Eczema is an irritating skin condition that will manifest through the formation of red itchy skin. The itchiness and urge to scratch is so intense that it can make life unbearable. The severity of the condition ranges from acute flareups that result in open sores to chronic red rashes that appear all over the body. For the most part, eczema is attributed to the presence of allergens, whether those present in food or the surrounding environment.
Many eczema patients opt for pharmaceutical interventions, most of which tend to have side effects. While this medication may be prescribed by a medical practitioner, it is important for individuals with eczema to realize that lifestyle choices such as diet have a tremendous effect on the severity of the condition. In relation to this, there are a number of home remedies that may be used for the management of eczema. The mode of action for most of the home remedies listed below revolves around retaining moisture on the skin, strengthening the barriers on the skin as well as addressing itchiness and inflammation.
1. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Coconut oil and warm water. A water bath is optional.
Coconut oil is one of the most important home remedies that can be used for the treatment of eczema. It not only saturates the inter-cellular spaces in the skin and preserves skin moisture, it also contains fats and oils that help prevent the drying of the skin. Regular use of the oil shows great improvements on the skin of eczema patients. It is important, however, to note that this remedy is not suitable for individuals who have allergic reactions to coconut oil and products of the same.
- Clean your hands with warm water and pat dry.
- Rub the coconut oil between the palms of your hands and apply on the affected areas.
- Allow the oil to dry on the skin. Repeat this remedy as often as is required throughout the day.
NOTE: If the oil is in solid state, place it in a warm bath to melt it and make it more suitable for application.
2. Jojoba Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Jojoba oil and warm water.
While coconut oil ranks as one of the topmost home remedies for the management of eczema, not everyone finds it to be an ideal product, whether due to intolerance or preference. This is where jojoba comes in handy. Jojoba is, ideally, a type of liquid wax and not an oil per se. Its molecular structural makeup is quite similar to that of sebum, the natural oil produced by the skin. In people with eczema, extremely low levels of sebum are produced, and this only serves to compound the severity of the condition. When jojoba is applied on the skin, it permeates the skin to its very deep layers. The result is deep skin moisturization and relief from inflammation.
- Clean your hands with warm water and pat dry.
- Rub the jojoba oil between the palms of your hands and apply on the affected areas. Jojoba oil is pretty rich in its constituent compounds, so you only need to apply a small amount of it.
- Massage the oil until it is absorbed in part. Apply thrice daily or as often as is required.
3. Oatmeal Bath:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: A cup of oatmeal, cheesecloth, piece of cloth, choice skin moisturizer and bathtub
An oatmeal bath is a good old natural remedy used in the management of eczema. The essence of this bath is to soothe the skin by offering relief from itchiness while ensuring the skin is sufficiently hydrated. One of the most amazing factors about taking this bath is that constituent compounds found in the oats helps reduce inflammation that is linked to eczema. This option works particularly well for individuals who are allergic to many of the oils listed as a natural option in the treatment of the condition.
- Transfer the oatmeal in the cup to the cheesecloth and proceed to tie so that you have a bundle-like structure.
- You will then tie a large piece of cloth at the end of the bundle.
- Fill the tub with warm water halfway and when this is done, hang the bundle containing the oatmeal using the tied piece of cloth.
- You will then run the bath so that water fills the tub. The result is milky water which is what you will use to treat the eczema.
- Soak in the bath for about 20 minutes to allow the oatmeal work on the skin naturally.
- Get out of the tub, pat the skin dry as gently as you can before applying your preferred skin moisturizer/ coconut oil/ jojoba oil. Repeat this procedure at least once daily for best results.
Tip: You can allow the oat bundle to remain in the water before squeezing it out time and again to allow you get the best benefits from the oatmeal bath.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Raw organic honey, bandage (optional) and warm water to rinse
Honey is an excellent home remedy for the natural treatment of eczema. This is because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that aid in the relief from inflammation. Additionally honey’s viscosity means that it acts as a humectant. A humectant is a compound that attracts water, and in this case, the application of honey on the skin allows it to retain moisture, thus preventing the skin from dying. Overall, honey speeds up the healing process which makes it a simple but effective remedy for eczema patients. As a general guide, use honey in small amounts as opposed to generous application which leaves your skin feeling a tad bit sticky.
- Clean your hands and pat dry before the application of this home remedy.
- Place some honey on the palms of your hands and massage on the affected skin.
- If you do not like the risk of honey touching just about everything around you, use a bandage to secure the honey on the skin. The ideal way to go about this, however, is to allow the honey to air dry. Let the honey remain on the skin for some 20 minutes.
- Rinse the honey off using warm water and pat dry. Repeat this procedure thrice daily on a regular basis and top off with your choice skin moisturizer.
5. Home-Made Skin Butter:
Time Required: 3 Hrs ( preparation), 5 Min (application)
What You Need: 6 Tablespoon of coconut oil, 4 tablespoon of jojoba oil, 2 tablespoons of shea butter, 2 tablespoon of beeswax, lavender essential (this is optional), glass jars with lids, a double boiler.
When it comes to deep skin moisturization and general skin care, nothing beats the use of good old homemade body butter. This is, essentially, a combination of different home remedies which can also be used as stand -alone natural treatments. This particular remedy combines the benefits of 4 of the best natural remedies as far as skin care is concerned.
The four fantastic options bring on board the skin-hydrating properties of coconut oil, the penetrating power of jojoba oil, the healing properties of shea butter as well as the perfect blending properties of beeswax. This unique combination helps prevent the dryness and itchiness of the skin as is the case in eczema patients.
NOTE: If you are allergic to any of the compounds listed in the requirement section above, make sure you skip the specific ingredient to prevent heightened itchiness which only worsens the eczema.
- Place the beeswax in a separate bowl and mix with it with the jojoba oil to create a homogeneous mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a double boiler to allow it to melt.
- When the mixture has melted, stir in the 6 tablespoons of coconut oil bit by bit. This allows the oil to be well dispersed through out the body butter once it is ready.
- Lower the heat and continue stirring.
- The Shea butter is added as the last compound since it is extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, a factor which easily affects its potency.
- Stir for a minute before turning the heat off.
- Add a few drops of lavender essential oil (or your preferred oil) to the mixture and stir some more.
- Transfer the mixture to the glass jars before it cools.
- Place the lid on the jars, making sure you leave a small space to allow cooling.
- Once cooled, scoop some of the butter and apply a generous amount to the parts of the skin affected by the eczema. Apply this body butter as often as is required to keep the drying and itchiness at bay.
6. Vegetable Glycerin:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Vegetable glycerin (food-grade), distilled water, spray bottle.
Quite a number of home remedies used for the management of eczema revolve around the use of oils. For some people however, intolerance means they are locked out of these wonderful oils. If you belong to this group of people. You will be glad to know that vegetable glycerin works just as excellently. It is important to differentiate vegetable glycerin from regular glycerin as the former is plant-based while regular glycerin is made from animal fats.
The latter is not food-grade quality, and is therefore not preferable. Vegetable glycerin acts as a humectant, and this helps restore the skin’s moisture while locking in the benefits of the same. This glycerin has also been shown to draw water from the skin’s deeper layers, making it a simple yet effective home remedy.
- Mix equal parts of the vegetable glycerin and the distilled water (if you prefer ratios, you need to use vegetable glycerin:water 1:1).
- Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and shake vigorously to mix it all.
- Spray the mixture on the skin and massage well. Repeat this procedure thrice daily.
Tip: You could play around with the ratios, gradually increasing the amount of vegetable glycerin until you get a ratio that provides maximum benefits for your skin.
7. Chamomile Tea:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 5 Tablespoon of dried Chamomile flower, cheesecloth, a bathtub containing warm water and choice skin moisturizer.
Chamomile tea is an incredible home remedy for the natural treatment of eczema. It is a potent anti-inflammatory which helps deal with inflammation associated with this skin condition. As a result, the tea reduces the itchiness and helps heal any skin marks that may be present. The best way to enjoy the benefits of the tea is to take a bath, just as outlined with the oatmeal bath.
- Place the 5 tablespoons of dried chamomile flower in the cheesecloth and proceed to tie so that you have a bundle-like structure.
- You will then tie a large piece of cloth at the end of the bundle and tie it next to the faucet. This way the bath water runs over the leaves in the cheesecloth.
- Fill the tub with warm water before dropping the tied bundle in the water.
- Squeezing the bag containing the chamomile tea leaves now and then helps you get the most of the herbal tea.
- Soak in the bath for about 20 minutes to allow the chamomile work on the skin naturally.
- Get out of the tub, pat the skin dry as gently as you can before applying your preferred skin moisturizer/coconut/jojoba oil. Repeat this procedure at least once daily for best results.
Other home remedies that can be used for the natural treatment of eczema include a paste containing oil and cornstarch which works to moisturize the skin, green clay which soothes the skin and reduces the inflammation as well as magnesium baths that speed up the healing process for the affected skin.
The topical application of Vitamin E and aloe vera gel also works wonders for skin affected by eczema. While these natural remedies work well, individuals must introduce lifestyle changes to compliment the benefits of the remedies. This includes avoiding hot baths which strip the skin of its natural oils, stressful events and processed foods.