Eczema is a condition that blights the lives of many people across the age spectrum – and it can often be a life-long struggle. Quite often a steroid cream is prescribed to treat the irritation and/or blistering, but this rarely alleviates the symptoms completely; moreover, if the cream is successful, it is for a limited period of time only. Being told ‘not to scratch’ is also advice commonly given but this may only help in preventing itching initially – rarely will this eradicate the problem or even make it manageable long term.
So what can you do to remedy your eczema without resorting to drugs? Here is a comprehensive list of 15 natural things that can help nurse your skin back to non-itchy health right now.
1. Identify The Root Cause
Although tricky, identifying a potential cause for a skin condition flare up is the best way to begin your eczema-free journey. All of the drugs and the natural remedies in the world wont help if a persistent and identifiable problem is the root cause. Eczema can be caused by many things, but often the condition is linked to stress and anxiety; bacteria issues in the gut brought on by antibiotics; and, ironically, steroids. Managing pre-existing physical conditions or psychological issues prior to seeking further treatments is absolutely vital in combating eczema – it may mean no other treatment is necessary and could eliminate the problem altogether.
The Healed Skin Secret program is a comprehensive solution that attacks the root cause of eczema.
2. Make Changes To Your Diet
Previously, we’ve covered the foods that may be making your eczema worse. The skin is not only the largest organ of your body, it is by default the largest organ of elimination: whatever you eat and, in turn, digest on the inside, will reflect also on the outside as the waste is excreted. Making important but simple changes to your diet can do wonders for the condition of your skin. Both gut and liver health are extremely important so any foods that are optimized for digestion are very effective; avoid a lot of processed and high-gluten foods that can do the opposite. Nuts, fruit, and vegetables are of course essential in maintaining good skin also as they are full of important nutrients.
3. Eliminate Milk And Dairy Products
Although clearly linked to dietary changes as has already been discussed, the removal of milk and dairy from your diet is so important that it deserves a mention in its own right.
Cow’s milk is believed by many people to be the main trigger of the eczema condition for some people. Cutting it out of your diet (even for a short period of time) is worth doing to see if there is any noticeable improvement in your skin. Goat and sheep’s milk are equally creamy good alternatives and are readily available. Soy, oat, and rice milks are also there as a non-animal option.
4. Take Bleach Or Magnesium Baths
For some people with eczema, soaking in water only aggravates the problem so this really is a trial and error recommendation. Magnesium and other types of detox baths can work wonders if your skin type allows. The addition of magnesium flakes, bleach, or epsom salts to the water can really help with the itching associated with eczema; magnesium also helps to alleviate symptoms of the condition when taken orally or when applied directly to the skin in the form of magnesium oil.
5. Do Not Wear Clothing Than May Irritate
This may seem like an obvious one, but many people continue to wear the same clothes that irritate the skin time and time again. Avoid clothes that could promote rubbing and chafing of the skin such as itchy fabrics like wool. Wear instead loose fitting clothing or garments with floaty type material such as silk or cotton and avoid skin tight products like spandex. Be weary of washing detergent and change your product immediately if irritation worsens. Moreover, make sure that you wear the right sports clothing when exercising to prevent excess sweating.
6. Humidify Your Room
Many people underestimate the benefits of using a humidifier. Dry air can make eczema worse by causing flakiness: adding moisture to the air adds moisture to the skin. Humidifiers can come in a portable form or as those that attach to the furnace. Don’t worry if purchasing a humidifier is too expensive, there are home-made options that work just as well, such as investing in house plants or placing a bowl of water beneath a radiator or heat source.
7. Use Non-irritating Shampoos And Soaps
The majority of eczema-prone skin will react well to a more hydrating and moisturizing product. Anything that dries the skin, such as deodorant or anti-bacterial products, is not recommended. Perfumed lotions and bath products that have dye in them will likely irritate the skin and cause further inflammation; products containing sodium sulphate are too harsh on the skin and will dry it out; and parabens – a chemical found in many lotions, gels, and creams – are known to irritate the skin and have even been linked to cancer.
8. Moisturize Naturally And Often
As we have seen, keeping your eczema-prone skin hydrated is essential. Aloe Vera, Almond oil, and cocoa butter do much more than just moisturize: Aloe Vera has been proven to be effective in healing wounds and it is often used to treat burns so can do amazing things for your skin relatively quickly. If you are concerned about added ingredients then you can buy an aloe plant and cut from it whenever you want – you can also drink it in juice form too.
Almond oil is known for its hair strengthening and repairing benefits with the added bonus of shine; however, it is rich in vitamins and can do wonders for irritated skin as well due to its skin barrier effects and anti-inflammatory qualities. Cocoa butter, particularly cold pressed, can do great things for your skin due to it being vitamin E rich. Always buy it in pure form though to avoid any added parabens that may be counter-productive.
9. Supercharge Your Immune System
Aside from a well balanced diet and avoiding certain produce, you can do other wonderful things for your body and skin by giving your immune system a boost. This can include taking probiotics – the good bacteria supplements – which can repopulate good bacteria in your gut, or eating garlic raw or with honey. Supplements such as vitamin C and D3, and enzymes, also benefit immunity and these can be found at most general stores as well as in health food stores.
Drinking fruit based drinks without added sugar, veggie juices, or green smoothies are also a fantastic way to boost your immune system: consume them straight after blending to get the maximum benefit and you will be amazed just how many enzymes and nutrients you are taking in without even trying.
10. Manage Your Stress
Stress can be a large or mild contributor to eczema flare ups, but in either case your skin can benefit greatly from stress reduction. Think of your skin’s health as balance between your body’s internal healing abilities, and the factors that contributing to your eczema. If this balance shifts in favor of healing, then your skin will improve. On the other hand, if this balance shifts towards the eczematous factors, then you may experience a flare up. What this means is that even if stress contributes only 10% to your eczema, finding ways to keep your stress levels under control can shift the balance and allow your skin to heal itself. Meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness are all techniques that can work wonders for your stress.
11. Bathe Less Frequently In Warm Water
Though showers and baths may feel soothing on itchy or inflamed skin, it actually does more harm than good to bathe too often. The skin is stripped of its natural moisture causing the flare-up to worsen. Use warm or tepid water which is less harsh on the skin than hot water. Always remember to moisturize after showering to replenish your skins moisture, and rub the affected area gently with a soft towel to get dry. Abrasive or old towels will make the inflammation much worse and can even cause eczema blistering to occur when this was not a symptom previously.
Baking soda and bleach in small quantities are also recommended to eczema sufferers when added to a warm bath. The soda calms any itching and bleach kills bacteria known to contribute to the increase in severity of the skin condition.
12. Use Chamomile
Knows to soothe itchiness and calm inflammation, chamomile is an excellent natural eczema remedy to try. Chamomile can be drunk in tea form by brewing dried chamomile flowers in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes and it is enjoyed by many as a tasty alternative to other hot drinks. Chamomile can also be massaged directly on to the skin in the form of an essential oil, or it can be added to a hot bath. Be mindful if you have never used chamomile before because some people do develop an allergic reaction to it.
13. Apply Calendula Lotion
Similar to a marigold, calendula is a flower whose extract is used often in salves and lotions. It is commonly thought to have skin-healing properties and to reduce inflammation and pain associated with eczema and other skin conditions. Most calendula products can be found at health stores and these are recommended above any of the drug store products which are likely to have less pure calendula and added potentially irritating ingredients. Calendula can safely be applied directly to the skin and it can be used liberally; the flower extract has no known negative side effects.
14. Take Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil has long been associated with eczema treatment due to it containing gamma-linolenic acid – a fatty acid which is thought to correct skin deficiencies in the lipids and therefore reduce inflammation and nourish the skin. Usually taken as a supplement, evening primrose oil can be ingested orally in tablet form. The remedy is available in all drug stores, health premises and general stores.
15. Try Alternative Therapies
Due to eczema often being associated with the mental and psychological aspect of the brain, many people swear by alternative therapies in helping alleviate the symptoms due to their effectiveness in minimizing stress. Treatments such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and hypnosis have been reported by many eczema sufferers as beneficial to their condition – some even report a total eradication of the eczema whereby it never returns. Whether it be due to the elimination of stress, or as a result of the placebo effect, alternative therapies are definitely worth a try and may well come through as beneficial when all else has failed.