The term eczema refers to a group of conditions which cause inflammation and irritation of the skin. Although many forms of eczema exist, itchy, red rashes and thickened, scaly skin are almost always characteristics. The most common form of eczema is atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. This type of eczema is most common in babies, children and people under 25 years of age. It is thought to be hereditary and is not contagious. Atopic eczema is caused by a number of things that can trigger an allergic-type reaction in the skin. These things can include allergens such as molds and pollens, perfumes that are added to detergents and body products, food products, and environmental factors like weather.
Whatever the cause or type, eczema is very bothersome and can be extremely painful. There are many treatments that doctors can prescribe to help with eczema, but many use drugs such as steroids and topical creams that aren’t always gentle or effective. Many people, such as parents with young children, don’t feel comfortable using these types of treatments. There are many different remedies you can try at home to bring relief from eczema, such as homemade creams and washes. You can also take preventative measures that help lessen the chances of eczema recurrence.
Eczema Remedy #1
You can make a gentle wash for itchy, irritated skin at home using ingredients you can find at a health food store. This wash is great because it is gentle enough to be used on even young babies. You will need comfrey root, which contains anti-inflammatory agents and can speed up the healing process. It supports new cell growth and can minimize scarring. The second item you will need is white oak bark, which contains zinc and vitamin B-12. It has natural astringent-like qualities and can soothe skin. Lastly, you will need slippery elm bark, which contains tannins. Tannins are natural antibiotics that work to stop infection and reduce redness. Simply mix one teaspoon of each with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on your stovetop and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat and let your wash cool completely. Strain out any solid particles, and it is ready to use. Apply to affected areas and rinse with cool water.
Eczema Remedy #2
An oatmeal bath can be very soothing if you are suffering from eczema. All you need is ordinary, natural oatmeal and a blender or food processor. Just put 2 to 4 cups of oatmeal in the blender or food processor and process until a fine powder forms. Mix the powder into warm bathwater and soak for as long as you wish. Oatmeal is a well-known skin soother and has been used for years as a remedy for dry, itchy, or irritated skin.
Eczema Remedy #3
You can make your own eczema cream at home using natural ingredients. In many cases it works better than anything a doctor would prescribe. A natural cream for eczema relief can be made from ground nutmeg and olive oil. Simply rub whole nutmeg against a grater, such as a cheese grater, until you get one tablespoon’s worth of nutmeg powder. Mix the powder with a teaspoon of olive oil until a thick paste forms. Apply this mixture to affected spots and leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Nutmeg has been known to ease pain and reduce inflammation.
Another eczema relief cream containing camphor powder and sandalwood powder can be created at home. Just mix one tablespoon of each with two teaspoons of coconut oil, and mix well. Apply this mixture to affected areas by massaging into skin. Leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Both camphor and sandalwood have been shown to have cooling and soothing effects.
Eczema Remedy #4
Aloe Vera has long been used to treat a variety of health and skin issues. It is very helpful in treating eczema because of its moisturizing, soothing, and healing properties. Using natural aloe vera shampoos, body washes, gels and lotions can all ease the symptoms of eczema. Better yet, use pure aloe gel, straight from an aloe leaf. Simply snip the end off and squeeze the gel onto affected skin.
Eczema can really be a difficult thing for people to deal with and manage. If you suffer from it, always remember to keep skin clean, limiting your contact with water to a few minutes at a time, since water can be drying. Keep your skin well moisturized at all times. Avoid laundry and beauty products that contain perfumes or dyes. Try to stay cool in the summer months and warm in the winter. Maintaining a high quality diet that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help to ease eczema too. Being diligent about these things, along with the use of the remedies suggested, should bring you relief from your eczema problems.
Guest post from Bailey Harris, who writes about homeowners insurance quotes for www.homeownersinsurance.org.