Eczema is a skin condition that is medically known as atopic dermatitis. People who have eczema develop red, scaly, itchy rashes on their skin. These patches can be anywhere on the body; however, they are most typically found on the scalp, face, ankles, hands, and knees. Severe cases can develop blisters the ooze and form crust. In addition to the misery from the itching, most people with eczema are acutely self-conscious of their appearance.
Treating eczema medically involves topical creams and steroids. Many people do not tolerate steroids well and seek other treatment options that are more natural. If you are searching for a natural treatment for your eczema, you can try some of the advice included here.
The food you eat every day plays a role in many aspects of your health, including eczema breakouts and irritation. You can make changes to your diet such as eliminating all processed foods and eating a healthier diet. You should also avoid milk and dairy products as they may weaken your immune system. Many people with eczema have reported relief when they switched to organic fruits and vegetables and nuts, all eaten primarily raw. There is also some evidence that salmon and fish can be beneficial due to the omega acids.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been touted for many health conditions, from blood pressure to weight loss. It has also been used to treat the symptoms of eczema. Apple cider vinegar can stabilize bacteria in the stomach, which can in turn have a positive effect on eczema. You should take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water three times a day. You can also mix the apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons honey for added benefits.
The following recipes have been gathered from people who suffer from eczema and have chosen to treat their condition with natural skin care. Every person has different skin, which means that these may or may not work for you. Try them until you find one that provides you relief.
- Cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg: Mix equal parts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. Apply to the affected areas and leave for half hour. Do not scrub the skin. The nutmeg is a natural anti-inflammatory; the cinnamon is an all-natural astringent, antiviral, and antiseptic; honey is an all-natural healer.
- Sea salt and essential oils: Put one cup sea salt in a container and add one cup each of the following: coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, orange oil, aloe vera, soy milk, shea butter, tea tree oil, cucumber, and cucumber extract. Mix together well and allow to stand four to six hours before use on skin. You can use this on your skin once or twice a week for mild eczema.
- Common cupboard scrub: Mix together 1/2 cup of milk or heavy cream, 1/2 cup butter (not margarine), 2 tablespoons olive oil or sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 orange squeezed, and sea salt to consistency. Mix well and use as a scrub.
If any scrubs make your eczema worse or you experience an allergic reaction, discontinue use and see your doctor immediately.
Other Eczema Tips
The advice here is additional tips that may provide you relief from the symptoms associated with eczema.
- Soak your body in an oatmeal bath. You can buy prepackaged oatmeal bath products or make your own. To make your own oatmeal bath, use a food processor to finely grind oatmeal to a powdered form (do not use quick cook oats). Put this in a sock and toss in bath water.
- Drink a honey lime tonic. Squeeze half lime into a glass of lukewarm water and add one teaspoon of honey. Drink every morning until you have relief from symptoms.
- Supplement your dietary intake with virgin coconut oil. This oil contains healthy fats that provide nourishment to dry skin. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties.
- Purchase a kelp supplement. You can find these in pill form in health food stores. The kelp reduces the acidity in your body and has been shown to provide relief from the symptoms of eczema.
- Try neem oil. Neem oil is the oil from an evergreen tree from the continent of India. Creams that contain neem oil have been reported to be highly effective in treating eczema and also been used for treating acne.
- Aloe vera has been used for hundreds of years in alternative medicine. You can buy gels and creams that contain aloe or you can grow an aloe plant and snip off a piece for fresh, pure aloe. Inside the plant is a gelatinous substance that can be applied directly to the affected areas.
- Coconut butter lotion and colloidal oatmeal lotion moisturize the skin without clogging the pores.
- Apply Vaseline regularly to the affected areas. In one or two days, you should see dry skin begin to heal.
- Gamma-linolenic acid is a fatty acid that has been shown to nourish skin, nails, and hair. You can find it in black currant oil and evening primrose oil. Health food stores should have it in pill form. You should take two 500mg twice daily. Results take six to eight weeks to appear.
- Frequent warm showers can help the body retain moisture, which in turn helps your body fight eczema. After your shower, dry your body with a soft towel and apply a thick layer of moisturizer while your body is still damp and will retain the moisture.
- Wash your hands often. People with eczema tend to touch their face and affected areas often, which means that keeping your hands clean is important. Wash your hands frequently and apply moisturizer. However, do not clean your hands with alcohol-based sanitizers. The alcohol can dry your skin out and make your eczema worse.
You should also avoid anything that you know is aggravating your eczema. Wool and other rough fabrics irritate skin and can make your eczema worse. You should also avoid perfumed oils and lotions. These can dry your skin and cause itching and flaking to become worse.
Following the advice of others who have eczema is one way to find the best tips for your eczema. You can experiment with them until you find the ones that work for you. These tips and the advice of your doctor can help you keep your eczema under control. Just remember that you always need to check with your doctor before starting any kind of treatment.