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Eczema is characterized by persistent itching and scratching in a cycle that can leave your skin damaged and injured. This is a skin condition which results in a discolored or inflamed skin. The skin becomes dry, red, swollen, and also develops blisters or crusts. Eczema is just a name for this skin condition also called dermatitis (which stands for inflamed skin). Many different types of eczemas are there and the most well known of these is atopic eczema. Although genetic and triggered by allergens, atopic eczema can appear in children and adults alike
Considering that the skin is the largest organ and the body’s first line of defense, eczema can cause either your epidermis or outer layer and dermis or inner layer to be impacted. The skin produces fewer oils and fats and the ability for water retention diminishes. Spaces between cells further widen and water is lost from the inner layer where irritating allergens and bacteria can penetrate. Soaps and detergents (or any drying solution) can have a negative effect on the eczema-ridden skin. Whatever lipids your body produces are further lowered by the dryness inducing chemicals in these.
So, how do you go about curing eczema, especially the atopic variety which can occur anytime and can break down the skin causing blisters, cracks, dryness, and inflammation? Consider natural cures that strengthen the barrier of the skin, filling in the gaps and leading to moisture retention. Additionally, these natural cures can also attend to the itch and scratch sensations and bring down the inflammation.
Eczema is a persistent skin condition and flare-ups can damage skin quality. Skin becomes thick and scaly with crusty scabs that ooze fluid. An eczema can impact any area of the body.
Itching can range from a slight to severe inequity. This is one of the most common symptoms of eczema and the skin can become itchy before the rash appears. The affected skin becomes thickened and scaly. Red skin, over time, can turn to grayish brown shades. The skin begins to feel leathery.
Scratching the itchy rash further aggravates the eczema as it permits the bacteria called staphylococcus aureus to infect the skin. The consequence of this is that skin displays redness, inflammation, dryness, and sensitivity. It also ejects fluid in the part where it then dries with crust-like patches.
Best Natural Remedies for Eczema
Natural remedies are excellent for keeping the skin moisturized and preventing the temptation to scratch the skin. This also prevents dryness and formation of crusty scales.
#1 Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural remedy for not just treating, but preventing eczema as well. This oil provides deep hydration to the skin. It also shields the skin from dryness and scaliness. It is an effective cure for eczema because coconut oil contains anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and antimicrobial agents.
Why does its anti bacterial property have a benefit for those with this skin condition? It is quite simply because staphylococcus aureus bacterial are found to be the chief cause of eczema. Coconut oil moisturizes the skin with powerful emollient properties and destroys the bacterial skin infection. Coconut oil is useful for treating atopic dermatitis especially.
It is also helpful for treating this skin condition in infants, helping to reduce the redness and inflammation and hydrate the dry skin, soothing it. Non-refined, organic virgin coconut oil is extremely beneficial when it comes to averting eczema as well.
To use coconut oil for restoring the glory of damaged skin, apply the oil directly on toe area impacted till the reddish, itchy patches of the skin disappear completely. If you seek relief from dry, flaky skin, coconut oil is the solution you are looking for.
Coconut oil also sinks into the skin and fills intercellular space causing moisture to be gained. Lipids, fats, and oils are needed to prevent the skin from irritation and dryness.
Eczema is an individualistic condition and everyone does not find the perfect cure. But looking for natural remedies can be a good way out, given the sheer versatility of cures on offer and their proven impact. One such item is jojoba. Jojoba oil is a liquid wax-like oil which penetrates the inner layers of the skin. The advantage of this oil is that it has a molecular structure akin to the skin’s natural sebum or oil. Composed of fatty acids and alcohols, this oil is extremely lubricating and beats artificial remedies hollow.
#3 Vegetable Glycerin
This is a basis of lipids such as oils and fats. It has high saponin content which is why it is used in the soap making industry. Vegetable glycerin is plant based. It is found from oil and fat content in coconut or palm oil.Vegetable glycerin can draw water and help seal moisture. It fills gaps in eczema infected dry skin and draws up water from the dermis or deeper layer.
#4 Colloidal Oats
Botanically called Avena sativa, oats are a soothing herb to relieve itching. This is because they contain a certain compound avenanthramide which is a potent anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant. Numerous studies have found oat extracts to be beneficial for combating eczema.
A plain colloidal oatmeal bath is perfect for soothing the skin. The ingredients in the oats have the ability to bring down the swelling and soothe as well as moisturize the skin. Itchiness can also be countered by using an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal also contains the capacity to moisturize the skin and is a potent antioxidant for getting rid of symptoms such as itchy skin and dryness. Oatmeal can also be easily used for infants and children affected by eczema. Research has shown that it is effective for treating atopic dermatitis, a genetic and aggravated form of eczema.
Matricaria Recutita or chamomile is one of the best herbs for combatting eczema. This soothing anti-inflammatory also contains potent antioxidants. It heals spots, lowers swelling and tames itchiness. A natural alcohol called levomenol or a-bisabolol also helps in reducing swelling, irritation and exerts antimicrobial impact too. Another botanical name for a chamomile is Anthemis nobilis (depending on which variety it is). Chamomile comes in variants but its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties are common across the genus. Chamomile is hypoallergenic – this means it can neutralize the skin’s irritation and swelling. Studies conducted have found German chamomile ointment or cream to be extremely beneficial for eczema patients. Chamomile lowered the swelling and reduced the level of topical steroids needed to control the symptoms.It also has the same features as NSAID cream or steroid preparations without the accompanying chemical ingredients.
Chamomile is an excellent form of therapy for getting rid of eczema and it contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds to soothe the skin’s redness. Extracts of the flowers of this herb can also lower the degree of inflammation. Chamomile can also be used in oil form to deal with the eczema.
#6 Fish Oil Supplements
Yes, you read that right! Skin conditions can be cured with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These fish oil supplements can help those with eczema who have a lower incidence of fatty acids breaking into metabolites and reaching the surface of the skin. N-3 and 6 fatty acids are perfect for maintaining normal skin function and fish oil is rich in each of these.
#7 Try Honey
Honey is needed to relieve eczema symptoms. Anti microbial, anti-inflammatory and healing of broken skin all come naturally with this home remedy. Honey has humectant properties in that it draws water to it. This natural remedy also has potent antiseptic properties.
#8 Cornstarch and Oil
Cornstarch and oil can be a soothing paste for curing eczema. The cornstarch wicks away moisture the skin needs in case of eczema so mixing it with oil is essential. But cornstarch has the ability to sooth the skin and ease the irritation and itching. The oil further lubricates the skin. You can use olive or coconut oil.
Another way to get the skin to heal is to use French green clay. This clay type is rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and other minerals making it the ideal paste for preventing swelling, itching, pain and reducing the heat and redness through its cooling effect. Made from decomposed plant matter, this clay can be paired with herbs like witch-hazel extract too.
Stellaria media is its botanical name. This is not a common herb, but a potent one. Native to the EU, chickweed has small white blossoms and is used in herbal and Chinese medicine too. It has been recommended by herbalists for eczema. This has an anti-inflammatory and antiviral impact because it is rich in polyphenols, polysaccharides, flavonoids and cyclic peptides apart from other phytonutrients.
Calendula officinalis is a strong anti-inflammatory herb used to treat numerous skin conditions. Calendula can benefit eczema by lowering inflammation, preventing bacterial infection and healing the skin. Studies have found acute dermatitis has been effectively combated through calendula. Also called marigold, it is perfect for combating eczema and can be infused or applied in a paste. The moistened herbal tea bags can also be extremely effective.
Glycirhizza glabra or licorice root is one of the most potent herbal cures for eczema. This plant’s roots have an extract which is known to fight not just eczema, but a host of other conditions such as erythema and edema. Licorice is helpful for skin conditions such as these because it soothes inflammation. Scientists have shown licorice has anti-inflammatory properties and can be tested for skin conditions that involve swelling. This green, leafy herb contains glycyrrhizin which is a potent anti-inflammatory. Studies have found the extract of this herb to be effective for the treatment of eczema on account of this.
Arctium lappa or burdock is a herb which is mineral and vitamin rich. In eastern, Oriental countries, this herb has been used for soothing the GI tract. Native Americans such as the Cherokee also use this herb for treating conditions of the skin associated with dry, scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Burdock is rich in inulin and mucilage. This creates a paste which soothes the skin. Inulin gives this herb humectant properties. It draws moisture through the skin to hydrate the epidermis.
Burdock seeds and leaves are also beneficial for treating this skin condition. Burdock root concoctions cleanse the blood. Scientists have found this root also soothes the texture and skin quality, by not just cleansing the blood, but also improving the functioning of the circulatory system. This herbal root also has antibiotic and antioxidant compounds.
#14 Aloe Vera
Aloe barbadensis or Aloe Vera, as it is commonly known dates back in indigenous medical systems over a period of 2 thousand years back. Alexander the Great is said to have used aloe vera to cure skin conditions during war. Aloe vera heals the wound and soothes the skin through anti-inflammatory properties. Painful eczema can be cured and damaged skin repaired because aloe vera has the ability to not just protect, but nurture the skin as well. Itchy, inflammatory properties and vitamins nourish and protect the skin as aloe vera also contains potent antibacterial properties.
#15 Milk Thistle
Silybum marianum or milk thistle as it is commonly called has this name for a reason. The milky sap of this herb demulcifies the skin and soothes it. Apart from that, it also contains a compound called silymarin which has been studied by researchers as a cure for eczema and rosacea as well as other skin conditions.
Taraxacum officinale is the botanical name of this herb. Commonly called dandelion, it stimulates the liver and clears up dyshidrotic eczema. Bubbles paired with itching are the chief symptoms of the latter condition. Dandelion can also be externally applied to help with eczema. Also known as dandelion milk, dandelion sap treats skin conditions caused by microbial or fungal infections. The flowers of this herb are rich in moisturizing nutrient lecithin. Dandelion root also contains inulin drawing up moisture to the skin. It can also be used for curing eczema.
Equisetum arvense, also known as horsetail is another herb rich in properties for curing eczema. It contains silicon which is the material from which collagen is made. Body glue which gives the skin a muscular tone and elasticity that works to rejuvenate the tissues makes collagen a one of a kind ingredient, especially for combating horsetail. The tone and strength of skin improves because this herb is known as a cure for skin itchiness, irritation and inflammation thereby revitalizing the connective tissues and enhancing blood circulation. Horsetail also helps to counter allergic skin diseases and can be used for healing wounds.
#18 St John’s Wort
Hypericum perforatum or St John’s Wort is another potent herbal ingredient for tackling skin conditions such as eczema. This herb has been historically used for treating mild burns, bruises and wounds. Hyperforin is a special herbal constituent that has antibacterial properties. St. John’s Wort in a herbal paste can cure redness, crusting, skin thickening, scaling and skin infection. When used topically, it is effective for curing eczema.
Also known botanically as Azardica indicia, neem oil is used for various skin ailments. One of these is eczema. It is also used for other skin diseases such as scabies and ringworm. Neem oil is a potent herb, with anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti viral, anti inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. It also boosts the immunity of the body, promoting the healing of the wound and improving collagen elasticity. Neem oil has fatty acids which inhibit inflammation as easily as cortisone acetate.
Curcuma longa or turmeric is another very common ingredient used for naturally curing eczema. This herb is anti viral, anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant. Active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin gives this herb its characteristic color. This herb has anti inflammatory and bactericidal properties. It has the ability to keep skin healthy and free from itching, dryness, scaliness and red patches. It can also be used to cure atopic dermatitis, the most severe form of eczema. Oral and topical intake are both equally effective.
Lavandula angustifolia is the scientific name of this herb. It is a versatile and strong acting herbal extract for skin care and can ward off bacterial infections very fast. It stimulates cellular growth and regeneration by letting the epidermis heal itself. The lavender also calms down inflammation, speeds up healing and cures the infection. This essential oil can be used neatly on the skin.
#23 Witch Hazel
This herb has the botanical name Hamamelis Virginiana and is known to help prevent the oozing associated with eczema. Patients with this eczema often face itchiness. NSAID creams are equally effective as this herbal cure for improving the condition of the skin and combating itchy, scaly red skin. Witch hazel is a herb that has astringent properties too. This age old remedy works better than any cream. It is a potent anti-inflammatory herb. This helps in curing eczema. Additionally, it contains tannins to contract skin cells and speed up healing. This activity prevents skin cell damage. The potent antioxidant is also known for exerting a strong anti bacterial effect. Witch hazel is a natural remedy for insect bites, puffiness of eyes and itchiness of the skin.
Also called Symphytum officinale, knit bone (because it works like a charm for abrasions and cuts), this herb is rich in allantoin which treats eczema along with host of other skin conditions. This antioxidant ingredient in the herb generates new cell growth and sheds old skin. It softens the skin and removes scaly tissues. This herb has healing properties and is suited for fighting eczema. It prevents further infection and scarring keeping the skin soft, smooth and supple. Comfrey is also rich in vitamin A or retinol which relieve symptoms of eczema such as dryness and itchy sensations.
Galium aparine is the scientific name of this herb also called goose grass, catch weed or sweet woodruff. This herb has potent anti inflammatory properties exerting a toning, firming skin effect. Cleavers benefit the eczema and exerts anti-inflammatory properties. It heals wounds, sores, cysts and swellings. Cleavers detox the body and relieve symptoms such as cracked skin and blisters.
Althea officinalis, or marshmallow is a demulcent and emollient with mucilage to create gel like coating that treats the inflammation of the skin. Its soothing properties make it effective in combating skin irritation and inflammation.
Hydrastis Canadensis is a herb used to treat eczema. Commonly called Goldenseal, it has berberine which combats bacterial and fungal infections. This also boosts the immunity in addition to being antimicrobial, anti septic and anti inflammatory. This is used for healing wounds by native Americans as well. It can ward off skin irritation and inflammation.
Also known botanically as Urtica dioica, stinging nettle has been used to treat eczema. This is an anti bacterial, astringent, anti inflammatory, stimulating herb. It combats bacterial infection characteristic of eczema apart from having high anti microbial capacity. The sting of the herb also lowers inflammation and painful sensations in eczema patients, by reducing inflammatory chemicals in the human body. Interfering with the way the body engages in transmission of pain signals, it has value for an eczema cure.
#29 Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is essential for alleviating the symptoms of eczema. In a scientific series of studies, this oil worked well for more than 1200 patients for curing crusting, edema, redness and itching. This herb can be used as a supplement or topically applied. Oil extracts from evening primrose contain fatty acids that benefit the skin.
#30 Gotu Kola
Centella asiatica or Gotu Kola as it is called, is a herbal cure all and an important medicinal herb. Its others names include Indian pennywort, and it has been part of Indian and Chinese indigenous systems of medication for years. Gotu Kola has antioxidant properties which exert a miraculous impact on those with skin problems like eczema. This herb contains triterpenoids which increase blood flow to the surface and help wounds heal faster strengthening the skin.
#31 Jewel Weed
Also known as Spotted Touch Me Not, Lady’s Eardrops, Lady’s Slippers. Jewel weed is used to treat a vast number of conditions such as poison ivy and athlete’s foot. Eczema is also one such condition it can treat.
#32 Copaiba Balsam
This wonderful herb is super efficient when it comes to treating skin problems. This herb contains anti fungal, analgesic, diuretic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial compounds. Native to Brazil, this herb has been used for treating eczema too.
#33 Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can lower inflammation and itching caused by eczema. It also is rich in acetic acid which destroys bacterial skin infections and reduces itching sensations. As skin impacted by eczema is higher in pH levels, apple cider vinegar lowers inflammation and itching. Natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar can also be used with jojoba oil or in the bath to reduce itching on the body.
The gut needs a proper balance of positive bacteria for proper functioning of the digestive system. If there are digestive issues, the body can break out in allergies and skin irritation including eczema. Probiotics can get to the root of the problem and prevent such skin infections from taking a hold of you.
Thus, there are many natural herbal cures for treating eczema. Which of these you should choose is based on factors like your skin type, the ease with which the natural cure impacts you and the efficiency with which it works. Experiment with these natural cures and harness the healing power of herbs to combat eczema inside out