What Is Eczema?
Chances are you have probably heard the term eczema talked about in conversation before, and know that it is some sort of itchy skin condition, but have never fully pinpointed it. You can even have eczema and never take it for something other than a rash. So what exactly is eczema?
Simply put, eczema is characterized by having patches of skin that frequently appear inflamed, cracked, itchy or rough to the tough, and affects quite a large cross section of society. Most commonly, however, eczema occurs in persons suffering from one of more diseases affecting the immune system, such as asthma, hay fever or auto-immune conditions. But regardless of the increased risk, anyone can experience eczema, as it can also be triggered by environmental and dietary influences as well.
But good news is on the horizon- you do not need to suffer from the uncomfortable eczema rashes, as there are effective remedies lying around your home that you can take advantage of today. Let’s explore some of the best remedies and start experiencing relief today!
15 Wonderful Home Remedies For Eczema
1. Chilled, Brewed Chamomile Tea Bath
You probably know that chamomile is an excellent natural sleep aid, as it can calm an overexcited nervous system and induce relaxation, but it can also ease the constant itchiness associated with eczema. Simply brew a few bags of chamomile tea as you normally would in hot water, then leave to cool and add into a warm bath. You can soak as long as you need- the key here is relief.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an all-around superfood, whether you consume it or use on the skin. Coconut oil effectively forms a protective layer on the skin that prevents water loss; a scenario that positively contributes to eczema’s severity. Coconut oil also softens rough, scaly areas of the affected skin, which can suppress the need to itch constantly. Finally, coconut oil’s saturated fats are god for you skin; they can help to reinforce the integrity of the cell membranes lining skin in lower layers.
3. Oat Bath
Oats are an excellent remedy for itchy skin used for centuries and still effective to this day. You do not need to come into contact with the oat grains, as doing so many further irritate the skin, but instead wrap them in a piece of soft cloth and let it soak in a warm bathtub. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties which can relieve redness and itchiness associated with eczema, and is safe for the vast majority of people who use it (except a few who may be allergic).
4. Eat More Cold Water Fish (Or Take Fish Oil)
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are well known all over the world, but adding another reason to take it is never a bad thing. It has been found that individuals who suffer from chronic eczema or inflammatory skin conditions have the lowest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their skin cell membrane. Consumption of more cold water fish or omega-3 supplementation reduces inflammation and improves cell hydration, greatly reducing water evaporation from the skin.
5. Jojoba Oil
Similar to coconut oil, jojoba isn’t necessarily a liquid at room temperature (it may be solid at cooler temperatures), but is extremely effective for managing eczema when coconut oil isn’t indicated (such as in the case of allergies). Jojoba oil is said to share a structural similarity to sebum, which is beneficial to keeping skin moist and reduces risk of allergenicity. Jojoba oil is an excellent moisturizer and can greatly reduce the severity of your flare ups.
6. Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salts have been used for centuries to treat pain, but it is only recently that its utility has been fully appreciated. Epsom salt consists of magnesium and sulfate ions bound, and together have potent anti-inflammatory properties to soothe skin discomfort, treat small open skin wounds and help alleviate dry skin.
There seems to be nothing honey can’t do, as it can also be used to help manage eczema. Honey has all the properties of a good adjuvant, as it can promote healing, prevent infection form open bruises or damaged skin, and also draws water towards it, in an attempt to improve the hydration status of the affected skin area. Just be sure to be judicious in your use- no need to apply it all over the body when only a small area may be affected. For best results, leave on about 20 minutes at a time, and reapply up to 3 times a day if needed.
8. Bone Broth Soup
While many of the most popular home remedies consist of topical applications, that does not mean that consumables should be overlooked. Among the best of these is bone broth soup, which is rich in gelatin content from the marrow it contains. Gelatin is converted into collagen, extremely important for the integrity of skin and joint tissue. Strangely enough, eczema occurs heavily around joints, similar to psoriasis, which should justify a role for gelatin and collagen in your diet.
9. Aloe Vera Gel
An Aloe Vera leaf cut and the gel extracted and applied to tender, itchy areas works wonderfully to relieve symptoms. Aloe Vera is very soothing to tender and inflamed skin, and is composed heavily of water- explaining why it is an excellent moisturizer. Combined with other moisturizers, aloe Vera does an even better job at relieving eczema.
10. Consume Shellfish
While many people already love shellfish, you will love it even more once you find out that they can actually help reduce your eczema outbreaks. In particular, is their high zinc content. Zinc is a strong immune booster, which coincides with reduced outbreaks. This ties in perfectly with the belief that eczema is strongly associated with immune conditions, as strengthening it reduces eczematous lesions.
11. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric powder is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant herb, having the ability to prevent cancer and rally your immune system against infection. However, it can also be applied to the skin areas affected by eczema, by mixing in a base of oil or petroleum jelly. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory actions reduce pain and tenderness after excessive scratching, but it is still advised you consume some every day.
12. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a traditional home remedy passes down through generations, owing to the fact that it is very effective. While at first thought you may expect that apple cider vinegar to be contraindicated on open wounds, it is actually very effective and promotes healing when applied to raw areas. It also reduces itchiness and kills bacteria that may foster infections.
13. Baking Soda
Baking soda is an alkaline compound that is excellent for reducing bacterial load at possible infection sites, but also known for its anti-inflammatory effects. The national eczema council of the United States even recommended using a baking soda bath as a management technique. You can also apply as a thick paste to inflamed areas.
14. Probiotic Foods
Foods such as yogurt and kimchi contain excellent amount of probiotic cultures, which help to re-populate the intestinal microflora. Since eczema is believed to have an immune component, strengthening the immune system via probiotics seems to be of help in reducing inflammation and frequency of outbreaks.
15. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is an all-natural remedy that is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, being comparable to the corticosteroid hydrocortisone. You can either apply liquid or cream preparations, but be sure to opt for alcohol free versions.