Eczema is a condition where the skin in any part of the body like the neck, ankles, back of the ears, cheeks and wrists gets dried up, red, itchy and scaly, also leading to crusting and bleeding in extreme cases.It may occur in people of all age groups, being prevalent among children. Here are some of the common treatments used to manage the symptoms.
Natural remedies to get rid of eczema at home
The anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antioxidant properties present in coconut oil helps to get rid of the bumps, particularly in the hand and scalp by relieving itching as well as minimizing inflammation and dryness.
- Apply plain coconut oil on the affected regions, at least three times in a day. You can wash it off with water after some time or keep it overnight for better results.
- Mix about five tablespoons of coconut oil with two teaspoons each of rosemary and Vitamin E oil and massage on your inflamed skin.
- Add half a cup of powdered oatmeal with two tablespoons of the warm oil, apply the mixture to the places of eczema and pat your skin dry after about twenty minutes.
- Massage two to three tablespoons of coconut oil on your scalp, leaving it for an hour before shampooing and conditioning your hair to relieve itching, flaking, and dryness that occurs in scalp eczema.
- Adding few drops of the oil to your baby’s bath and massaging him with a little more oil after bath works towards relieving infant eczema.
Apple cider vinegar
The presence of vitamin and mineral salts in apple cider vinegar helps in lessening the common eczema symptoms like itching and dry skin.
- Apply a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water taken in equal amounts using a cotton ball (take one-fourth cup apple cider vinegar with three cups water for sensitive skin).
- Mix two cups of apple cider vinegar to your warm bath water and soak for thirty minutes (one-third cup sunflower or safflower oil can be mixed if desired).
- Make a lotion by adding equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and olive oil and apply it twice a day on your face, under the eyes, hands, arms, elbows or anywhere you have eczema.
Because of its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, jojoba oil acts as an excellent natural treatment for eczema by penetrating deep into the skin and moisturizing it.
- Massage gently using a small amount of jojoba oil, three times a day, letting your skin absorb the oil.
- For scalp eczema, massage gently with a mixture of one tablespoon jojoba, three drops tea tree, two drops peppermint, and two drops lavender oils.
The antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties present in honey makes it an effective natural cure for eczema.
- Massage a scrub of honey and crystallized sugar on the eczema scars for at least ten minutes and rinse off well.
- Make a mixture of equal amounts of honey and cinnamon powder, apply it on the affected skin.
- Add about two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey to a glass of water. Drink it thrice a day along with meals to relieve the symptoms.
Acting as an exfoliant agent, baking soda helps in removing the dead skin cells, thus minimizing itching and the scars.
- Make a thick paste of two tablespoons baking powder and one tablespoon water, massage it in a circular manner for approximately three minutes and rinse properly with water.
- Add half cup of baking soda to your bath water and soak for thirty minutes. You can reduce the amount to one-fourth cup or even less if you are using it for small children (adding half a cup/two tablespoon oatmeal make it more effective for adults and babies respectively).
Being rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and other minerals, French green clay has detoxifying properties, promoting regeneration of skin cells, helping to get rid of eczema naturally.
- Add about one cup of the clay to your bath water and soak in it for twenty to forty minutes (make sure that it does not get into your mouth).
- Make a poultice with wet clay and apply on the skin twice a day. Remove when dry, avoiding reusing the same clay.
- Make a creamy paste by mixing water or witch hazel extract with half cup of green clay and apply it to the skin. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of aloe vera helps to relieve itchiness, moisturizing your dry and flaky skin as well as lightening your scars.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected skin, leaving it on for a few minutes.
- Apply a thin paste made from mixing equal parts of aloe vera gel and Vitamin E oil on your itchy skin. Leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning.
The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and detoxifying properties of Epsom salt helps in minimizing the itchy sensations and dryness.
- You can take an Epsom salt bath by adding two teaspoons of it to a bucket of water (one to three cups for a regular sized bathtub). Add one to two tablespoons of sea salt. You may also mix few drops of coconut oil or an essential oil of your choice.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber helps in flushing out the toxins, as well as moisturizing the dry, flaky skin, thus being a great at home remedy for eczema.
- Apply thinly cut chilled cucumber slices on your skin for about twenty minutes.
- You can also make cucumber juice, mix it well with an equal amount of milk and apply on the skin with cotton balls or some clean gauze.
- Make a fine paste by mashing two to three boiled carrots and apply it to the skin. Wash it off with lukewarm water after fifteen minutes.
The antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties of neem help in relieving inflammation and itching brought about by eczema.
- Make a decoction by boiling a handful of neem leaves and apply it to the affected areas with the help of a cotton ball (you may replace the neem with dried walnut leaves).
- Alternatively, make a paste out of fifteen to twenty neem leaves, leave it on your skin for about half an hour and finally rinse using warm water (adding a tablespoon of turmeric powder or a teaspoon of coconut, sesame or olive oil adds to its healing effects).
- Make a paste of nutmeg powder and warm water or coconut oil and apply it on the skin to relieve swelling and itching. This is a safe remedy for children.
Sandal and camphor
- A paste of sandal wood powder mixed with a teaspoon of camphor oil can help too as the latter has the same anti-inflammatory properties as nutmeg.
- Steep two tablespoons of calendula leaves in a cup of boiling water, cool it and apply on the rashes.
- You may even make calendula oil by fusing its flower petals with olive or other vegetable oils of your choice to apply on your skin.
- You can add a few drops of chamomile oil to your bath water or massage it directly on the skin.
- Applying chamomile tea with a cotton ball for about ten to fifteen minutes can also help.
The presence of omega3 fatty acids in fish oil makes it useful especially for people with atopic eczema, helping in minimizing inflammation and reducing skin irritation.
- You can take one to two fish oil supplements post lunch and dinner or blend it with orange juice if you are taking it in the liquid form.
What to do to prevent eczema
- You should analyze and be aware of the things that you are allergic to, or that could trigger this condition like irritants such as drying soaps, chemicals, perfumes or synthetic and woolen fabrics as well as temperature changes or certain varieties of food, and try avoiding them.
- Always bathe in lukewarm water as excessive heat may irritate your skin.
- Moisturize your skin regularly with an unscented moisturizer or petroleum jelly like Vaseline.
- Try wearing gloves (preferably rubber with cotton glove liners) while attending to household chores to prevent skin irritation.
- Trim your nails on a regular basis to prevent any dirt accumulation that might trigger the symptoms.
- Go for a healthy diet comprising of vegetables rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and pumpkins; fruits, salads, green smoothies and whole grains help as well.
- Try controlling your stress as it might lead to an outbreak of eczema or make the pre-existing condition even worse.
If you feel that your condition is getting no better even after trying natural remedies, then seek the advice of a medical practitioner.