Natural eczema remedies often work well to soothe eczema’s dryness, itching, and rash.
“The most important natural remedy for eczema is moisture. Eczema has been called ‘the itch that rashes’ because people with eczema lack the barrier in their skin that maintains moisture,” explains Elizabeth Page, MD, a dermatologist at the Lahey Clinic and an instructor in dermatology at the Harvard Medical School in Boston. “As their skin becomes dry and sensitive, they itch and scratch, which causes the rash seen in eczema,”
The cooler temperatures and drier air in fall and winter can do a number on your skin — especially if you have eczema. While cortisone creams are a popular treatment option, there are some natural alternatives that can soothe your symptoms, too.
“Because more people are conscientious about not putting anything on their skin that they wouldn’t ingest orally, and the fact that cortisone creams carry a side effect profile including thinning of the skin, natural treatments for eczema are becoming highly sought after,” explains Benjamin Snider, ND, a naturopathic doctor and co-founder of the Serona Centre for Integrative Medicine in Ontario, Canada.
Here are five natural ingredients that can help ease the painful rashes, severe itchiness, and scaly, red patches that come along with eczema.
Go for an “Oatmeal” soak.
Colloidal Oatmeal is a very finely ground oatmeal powder that can be added to lukewarm bath water to soothe eczema. In fact, studies examining the effectiveness of products containing colloidal oatmeal have found that it considerably improves itchiness and dry skin. That’s because colloidal oatmeal particles help keep irritants out and moisture in, by creating a barrier. “This helps reduce itching, preventing further damage to the skin,” , If you can’t find Colloidal Oatmeal, try regular breakfast oatmeal .
Creams and oils made from certain herbs can be gentle eczema treatments. “Calendula officinalis [marigold] has long been used as a topical treatment for eczema,” adding that studies show it leaves skin significantly hydrated. Licorice extract has also been found to be effective in treating eczema and can help soothe itching. Additionally, chamomile essential oil can ease itching, pain, swelling, and inflammation and help ward off germs when applied to the skin.
Dead Sea Salt
The sea can be soothing in many ways, but especially when it comes to your skin. “Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic, dry skin,”…. “Magnesium salts, the prevalent minerals in Dead Sea water, are known to exhibit favorable effects in inflammatory diseases
Coconut oil, readily available at many grocery stores, can do everything from taming frizz to moisturizing dry skin to calming eczema. “Coconut oil contains an antimicrobial compound called lauric acid, which will help to heal the skin lesions by clearing the bacterial component,” says Snider. When picking up a bottle, look for extra virgin coconut oil and check the label to make sure that no fragrances, flavors, or coloring have been added.
Eczema is often aggravated by bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus, says Snider, and that can slow down the skin’s healing process. Aloe vera, a plant with a gel-like substance inside its spikes, offers antimicrobial properties and can help heal skin when applied topically to manage eczema. Snider recommends applying the gel twice a day to soothe a flare-up.
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