With a large number of people today affected by eczema, it is surprising how little information is available on natural eczema treatments. Eczema, or dermatitis, is a common skin condition which is mainly characterized by the inflammation which leads to skin damage and nerves irritation. The latter in its turn is causing the unbearable itching – often a predominant feature. Other symptoms include redness, pimples, flaking, and crusts. Although this disease can affect people at any age, in 85-90% of the cases it occurs in the first 5 years of life. Also, it is largely hereditary – children of people with eczema have 30% “chance” to get it as well.
The cause of eczema is not entirely clear and is often associated with the immune system disorder due to low infectious pressure in the western world nowadays. In many cases, people suffering from eczema will also have hay fever and asthma.
We have created an ultimate guide to 40 remedies and natural treatments for eczema and hope that at least one will be helpful for you or your child. Most of them are also approved by the National Eczema Association.
Oils as an effective natural eczema treatments
1. Rosehip oil
When it comes to the oils to treat eczema, rosehip oil definitely stands out. This amazing oil has many wonderful properties: anti-aging, moisturizing, anti-sun damage and of course it is a great oil to use on skin with eczema. We have a whole article dedicated to rosehip oil. Check it out here.
2. Calendula oil
Calendula oil is not produced through the common distillation process. Its flowers are infused in a neutral carrier oil. As a result, it can be used as a healing substance against cuts, bruises and also eczema. Check out our favorite Herb Pharm Certified Organic Calendula Oil. To assure optimal extraction of Calendula’s bioactive compounds, the flowers are hand-harvested while in full bloom and are carefully shade-dried.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil made its way to our kitchens, bathrooms and to our everyday life as if it’s always been there. I cannot imagine cooking Thai wok without coconut oil anymore. And how great it is for hair treatment and even teeth whitening. No kidding! That’s another topic we have in plans for our blog, stay tuned!
But it also does wonders with the nourishment of the dry skin, which you want to avoid if you have eczema. The following Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is great for cooking too.
4. Tamanu oil to treat eczema
Tamanu Oil is not very famous but it is definitely worth your attention. It belongs to one of the best natural eczema treatments. This precious oil is rare so it’s quite pricey, but you should give it a try since it has unique anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal eczema.
5. Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil contains essential fatty acids. Their deficiency may be one of the causes of the inflammatory process in the skin, leading to developing atopic eczema. Although there are controversial theories on whether evening primrose oil brings a significant difference in curing eczema, it is still widely used as an alternative treatment and this supplement is available in health food stores. We also have an article dedicated to this oil, check it out here.
6. Borage seed oil
This oil is famous for containing a large amount of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, that has restorative and moisturizing properties.
7. Manuka oil
Manuka is famous as an additive to the honey which makes it even more precious thanks to the manuka’s healing properties. But not many people know that manuka oil is also great for skin treatment, helping to cure eczema, acne and even feet fungus. You can apply raw manuka honey on affected areas, or buy manuka oil and mix it up with other soothing ingredients to create your own eczema healing ointment.
8. Sunflower oil
Yes, this conventional oil, available in every supermarket and probably is already present in your pantry, has healing properties. It is rich in linoleic acid and is proven to cure eczema better than for example olive oil.
Natural cosmetic treatments for eczema
Creams, lotions, ointments or gels, all classified as emollients, are the first and easiest remedies for eczema. It is important to keep your skin hydrated and nourished in order to prevent dry patching, which is very common for eczema. When the skin is drying out, it makes it easier for various infections and allergens to get through and make it worse. Ensure to apply a hypoallergenic cream or lotion after showering and anytime during the day when you start noticing dryness. Creams with Vitamin E are especially beneficial for the skin prone to over-drying.
10. Adding essential oils to the moisturizer
It is advised to avoid synthetic fragrances in your creams and rather go for adding a few drops of essential oils, which are known to be effective for healing eczema: lavender, neroli, helichrysum, and yarrow.
For instance, helichrysum essential oil has not only restorative properties helping to heal eczema, but it also is used as a rejuvenating component in anti-aging routines.
11. Aloe vera gel
It is also important to reduce swelling and soothe your skin, eliminating the itchiness. Aloe vera gel is a wonderful, natural product, that also cools down the rash and reduces redness.
12. Aloe vera leaves
An alternative to aloe vera gel could be a common aloe vera home plant! The benefits are obvious – it is always fresh, 100% natural and is pretty on the window sill.
13. Cooled floral water sprays
There are many natural floral water sprays containing extract of plants like helichrysum or chamomile. What would make them even more effective against the inflammation, is keeping them in the fridge and apply at a cool temperature.
Another way to cool down the rash and reduce itching, but without any extra resources, is simply applying an ice cube to the affected skin areas.
Supplements to treat eczema
15. Vitamin supplements
We have already mentioned that Vitamin E is essential for skin health. As well as a group of various B Vitamins, which are often prescribed as a part of skin improvement therapy.
16. Mineral supplements
Zinc and selenium, among other essential minerals, are crucial for skin health. Zinc is important for immune function and has healing properties, while selenium is a famous anti-oxidant and protector against infection.
17. Other supplements
Other important supplements are gamma-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acid (or simply “fish oil”), which can help to heal eczema and are also good for strengthening the cardiovascular system. Also, Evening Primrose Oil is a proven supplement to combat eczema. Check out our top picks for this truly amazing oil supplement here.
Probiotics are meant to strengthen the immune system. There are plenty of foods containing probiotics, which means that you don’t necessarily need to take any artificial supplements. Natural yogurts, kefir or kombucha are rich in probiotics and bring various health benefits, among which is fighting eczema. However, the dairy-based products are of course not a good option for lactose intolerant people.
Lifestyle changes that promote eczema treatment
19. Fresh air
Regularly create a fresh air current at home in order to prevent infections and fungus accumulation. In winter times, in regions with central heating, this is especially important for keeping the air from becoming overly dry.
20. Proper air humidity
Air can become drier in certain times of the year, which can worsen the skin condition. A possible solution to keeping the air humidity at home stable can be a humidifier.
Sunlight has been reported by many people to be easing the eczema symptoms. But of course, less is more, so be extra careful with the sun and always apply an appropriate SPF cream. Interestingly, the Dead Sea resorts can be extra beneficial due to its below sea level location. This means that sun rays have to travel long before reaching the surface, which makes them less harmful to the skin.
We all know how stress can become a cause of various diseases, sometimes very serious. Eczema is one of them. Allow yourself to unwind – schedule sessions when you can meditate or just relax in a quiet environment.
23. Exclusion diets
We all know, that some specific products can worsen the eczema symptoms. For instance, try cutting out dairy and wheat from your diet and observe how it affects your skin. It goes without saying that you should avoid the processed food as much as possible and lean towards natural, simple food.
24. Clothes revision
Same exclusion principle as with food you can try with your clothes. You might have an allergy to certain materials like wool, silk or some synthetic fabrics, which can aggravate the eczema condition. Try to exclude various materials and detect whether it is impacting your skin condition.
25. Change of the washing powder
Sometimes the washing powder or liquid we use can be too aggressive, containing strong detergents and synthetic fragrances. Instead try out some of the eco brands, which would be also good for the environment.
26. Regular hygiene
It is important to keep skin clean and take shower according to your condition. But keep in mind that water may dry out the skin, therefore apply a moisturizer regularly and especially after a shower.
27. Natural body wash
Same as with washing your clothes, we advise to give it a try to the more natural body washes. Drugstore shower gels can irritate and dry out the skin, which is mostly due to the SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) as an ingredient – it does create a lot of nice foam but it also over dries the skin. The Puracy Natural Body Wash is sulfate-free shower gel with a refreshing citrus and sea salt aroma.
28. Saltwater baths
Natural sea water or sea salt baths made at home have a positive effect on helping to cure eczema. To make your bath even more enjoyable, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
However, you should avoid high salt concentration if you have an acute phase of eczema with open cuts.
29. Hiking at higher altitude
Or just relaxing in a sunbed on a terrace of the mountain hotel.
Cleaner air in the mountains is very beneficial for curing eczema, as well as asthma. Such eczema aggravating things like dust mites, pollen or fungi are less present in a fresh air environment.
n the severity of the skin rash, massage can help with fighting eczema through reducing anxiety. Especially beneficial is a message with using oil that is rich in linoleic acid (like coconut or sunflower oil).
31. Habit reversal
Although scratching occurs as a response to the initial itching, it can develop into an unconscious behavior stimulated by various activities and situations. Habit reversal therapy makes you aware of your behavior so it becomes conscious again. It also provides strategies on how to identify situations that provoke scratching and how to deal with them.
Alternative medicine to treat eczema
Creating an oil blend that will help to heal eczema is another great idea that should not be underestimated. For example, this Art Naturals Essential Oil Diffuser 100ml & Top 16 Essential Oil Set includes oil diffuser and 16 essential oils for a wide range of therapeutic needs. Alternatively, there are of course already mixed oil blends that target specific issues. For instance, ArtNaturalshave various sets meant to be used for relaxation and good night sleep.
As an alternative method, homeopathy provides slow but steady results. But a little goes a long way, as the famous saying states. The basis of the treatment is a belief that a substance that causes certain symptoms in the healthy person can be used to cure similar symptoms in an unhealthy person. Usually, the first treatment step is to fight the itching and afterward – to cure other symptoms of eczema.
Reflexology is meant to stimulate certain body areas (in particular, on the feet) in order to reduce stress. Parts of the sole below the big toes are connected to the adrenal glands (located on the kidneys) responsible for the production of the hormone which calms down itching.
Another alternative method that can be prescribed by your doctor is hypnosis. It can help with controlling the habit scratching, thus reducing the itchiness.
Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese medicine. It is believed that the body motivating energy is flowing in a smooth way beneath the skin and if this flow gets imbalanced, various kinds of diseases like eczema can occur. Acupuncture therapy uses very fine needles by inserting them into these channels of energy, meant to bring the balance back.
37. Chinese herbal medicine
Chinese herbal medicine uses various plant extracts in ointment or mixtures. Prepare oral substances by boiling the herbs in water and then drink the liquid.
38. Other herbal medicines
Other herbal treatments include, for instance, chamomile, arnica, and tea tree oil, normally used as an additive in the creams r lotions.
39. Thai Chi
It is important to introduce stress fighting exercises into your workout routine. Thai chi can be a great option for improving emotional stability on top of the physical benefits.
You don’t need much to meditate – just 10 minutes of your time every day. Many people are hesitant to start meditation because they don’t know where to start. The main principle of meditation is not to calm down per se, but to observe the flow of thoughts and to reverse the attention to the presence. Meditation, in a long run, helps feeling more relaxed, mindful and in control of your life.
Please note that if you decide to incorporate some of the oils or creams in your skincare routine, do a skin patch test first. And keep in mind that prior to trying out any of the above-mentioned methods, you should seek advice from your general practitioner.
- Eczema: what really works: treatments and therapies / Carolyn Charman and Sandra Lawton. – London: Robinson, 2006. – VI, 215 p: ill; 20 cm. ISBN 1845290712
- Constitutioneel eczeem / einredactie E. H. Coene, H. Vinke; redactie H. van Duijn, S. Kollard. – Derde druk, [Amsterdam]: Stichting September, 2015. – 180 pagina’s: ilustratie; 28 cm. ISBN 978-90-8648-301-3
- Leven met eczeem / Pauline Dirven-Meijer, Anton de Groot; [cartoons: Marcel Jurriens]. – Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum, 2011. – 158 p : ill; 21 cm. ISBN 978-90-313-8716-8
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.