Treating Eczema the Natural Way
From Kerry Washington, Jessica Simpson to Elle Fanning, these Hollywood celebrities have been open about having eczema and thus reducing the stigma of atopic dermatitis — the scientific term for this skin condition. Eczema appears as chapped, red, and can also look brown, purple or grey. Fear not, eczema is easily treatable with home remedies and natural treatments, soothing the symptoms that accompanies it. Besides creams and natural products, lifestyle changes can also manage or prevent eczema flares. Opt for natural products like aloe vera gel and coconut oil, which effectively moisturises dry, broken skin. These natural remedies can fight illness-causing bacteria and inflammation. Discover the best natural remedies for eczema that you can whip up at home, below.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel comes from the leaves of the aloe plant. The use of aloe vera goes back centuries, when it was used to treat a myriad of maladies, among which includes eczema. Skin infections, which are more likely to arise in people with dry, cracked skin, can be avoided thanks to the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of aloe vera. Use it to soothe broken skin and promote healing.
Apple cider vinegar
Similar to aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar is another famed home remedy used for numerous conditions, including skin disorders. Caution is advised because the vinegar's acidity might harm soft tissue. There is no evidence to support the claim that apple cider vinegar lessens eczema symptoms, but there are two reasons why it might, as explained below:
Balances acidity level in skin
Vinegar is inherently acidic, and so is our skin. People with eczema, however, may have less acidic skin than other people, impairing the skin's defences. The skin's acidity can be balanced by applying diluted apple cider vinegar, but vinegar could burn if it is not diluted. In contrast, most of the soaps, detergents and cleansers in the market today are alkaline, which can disrupt the skin’s natural acidity, leaving it vulnerable to damage. This may help explain why bathing with some soaps might aggravate eczema.
Fends off bacteria
According to studies, apple cider vinegar may be able to combat pathogens like Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Applying apple cider vinegar to the skin could help prevent an infection from spreading to broken skin.
Avena sativa, or colloidal oatmeal is grounded oat kernels that are boiled to draw out its skin-healing properties. According to a study, colloidal oatmeal lotion exhibited anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics, which improved:
- skin dryness
- itch intensity
Findings from an older study suggests that a colloidal oatmeal moisturiser purveyed significant benefits for skin healing.
Bathing is a crucial component of treating eczema because it gives the skin the necessary hydration it needs. The skin needs additional moisture when a person has a skin ailment like eczema because the outer layer is not functioning at its optimum. For some, washing often can make things worse because it dries out the skin. This can occur when:
- using water that is too hot or cold
- using the wrong soap
- not moisturising afterward
To avoid over-bathing, keep in mind that most babies and young children only require a bath once or twice per week.
Virgin Coconut oil
Boasting intrinsic fatty acids to moisturise the skin, coconut oil is your best bet for a natural remedy. Virgin coconut oil may help protect the skin by reducing inflammation and strengthening the skin’s barrier. When a credible source examined the results of applying virgin coconut oil onto children's skin, the results saw significant improvements with eczema symptoms after using it for eight weeks.
Method of employment:
After a shower or bath, use cold-pressed virgin coconut oil directly to the skin as often as you need. You can also use it before bed to maintain skin moisture throughout the night. At room temperature, extra-virgin coconut oil is typically solid; but, when in contact with the body's heat, it becomes liquid. Coconut oil is readily available in various health stores and online. However, if you have an allergy to coconuts, it would be best to steer clear from it.
Since ancient times, people have utilised honey, a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient, to treat wounds. Honey can aid in wound healing and immune system function, which means it can aid the body in warding off infections, according to research. Another research mentions that honey possesses antibacterial qualities and can be used to treat a number of skin conditions, such as burns and sores. Honey could possibly speed up recovery by moisturising the skin and preventing infections when applied directly to eczema-affected areas.
Method of employment:
Consider applying some honey to the infected area. Tualang honey is ideal for wound care and skin application, and it’s easily accessible online.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil, derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree is often used to aid in skin conditions including the likes of eczema. Touted for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing effects, tea tree oil can be used to lessen itchiness and dryness in the skin and guard against infections.
Method of employment:
The general rule of thumb pertaining to essential oils is to dilute them with a carrier oil like almond or olive oil. Some products offer a diluted rendition of tea tree oil.
Change Your Diet
Eczema is an inflammatory disease, which results in skin that is inflamed, red, and sore. Making a few significant dietary modifications could help lessen eczema flare-ups because some foods can either increase or decrease inflammation in the body.
Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:
- leafy greens
- beans and lentils
- colourful fruits
- turmeric and cinnamon
Dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat are examples of common inflammatory foods. Try excluding these from your diet, and keep a food journal to help you determine which foods can trigger the condition.