Wellness

Top 5 Home and Natural Remedies for Eczema

Eczema can be managed naturally. Home remedies and natural treatments can soothe the dry, itchy skin that accompanies eczema. One can use creams, natural products and modify one’s diet and lifestyle to manage or prevent eczema flare-ups. Especially in winter, when symptoms tend to be most severe. Natural substances, such as aloe vera gel and coconut oil, can moisturize dry, damaged skin. They can also fight inflammation and harmful bacteria to reduce swelling and prevent infection.

Natural remedies cannot cure eczema. But they can help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. This article reviews the best natural remedies for eczema.

1. Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is derived from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera gel has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. A common use is to relieve eczema. A systematic review from 2015 examined the effects of aloe vera on human health. The researchers reported that the gel has the following types of properties:

antibacterial
antimicrobial
strengthening of the immune system
wound healing

The antibacterial and antimicrobial effects can prevent skin infections, which are more likely to occur when a person has dry, cracked skin. The healing properties of aloe can soothe damaged skin and promote healing.

How to use it

One can buy aloe vera gel from health stores or online, or purchase an aloe vera plant and use the gel directly from its leaves.

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Choose aloe vera gel products with few ingredients. Some gels may contain preservatives, alcohol, fragrances and colors. They can all irritate sensitive skin. Alcohol and other dehydrating ingredients could make eczema worse.

Start with a small amount of gel to check skin sensitivity. Sometimes aloe vera can cause burning or stinging. In general, however, it is safe and effective for adults and children.

2. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for many conditions, including skin disorders. Apple cider vinegar can help with this condition. No research has confirmed that apple cider vinegar reduces eczema symptoms, but there are several reasons why it might help:

Balance skin acidity levels

Vinegar is very acidic. Skin is naturally acidic, but people with eczema may have less acidic skin than others. This can weaken the skin’s defenses. Applying diluted apple cider vinegar might help balance the acidity level of the skin. Be careful, vinegar can cause small irritations if it is not diluted.

In contrast, many soaps, detergents, and cleansers are alkaline. They can disrupt the acidity of the skin, which can make it vulnerable to damage. This may explain why washing with certain soaps can cause eczema flare-ups.

Fight bacteria

Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can fight bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Using apple cider vinegar on the skin could help prevent infection of damaged skin.

How to use it

Always dilute apple cider vinegar before applying it to the skin. Undiluted vinegar can cause irritation.

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Vinegar can be used in wet wraps or baths, and is available at most supermarkets and health food stores.

To use apple cider vinegar in a compress:

Mix 1 cup of hot water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
Apply the solution to a cotton ball or gauze.
Cover the dressing with a clean cotton cloth.
Leave on for 3 hours.

To try an apple cider vinegar bath:

Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a hot bath.
Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse the body thoroughly.
Hydrate within minutes of getting out of the bath.

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids that can promote skin hydration, which can help people with dry skin and eczema. Additionally, virgin coconut oil may protect the skin by helping to fight inflammation and improve skin barrier health.

A randomized clinical trial examined the effects of applying virgin coconut oil to children’s skin. Results show that using the oil for 8 weeks improved eczema symptoms better than mineral oil.

How to use it

Apply cold-pressed virgin coconut oil directly to the skin after bathing and up to several times a day. Use it before bed to keep skin hydrated overnight.

Extra virgin coconut oil is generally solid at room temperature. But body heat turns it into liquid. The oil is sold in health stores and online.

4. Honey

Honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It has been used to heal wounds for centuries.

Study findings confirm that honey can help heal wounds and boost immune system functions. Which means it can help the body fight infections. Another study indicates that honey is helpful in treating various skin conditions. Especially burns and wounds, and that it has antibacterial ability.

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Applied directly to eczema, honey may help prevent infections while moisturizing the skin and speeding up healing.

How to use it

Try dabbing some honey on the area. Manuka honey products designed for wound care and skin application are also available at many drug stores and online.

5. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Manufacturers derive tea tree oil from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. This oil is often used to treat skin problems, including eczema. A 2013 study identifies the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and healing properties of this oil. It may help relieve dry, itchy skin and prevent infections.

How to use it

Always dilute essential oils before using them on the skin. Try mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as almond or olive oil, then apply the solution. Some products contain tea tree oil in a diluted form.

Sources

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411014000078

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18618-x

Evangelista, MTP, Abad-Casintahan, F., & Lopez-Villafuerte, L. (2014, January). The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: A randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. International Journal of Dermatology, 53(1), 100–108

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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