Eczema is a very common chronic skin disorder, affecting about 34 million Americans. It can occur in people of all age groups, but it is more common among infants than adults.
Its symptoms include dry skin, redness, swelling, flaking, blisters, cracking, crusted sores and constant itching. It can affect different body parts like the face, hands, ankles, back of the knees, neck and upper chest.
While eczema is often hereditary, various factors can also trigger it, such as allergies, environmental irritants, sweating, and emotional stress. Eczema outbreaks can be chronic or acute.
If not treated, eczema can cause a lot of discomfort. There are medicines available in the market, but many are chemical-based and can actually aggravate symptoms. For many people, natural remedies are a better option for dealing with eczema.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for eczema.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most popular remedies for eczema. It has antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Plus, it is a storehouse of healthy vitamins and nutrients, such as lauric acid and vitamins K and E, that help combat itchiness and soothe the skin. For best results, use unrefined, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil.
- Apply coconut oil directly on the affected skin several times a day to get instant relief from itching or mild pain. Continue for as many days as needed until the symptoms are gone completely.
- You can also consume two to four tablespoons of coconut oil daily to help alleviate eczema symptoms and improve your overall immunity. You can simply swallow the coconut oil or add it to your foods or drinks.
2. Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal (very finely ground oatmeal) can be very effective in treating eczema. It contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that ease itchiness and reduce pain.
- Add one to two cups of colloidal oatmeal to a bath tub filled with lukewarm water. Soak in it for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry your skin gently, and then apply a mild moisturizer.
- Alternatively, add one tablespoon of cold milk to two tablespoons of colloidal oatmeal to make a thick paste. Apply this paste on the affected area, massaging gently for a minute. Allow the paste to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse it off with cool water.
Repeat either of these remedies three or four times a week for a few months to notice improvement.
Turmeric has been used extensively in the treatment of different skin disorders, including eczema. A study published in the June 2010 issue of Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that turmeric, among other herbs, is beneficial in skin care due to its antioxidant qualities.
Plus, curcumin, the active ingredient present in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties that help treat inflammation and itching.
- Mix one-half teaspoon of turmeric with enough milk to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected skin twice daily until the redness and itchiness is gone.
- Alternatively, you can add one-half teaspoon of turmeric to one cup of boiling water and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. You can drink it or use it to wash the affected area.
Repeat whichever option suits you two or three times a day until you get relief.
4. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is another great remedy for eczema. Studies have shown that neem has antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can relieve eczema symptoms like dryness, pain, redness, swelling and inflammation.
Plus, neem oil is a good source of essential fatty oils and vitamin E that help keep the affected skin moisturized. Both neem leaves and neem oil can be used to treat eczema.
- Grind together one tablespoon each of turmeric root, neem leaves and sesame oil into a fine paste. Apply it on the affected areas, let it air dry, and then rinse it off with warm water. Use this treatment once daily for a few months.
- Alternatively, you can add a few drops of neem oil to warm bath water and soak in it for no longer than 20 minutes. Pat dry your skin and apply some light moisturizer. Use this treatment once daily for one or two months.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has several properties that make it an effective treatment for eczema. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the itching as well as the burning sensation. Plus, its antimicrobial properties help prevent further skin infection. Also, aloe vera helps hydrate the skin and keep the area moisturized.
- Extract the gel from a fresh aloe leaf. You can also add a few drops of vitamin E oil in the aloe gel.
- Apply the gel directly on the affected skin.
- Allow it to dry on its own, and then rinse it off with warm water.
- Use this simple treatment twice daily for several weeks.
6. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is another soothing home treatment for serious skin conditions like eczema. The magnesium sulfate present in Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation and relieves itching.
Also, Epsom salt promotes the removal of toxins from the body and its antimicrobial effect helps reduce the inflamed eczema lesions.
- Mix one to two cups of Epsom salt in a bath tub filled with warm water.
- Mix in 10 to 15 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Pat dry your skin and apply some moisturizer.
- Do this up to three times per week.
Note: Epsom salt baths are not recommended for people who have heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes.