Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects more than 36 million adults. It causes dry, itchy, flaky skin. While it most commonly presents in children, adults often suffer too. While standard treatments include prescription creams, medications, and soaps, there are also home remedies for eczema that can offer some relief.
Eczema Fast Facts
Eczema is a diagnosis that encompasses several types of skin conditions. Each has its own set of unique traits, but the symptoms almost always include dry, itchy skin that becomes discolored, cracked, and/or inflamed.
According to The National Eczema Association:
- A problem with the immune system may cause eczema
- An allergic reaction may cause it
- It most commonly affects the hands, feet, knees, elbows, and face
- It can be genetic
- Cracked skin may leak fluid and may lead to infection if not treated
Home Remedies for Eczema Relief
If your child has eczema, it can be difficult to watch them suffer through the scratching, pain, and discomfort that often comes with the skin condition. If you’ve been diagnosed, you know how hard it is not scratch the itch.
However, it’s typical for scratching to worsen symptoms, leading to further inflammation, cracks in the skin, and possible infection. Home remedies can offer eczema relief.
1) Colloidal Oatmeal Baths
If you’ve ever had the chickenpox, you may remember your parents giving you an oatmeal bath. Colloidal oatmeal baths help relieve itching associated with all sorts of skin conditions. You can make your own by using a food processor to grind the oats into a fine powder. Add to a lukewarm bath and soak for 10-15 minutes.
The oatmeal baths help by locking moisture into the skin, reducing inflammation, and gentle cleansing.
2) The Process of Elimination
Since eczema can be caused or exacerbated by allergens, you can start fighting it at home by eliminating products that could be causing the problem. Start with laundry detergents, dryer sheets, perfumed soaps and body washes, products containing Cetearyl alcohol, makeup, and skincare products.
Slowly introduce them back into your routine one by one and observe when your skin reacts. You may be able to find the culprit.
3) Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be applied topically to areas of skin affected by eczema. It’s been shown to help hydrate the skin, a major contributing factor to the itching associated with the skin condition. Additionally, it can help reduce inflammation and acts as an antimicrobial, killing off germs.
Note: Coconut oil should not be used on open or oozing skin.
4) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used in two ways to help relieve eczema at home. First, you can add two cups to a warm bath, or you can mix one tablespoon with one cup of warm water and dab onto the affected area with a soft cloth.
The benefits of using apple cider vinegar for eczema include balancing the skin’s acidity, reducing inflammation, and helping relieve the itch.
Note: Apple cider vinegar should not be used on open or oozing skin, and may not be safe for children.
Seek Medical Advice
As eczema is a medical diagnosis, if you believe you are affected by the skin condition, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist. Always seek professional advice before trying at-home remedies to relieve eczema.