Essential oils are potent and highly concentrated, which means that they may cause skin irritation. Consider combining the oil with a water or oil-based substance to reduce potency.

  9. Reduce stress

    Reducing or eliminating stress can soothe eczema symptoms because stress is one of the primary causes of eczema skin flare-ups. The aromatic compounds of lavender and tea tree essential oils may act as a stress reducer.

  10. Learn what triggers your eczema and avoid it

    Track what you eat, which products you use, the temperature, the clothing you wear and the activities you perform on a daily basis to try to identify what causes a flare-up so that you can avoid it in the future.

– By Jessica Braun
Jessica is a writer and an editor at WholesomeONE. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.

REFERENCES

  • Mayo Clinic
  • Everyday Health
  • DrWeil.com
  • National Eczema Association
  • WholesomeONE

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Categories
Treatment

Simple Lavender Oil Treatments for Eczema

If you suffer from eczema and are sick of taking medication that only provides short-lived relief, lavender oil may be a new option for you. As an alternative to conventional treatments that merely suppress symptoms, lavender oil can be used as an all-around restorative agent.

The oil’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties benefit mild cases of eczema (atopic dermatitis), as well as create a sense of stability for balanced skin. Lavender oil has been valued for hundreds of years as a natural remedy for skin conditions, as it brings circulation to skin cells that suffer from irritants and stress. It is especially rich in aromatic molecules called esters, which are antispasmodic, tonic, and pacifying. Its cicatrizant properties, which assist restoration through formation of scar tissue, help heal all kinds of wounds and burns. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory for the skin and was even used as an antibacterial in hospitals during World War I.

Lavender oil is effective at soothing eczema and the variety of symptoms that accompany it. While the most common sign of eczema is an itchy rash, eczema sufferers also exhibit bumps, blisters, redness, scaling, and abnormal pigmentation. Doctors usually treat these symptoms with prescription creams that contain steroids and antibiotics. They also recommend antihistamines, immunosuppressants, hydrocortisone, immunomodulators, prescription-strength moisturizers, corticocosteroids, and ultraviolet light therapy to patients who need more support.

While pharmaceutical treatments are helpful, they only suppress symptoms and do not heal the root of the problem. As a result, patients tend to rely on medication for symptom alleviation.

Lavender oil can provide a broader spectrum of relief to eczema sufferers. Unlike the common antibiotic and steroid creams that can be addictive for people with eczema, lavender oil addresses the skin from the inside out. Lavender oil gently eases irritation, works to promote a healthy balance of nutrients on the skin, and acts as an effective stress-reducer. This powerful healing property of lavender oil is due to the aromatic compounds that enter into the bloodstream and travel to the limbic system, the part of the brain that is often called “the emotional brain.” Lavender oil’s treatment of stress is especially vital as stress is one of the primary causes of eczema skin flare-ups.

For a simple eczema treatment, make a homemade spray following three simple steps.

  1. Add 10 drops of essential oil to one cup of water (distilled or tap water work fine).
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and close tightly.
  3. Shake well and spray on affected areas.

Or make lotion supplemented with lavender oil.

  1. Buy a fragrance free lotion containing Shea butter or vitamin E (Burt’s Bees Fragrance Free Shea Butter & Vitamin E Body Lotion works well).
  2. Add 10-15 drops of lavender oil to the container.
  3. Mix well with a spoon.
  4. Rub lotion into the skin gently.

In addition, you can also make a vegetable oil-based treatment.

  1. Purchase a nut or vegetable oil (coconut or sesame oil, for example) to use as a base.
  2. Add 15-20 drops of lavender oil to the container.
  3. Shake well and use the mixture topically on eczema when needed.

While you could also apply pure essential oil in ‘neat form’ directly to small affected areas without dilution, this may be too harsh for skin due to the oil’s strength and purity. Start with one of the techniques that combines lavender oil with a water or oil-based substance, and see how skin reacts from there.

Keep in mind, too, that lavender oil should be avoided for people who are pregnant, have epilepsy, or a fever. Some essential oils contain miniscule amounts of neurotoxins, which may have a convulsant effect. Because essential oils are potent and highly concentrated, they can have a significant impact on a system prone to sensitivity. As always, be sure to consult your physician before use.

Lavender oil’s multifaceted healing properties—whether antispasmodic, antibacterial, or anti-fungal—can be used to supplement existing eczema treatments. Lavender oil allows skin to restore, renew, and heal in a natural and gradual way.

[themedy_toggle icon=”” heading=”References” onload=”closed”]

Written by Nicole Kagan

  • Lavender uses. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.netherfield.co.nz/lavender-uses.php
  • The Franklin Institute Resources for Science Learning (2004). The Human Brain-Stress. www.fi.edu/learn/brain/stress.html

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