How To Deal With Eczema July 22, 2016

How To Deal With Eczema

In today’s world, skin troubles are not new. Almost everyone, irrespective of their age or gender, is afflicted with some skin problem or the other. Eczema is one such skin problem, with an estimated prevalence of more than 10% among the general population.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema literally means a type of skin condition where the skin boils out. It is also called as dermatitis. It involves the development of itchy, red, dry, and cracked skin. These rashes can develop on different parts of the body, but are usually seen on the face, behind the knees, the inner side of the elbows, and also on the hands and feet. Atopic eczema is the most common form of eczema, and it mostly occurs in children till about the age of five. But in some cases, it continues well into the adult life too (1).

Home Remedies For Eczema

  1. Coconut Oil
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Tea Tree Oil
  4. Bleach Bath
  5. Oats Bath
  6. Aloe Vera
  7. Vaseline
  8. Vitamins
  9. Epsom Salt
  10. Castor Oil
  11. Neem Oil
  12. Jojoba Oil
  13. Glycerin
  14. Rosehip Oil
  15. Cod Liver Oil
  16. Honey And Cinnamon
  17. Kefir
  18. Kawakawa Leaves
  19. Shea Butter

1. Coconut Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply this oil like a regular body lotion on the affected area.
  1. It helps if you massage the oil for a few minutes so that it is easily absorbed by the skin.
How Often You Need To Do This

Apply coconut oil twice a day.

Why This Works

This oil has great moisturizing properties and can act as a good replacement for the rather expensive creams that are available for eczema. It is a natural emollient and anti-inflammatory agent (2, 3). You can also use this home remedy for kids suffering from eczema.

[ Read: Home Remedies For Moisturizing Skin ]

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2. Apple Cider Vinegar For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute the vinegar in the water and use the cotton ball to apply it on the affected area.
  1. Let it air-dry.

You can use a spray bottle to spritz the diluted ACV on the affected area.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this twice a day.

Why This Works

ACV contains certain acids that relieve itchiness and inflammation. The multiple vitamins and minerals present in it will nourish the skin and alleviate dryness (4). It is also a natural astringent (5).

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3. Tea Tree Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 15-20 drops tea tree oil
  • 1/2 cup olive or sweet almond oil
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil.
  1. With the help of the cotton ball, apply this oil to the affected area.
  1. Do not wipe it off.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Apart from being a strong antimicrobial against different types of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites, tea tree oil is also beneficial in treating eczema. It soothes the skin, and its anti-inflammatory compounds will reduce any edema that may be present (6).

Caution

Even though tea tree oil is regarded safe for topical use, it is recommended to do a patch test before using it.

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4. Bleach Bath For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup bleach
  • A bathtub full of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour the bleach into the warm water and mix it a little.
  1. Soak the body or affected areas in this water for about 10 minutes.
  1. Rinse with clean water and pat dry.
  1. Moisturize the skin well.
How Often You Need To Do This

You can repeat this up to thrice a week.

Why This Works

Taking a bleach bath will reduce the itchiness, dryness, and scaliness of the skin. It will also kill any bacteria that may be present (7).

Caution

Do not put your head under the water. Soak only your body from the neck down.

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5. Oats Bath For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup finely ground oats
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Warm water in a bathtub
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the oats and olive oil to the warm water and mix well. Make sure to use finely ground oats. Otherwise, they will sink to the bottom.
  1. Soak in this water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  1. Rinse with clean water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this every alternate day.

Why This Works

Oatmeal is extensively used in dermatology to soothe itchy and irritated skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that will alleviate the inflammation. Its antioxidants and phenols work together to cleanse and nourish the skin (8).

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6. Aloe Vera For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Vitamin E capsules
What You Have To Do
  1. Remove fresh aloe vera gel from its leaf and to this, add vitamin E oil from the capsule. Mix well.
  1. Apply this on the affected area and let it dry.
  1. Wash after 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Aloe vera is great for rehydrating the skin and works wonders in controlling the dryness caused by eczema (9). The vitamin E oil will further aid the aloe vera in reducing itching, while nourishing the skin and reducing inflammation at the same time (10).

[ Read: Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Health ]

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7. Vaseline For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Vaseline petroleum jelly

What You Have To Do

Massage this generously on the affected area and leave it on.

How Often You Need To Do This

Apply twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Vaseline petroleum jelly locks in the moisture, thus alleviating the dry and itchy skin symptoms of eczema (11). This home remedy is safe to use for infants and toddlers as well.

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8. Vitamins For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Vitamin D tablets
  • Vitamin E capsules
What You Have To Do

Take a capsule/tablet each of vitamin D and vitamin E daily.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this for a couple of weeks to completely treat eczema and prevent it from relapsing.

Why This Works

Vitamin D suppresses the aggravated immune response of the body that may be causing the rashes. It also enhances the skin’s ability to fight microbial infections (12). The antioxidants in vitamin E, along with its anti-inflammatory response, will reduce the symptoms of eczema (13). A study was conducted in 2011 where atopic dermatitis patients showed significant improvement when they included vitamin D and E supplements in their daily diet (14).

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9. Epsom Salt For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1-2 cups Epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (optional)
  • A bathtub full of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the salt and oil in warm water and soak your body in this for 20 to 30 minutes.
  1. Rinse and cleanse as usual.
  1. Pat dry your body and moisturize.

To soak only the affected area, use a large bowl and adjust the amount of salt and oil accordingly.

How Often You Need To Do This

Soak in this relaxing bath twice or thrice a week.

Why This Works

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It helps in removing the toxins from the body and repairing the skin (15). Being hygroscopic in nature, it retains the moisture in the skin and its other components help in cleansing as well (16).

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10. Castor Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Castor oil

What You Have To Do

Massage castor oil on the affected area for a few minutes and leave it on.

How Often You Need To Do This

Apply twice a day.

Why This Works

Regular application of castor oil will increase the blood flow to the skin and heal dry and irritated skin. It is also antimicrobial in nature (17).

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11. Neem Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 10-12 drops of neem oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
What You Have To Do

Mix the neem oil with the olive oil and apply this on the affected area.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day till the eczema goes away.

Why This Works

Nimbin and nimbidin are the two main anti-inflammatory compounds found in neem oil (18). Neem oil also moisturizes the skin, reduces any pain, and protects against infections (19).

Caution

As the skin is already irritated, it is not recommended to use neem oil by itself on the affected skin. Always dilute in carrier oils such as olive oil and sweet almond oil.

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12. Jojoba Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Jojoba oil

What You Have To Do

Apply jojoba oil on the affected skin and massage for a minute or two.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Jojoba oil is very light and gets easily absorbed by the skin. It hydrates and nourishes the skin and alleviates dryness, itchiness, and edema. It is also rich in vitamin E, which is beneficial for treating eczema (20).

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13. Glycerin For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 part vegetable glycerin
  • 1 part water
  • Spray bottle
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour the glycerin and water into the spray bottle and shake it well.
  1. Spray this solution on the affected area and let it air-dry.
How Often You Need To Do This

You can spray this a few times in a day.

Why This Works

Vegetable glycerin is plant-based and is very pure. It is a humectant and attracts moisture to the upper layers of the skin, keeping it hydrated and itch-free (21).

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14. Rosehip Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Rosehip oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply this essential on the affected area after taking a shower. You can also apply it all over your body.
  1. Appy it again before going to bed.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this every day until the eczema symptoms vanish.

Why This Works

Rosehip oil works as an excellent natural moisturizer for sensitive and irritated skin. Its antioxidants will help fasten the healing process of the eczema skin rashes (22, 23).

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15. Cod Liver Oil For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Cod liver oil capsules

What You Have To Do

Ingest 1-2 capsules in a day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Continue this for a few weeks.

Why This Works

Cod liver oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin E. These will nourish and heal the skin from the inside, making it supple, healthy, and hydrated (24, 25). This home remedy treats eczema from the root.

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16. Honey And Cinnamon For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons Manuka honey
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon powder
What You Have To Do
  1. Wash and gently pat dry the affected area.
  1. Mix the honey and cinnamon powder together to form a paste.
  1. Apply this on the affected area and massage in circular motions for a few minutes.
  1. Let it dry for five minutes. Rinse with water.

You can also ingest a tablespoon of honey every day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Honey is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent. It soothes the skin, reduces swelling, and fastens the healing process (26). Cinnamon is also an antimicrobial agent. It is rich in antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory properties (27).

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17. Kefir For Eczema

You Will Need

Kefir

What You Have To Do

Drink a glass of kefir once a day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Continue for a few weeks till the eczema clears up.

Why This Works

Sometimes, the eczema is caused due to a simple imbalance in your digestive system, and you do not realize it. Kefir is full of healthy bacteria, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that will bring back the balance in your gut. It also possesses antimicrobial properties (28, 29).

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18. Kawakawa Leaves For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Handful of kawakawa leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 250gm chopped beeswax
  • A small glass jar
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush the leaves and soak them in the olive oil overnight.
  1. Warm this oil in the morning and cook the leaves in it on low heat for about 15 minutes. Crush the leaves while heating so that all the kawakawa juices and oils are released.
  1. Strain the leaves. Heat the strained oil a bit again and to it, add the chopped beeswax. The temperature of the oil should be enough to melt the beeswax. Do let the oil come to a boil or become too hot.
  1. Once all the beeswax is added, give the oil a stir and pour it into a glass jar.
  1. Let the oil cool down and solidify.
  1. Apply this ointment on the affected area and leave it on.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat every few hours for relief from itching and dryness.

Why This Works

This is an age-old Maori home remedy recipe. Kawakawa leaves have antiseptic and analgesic properties (30). Beeswax, on the other hand, can help relieve itching (31). Olive oil will hydrate and nourish the skin and reduce inflammation (32).

Caution

A patch test with the juice of a crushed kawakawa leaf is recommended before using this remedy. Please consult your doctor before using this remedy for pregnant women.

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19. Shea Butter For Eczema

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Shea butter

What You Have To Do

Massage this on the affected area for a few minutes so that it is absorbed by the skin.

How Often You Need To Do This

Apply shea butter two to three times in a day.

Why This Works

The high fat content of shea butter will hydrate the skin and leave it soft and supple. This butter also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Using this home remedy regularly will ensure that your skin eczema-free and healthy (33).

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Some more useful tips to keep in mind:

  • Always keep yourself and your home clean and hygienic.
  • Regularly dust the floor, mattress, furniture, and everything else clean.
  • Wear mostly cotton clothes.
  • Keep away from things that can irritate your skin such as cleaners, detergents, certain soaps, clothing, etc.

These tips and home remedies for eczema will help you control and prevent this disease. Take care to avoid spreading of the disease. Consult a dermatologist under severe conditions.

FAQs

1. What are the symptoms of eczema?

The following are symptoms of eczema or atopic dermatitis:

  • Intense itching
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Extremely dry, scaly or cracked skin
  • Formation of small blisters
  • Liquid may or may not be oozing out from the blisters
  • Fever – due to secondary skin infections
  • Asthma (34)

2. What are the causes of eczema?

Eczema’s exact causes are unknown, and no complete cure has been discovered till date. However, treatment aims to control itching and control the symptoms. The underlying causes can be:

  • Problems with the immune system of a person, which may lead to sudden skin responses. When the eczema victim comes in contact with anything at all, the problem erupts. This doesn’t mean that the person only suffers because of physical contact. Sometimes, the person may show severe reactions even without any intermittent contact. Eczema is troublesome as the contact of almost any substance such as clothing, detergents, soaps, grass, food products, allergens, a combination of elements, or even dust will take humidity away from the skin and further worsen the condition.
  • Another major reason for eczema can be heredity. In cases where parents are suffering or have suffered from eczema, there are 80% chances for their children to develop it too.
  • Emotions like anger and frustration can also lead to heightened symptoms of eczema.
  • Extreme hot or cold weather can be intolerable for those who have a tendency to suffer from eczema. People suffer from eczema when the level of humidity is high in the atmosphere and suffer from dryness of skin when the levels of humidity drop down (34, 35).

3. Is eczema a disease or just a condition?

Even though eczema is called a disease, it is actually not one disease. It is a group of diseases that results from a series of skin conditions. It is common to see this skin disease in people suffering from hay fever and/or asthma.

4. What is dermatitis eczema?

Atopic dermatitis is just another name that is commonly used for eczema.

5. Is eczema the same as seborrheic dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of eczema, which is commonly known as dandruff. The skin falls off in the form of flakes in this condition (36).

More research is still ongoing to find the perfect cure to eczema. Make use of the multiple home remedies listed in this article that will work wonders to give some relief. Also, as the skin mirrors your inner health, follow a proper diet and lead a disciplined life to reduce the chances of eczema.

Keep your environment clean and change your bath and bed linen frequently. Listen to your skin’s needs! Take care of it daily and always use a sunscreen with high SPF before stepping out. Never stay in wet clothes and shoes for a long time. Change them immediately as they may trigger eczema and other skin problems. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

Do you know any other natural remedies for eczema? Do share it with us in the comment section given below.

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