Having to live with the blight of the skin condition eczema all your life can be not only uncomfortable, but painful and embarrassing as well.
It’s quite common for it to start on the elbows, on the back of the knees and the hands, but in some instances it can start to become more severe and start to spread on up to the face.
This is when it can become really embarrassing for the sufferer and they become so self-conscious that they don’t want to be seen outside and so lock themselves away indoors.
Each and every year there are millions of dollars being spent by some of the biggest medical companies, employing some of the sharpest minds, and yet they still do not completely understand the disease known as eczema.
Yes granted a lot of the conventional treatments that they develop do seem to help the patients that are involved in taking them, but no matter how good these medicines are, a lot of the patient’s still seem to be suffering with this problem while others also suffer from some sort of side effects.
Because of reports like this, it’s no wonder that over 50% of all eczema sufferers have said that at some time or another they have turned to using some form of alternative or home remedy for eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that is also referred to as atopic dermatitis; this is a chronic allergic condition whereby the skin develops areas of itchy, scaly rashes.
To get a further more in-depth understanding of what eczema is you can watch the following video:
What are the Symptoms of Eczema?
You can get eczema on more or less any part of the body. With the most common areas of development being, face eczema, the inside of your knees, on your elbows, around the ankles, around the wrist and hand eczema.
Initially it might start off with your skin being really itchy, and then as you scratch it more and more the skin can start to change into a rash followed by a kind of scaly skin starting to develop.
You have to take extra care at this stage because with the constant scratching and opening up the skin, you could in fact introduce infections into the skin, which could then lead you into having even more problems that could eventually lead to scarring.
Other signs of eczema are:
The affected areas can be patches of itchy extremely dry, thickened or scaly and appearing leathery.
With people that have a fair to light skin these areas may at first appear a kind of reddish colour which will then turn a brownish colour.
For people that are a bit darker skinned the eczema can affect their pigmentation, which can then make the area lighter, or in some cases even darker.
Apart from the redness and inflammation that can occur on and around the affected area, there can also be developments of blisters that ooze and then crust over.
Some Important Questions about Eczema
How Can You Tell if You Have Eczema?
Although there are no specific tests to determine whether or not you have eczema, your doctor or a dermatologist will be able to tell you if you have it.
This is normally done with them taking a look at your skin and asking you some questions.
What are the Causes of Eczema?
Doctors and other medical practitioners have not yet discovered yet what actually causes eczema.
Although atopic dermatitis (which is the most common type of eczema) looks like it is an allergy it is not.
Some of the current trains of thought of what might cause the disease are of a combination of things which consists of:
It might be the body’s immune system responding to an irritant.
It might be genetics with it being found elsewhere in the family history.
It might be a defect in the skin barrier which allows germs to get in.
It might be a reaction to the current environment.
It might be an abnormally functioning immune system.
There are a few others that have been suggested, but as stated above, no one is actually really sure as to the real causes.
Is Eczema Contagious?
No, you cannot catch eczema from anyone or pass it on if you have got it.
Is Eczema an allergic reaction to foods?
No, although a lot of people that have eczema do have some food allergies, it has not been proven that there is any links between the allergies and the disease.
Is Eczema Hereditary?
Researchers have said that they have found it to be hereditary.
It is commonly found to be in families that have a history of eczema, along with other conditions such as allergies or hay fever.
There are lots of products available these days that say they will alleviate or get rid of the symptoms of eczema, but because they are bundled up so much with various synthetic chemicals and ingredients that are toxic, more and more people are deciding to switch to natural home remedies for eczema.
Unlike the over the counter medications natural home remedies come from sources like herbs, foods, flowers and plants.
And because they contain all natural ingredients, they are less likely than their counter parts to cause any irritation to your skin or to make it flare up.
There are quite a few natural home remedies for eczema that you will hear about and it can be quite a task trying to sort through which ones to choose.
The best way to do it is through experimentation and trying some to find which works best for you.
Below we have a selection for you to check out which are natural and fairly inexpensive (compared to what you would buy over the counter), quite easy to locate and chemical free.
A Soothing Oatmeal Bath
A good old Oatmeal bath could do your eczema the world of good, in a lot of cases it noticeably soothes and moisturizes the skin.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that are good for soothing the itching and irritation and can also help to relieve that he unpleasantness that is brought about by the inflammation associated with eczema.
What you will need:
1. About 1 cup of Oatmeal
2. Some muslin, cheesecloth (or a clean pair of women’s tights).
3. A piece of string or strip of old cloth, (about 10 to 12 inches)
4. A bathtub.
How to use it:
Tip the oatmeal into whatever material you are going to use to hold it, (the muslin, cheesecloth or tights), and tie the string or cloth around the top of the bag.
Half fill the bathtub with water, and then tie the string around the faucet/tap so it hangs below the running water.
Continue to run the bath until it is full and the water is a smooth milky texture/consistency.
Lay in the bath for around 20 minutes, and leave the bag to soak in the bath water, giving it the occasional squeeze to release more of the mixture. If you feel the bag is not too rough you can take it and dab your affected areas.
When you get out pat yourself dry with a soft towel and apply your regular moisturiser.
Organic Coconut Oil
Because of the moisturising and antimicrobial properties of organic coconut oil, you will find that it can help you to deal with some of the problems associated with eczema.
By applying some warm coconut oil to the affected areas it can help to soften the skin, and reduce the redness, dryness and scaling within a matter of days.
It is nice on the skin and can be applied easily with very little touching or rubbing of the skin necessary.
Most sufferers of eczema, who find coconut oil works for them, agree that organic extra virgin coconut oil is the one that performs best for treating and relieving their symptoms.
Apply a Honey and Cinnamon Paste
Honey is one of the oldest known remedies for treating and healing infections.
It has a healing property because of the fact that it offers an antibacterial activity and it helps to maintain a moist skin condition, also because of its thickness it forms a protective barrier to prevent infection.
For many centuries now cinnamon has been used in Chinese and Indian cultures as a traditional medicine, playing an important role in maintaining a healthy skin.
As well as this, cinnamon has been used as a remedy in a multitude of skin related diseases and infections including eczema.
What you need:
A clean mixing bowl.
2 Tablespoons of Honey (Preferably Manuka)
2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon.
How to use it:
In the mixing bowl add the 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and mix well until it forms a smooth paste with no lumps.
Take a spoonful of the honey and cinnamon mixture and apply it to the affected area.
Then using your fingers (make sure you have thoroughly washed your hands) gently massage the mixture over your skin using small circular motions.
Leave it on for about 5 or 6 minutes then wash the mixture off with soap and water to remove all the stickiness and pat dry with a soft towel.
You can then apply your regular moisturiser.
For seriously infected skin, you can apply the paste on affected area twice a day.
Do not look for immediate results; these types of remedies do not work over night and depending on how responsive your body is you may start to see the benefits after a few weeks.
Please note: You should not use this paste on your face in-case it causes irritation, and before you apply it fully to your infected areas you should perform a skin test on a small area first.
Also a word of caution:
As stated by Colorado State University, unprocessed or raw honey can carry the toxic botulism bacteria. Young babies under the age of 8 months are especially vulnerable to the bacterium, and the use of honey as a remedy for children of around this age is not recommended.
Aloe Vera benefits have been well documented over the years, although these were mainly for the treatments of burns and digestive problems.
Apart from its many natural substances that can assist in boosting the immune system and repairing of skin tissues, it can also aid in the healing of eczema symptoms.
Aloe Vera for eczema can be used in two ways, you can either apply it as a cream or a lotion directly to the troublesome area is, or you can take it as a drink.
Although there are very few side effects associated with consuming Aloe Vera, it is still important that you take heed of the recommendations that will come on the product label when you purchase it.
Another important consideration is, you should let your doctor or health care professional know if you are taking this or any other remedy or supplement, in-case they conflict with any prescribed medications.
Olive Oil and Cabbage Leaves
Like Coconut oil, olive oil is one of the safest oils to use on your skin for the natural treatment of eczema symptoms.
Olive oil has been used for skin conditions from as far back as the ancient Greek civilizations.
It can penetrate deep into the epidermis to nourish and soften skin without any unnatural ingredients or allergens; it is particularly helpful in soothing flare-ups and also in relieving inflammation.
Try this remedy to help to sooth your inflamed skin patches.
What you need:
1. Cabbage leaf per affected area of your skin.
2. Olive oil, enough to soak each leaf in.
3. Bowl to soak the leaves.
3. A piece of linen cloth to cover each leaf.
How to use it:
Take each cabbage leaf, wash it thoroughly and dry it so it is water free.
Pour the olive oil into the bowl and soak the leaves in the oil until they become they become soft.
Take the leaves out and put one on each area of affected skin.
Cover each leaf with a piece of linen cloth.
Leave covered for between 2 to 3 hours.
When you remove the cloth and the leaves, gently wash the areas with soap and water to remove all the oil and pat dry with a soft towel.
You can then apply your regular moisturiser.
A word of caution: The first time you use this remedy, try out a test patch on one of your affected areas to make sure you do not have any reactions to the olive oil. Also do not use this remedy for infant eczema.
Taken internally burdock decreases inflammation, most natural herbalists consider this a traditional remedy for a lot of different types of skin disorders, including eczema.
Not only is it rich in minerals, burdock also contains inulin which in fact stimulates an immune pathway that destroys the skin bacteria that can make eczema worse.
You can make a burdock tea to consume, but a simpler way is to take either two 400 or 500 milligram capsules three times a day or 10 to 25 drops of burdock tincture three times a day.
To apply burdock externally, simmer one tablespoonful of dried burdock root in 450 millilitres of hot water for around 15 to 20 minutes. Strain it off, make sure that it has cooled down and apply it to the affected areas with a soft clean cloth.
Drinking some chamomile tea before you go to bed can have a nice soothing and calming effect, which in turn will promote respite from the irritation and stress that is caused by the eczema.
Externally you can also apply some chamomile cream to you affected areas, as this is considered to not only be quite soothing but it has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Colloidal Oatmeal, Epsom Salt & Lavender Oil
How the Remedy Works
This Epsom salt, oatmeal and lavender oil remedy helps to treat eczema in the following ways:
1. Colloidal Oatmeal: Colloidal oatmeal is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can soothe any skin affected by eczema.
1. Epsom Salt: Epsom salt is another strong natural anti-inflammatory that can relieve and repair any skin that is affected by eczema.
2. Lavender Oil: Lavender oil cleanses and soothes any skin that is affected by eczema.
How to Prepare the Remedy
1. Add 10 drops of lavender oil, 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal and 1 cup of Epsom salt to a hot bath and soak in it for up to 30 minutes.
2. Use this remedy up to 3 times per week until the eczema subsides.
“Eczema isn’t a life threatening condition, but to the sufferer it can be a very distressing and harrowing time.”
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