Who does not want a smooth, clean and clear skin? We all crave for one and spend loads and loads in pampering and treating our skin right. However, some of us might not be that lucky. These beauty products or something in our lifestyle can trigger allergic reactions on our skin. This allergic reaction can be both ugly as well as irritating. The skin allergy we are talking about is eczema.
As the name sounds, it is an unpleasing skin anomaly that has taken a toll over 30 million Americans. Intrigued, right? So were we. And hence, decided to share with you some insider tips, remedies, techniques and natural ways of curing this skin problem.
What is eczema?
Eczema, the term, has been derived from a greek word that means ‘to effervesce, boil or bubble’. The word eczema is used to describe various types of skin inflammation. The symptoms and skin inflammation can vary from person to person and the impact can last for various days to years.
There are various types of skin anomalies that are eczemas. People with dry, and sensitive skin are more prone to suffer from eczema. The slightest of symptoms can include skin discoloration, rashes, blisters, peeling, red and warm skin or oozing.
How can one catch eczema?
The exact cause behind one suffering from eczema is not known yet. However, evidence says that it could be a genetically transferred from parents to offsprings and generations to generations.
What can trigger eczema on a regular basis?
Typically, this skin anomaly stays forever. However, with prevention and by avoiding the below mentioned eczema triggers, you can reduce the chances of having an itchy, inflamed and rough skin.
- Chemicals: Fragrances, compounds and irritants found in soaps, body washes, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, household cleaners or hand washes can trigger eczema.
- Allergens: One can suffer from recurring eczema if they are surrounded by pet or flowers. Allergens from pet dander, pollens from flowers, molds, and dandruff can cause eczema as well.
- Microbial infestation on the skin: Microbes can multiply really fast and foster in colonies. We all are surrounded by microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These microbes can stick to your epidermis and penetrate inside causing eczema.
- Temperature fluctuations: Temperature changes from hot weather to a cold weather, sweating during exercise and physical activity, and high and low humidity make it difficult for the skin to adapt to one kind of a situation. These fluctuations too can trigger eczema.
- Food: Food is known to cause skin allergies. One can easily experience skin irritations on consuming dairy products, eggs, soy, nuts, seeds and wheat.
- Clothes: Another major trigger behind eczema is the clothes you wear. When clothes made using wool or synthetic fibers rub against the skin, they tend to irritate the epidermis and cause skin anomalies.
- Psychological factors: Psychological triggers like anxiety, stress, depression or more lead to the development of eczema.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Natural hormonal changes can also lead to eczema. These changes could occur due to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Eczema gets better as the hormonal levels start falling within limits. However, precautions are needed.
How can you cure eczema?
It is believed that there is no cure for eczema and the inflammation can resurface from time to time. But there is a possibility that the reasons behind these inflammations are linked to one’s environment. These factors, described in detail above, can trigger eczema from time to time. Therefore, it is important to know what exactly is causing your skin anomalies.
The good news is there are a few home remedies and natural ways to avoid and eradicate the problem of eczema. Or at least, stop it from recurring until the skin is exposed to your type of the trigger.
Eczema is no way an easily curable problem. Therefore, it is essential that you control both your diet as well as exposure to triggers wisely. Eating a healthy diet loaded with anti-inflammatory foods and omega-3 rich foods is beneficial to curb down the symptoms. Also, avoid or reduce the intake of grass-fed dairy products.
Additionally, cover yourself up in full length clothes to avoid itching while sleeping. Do not use harsh soaps, dryers, detergents or body washes. You can make your own body washes too. We would also advise you to either reduce your frequency of baths or introduce milder products to pamper your skin. It is extremely important for the body to stay hydrated and moisturized. Getting in the sun to soak in some Vitamin D — available only in the early morning hours without the application of sunscreen or any other cream — will also help in healing the skin by boosting your immunity. Also, Vitamin D is responsible for better absorption of a few major nutrients in the body.
Another important product that you can introduce in your eczema care routine is essential oil. Essential oils are natural extracts of plants and herbs with medicinal and healing properties.
But, why should you use essential oils for eczema if there are so many treatments available already?
If you already have eczema then you are aware of the various treatments available in the market to treat the problem. You could opt for phototherapy, topical steroids, over-the-counter ointments, NSAIDs or immunosuppressants. However, a clinical study on atopic treatments for eczema suggests that about 40% of the users believe that these treatments are not effective and cause adverse side effects.
In such cases, adding a natural and holistic healing treatment to your skin care regime can work wonders. And that’s exactly why you need essential oils for eczema. They are strong and natural healers. Moreover, they help eradicate the underlying symptoms and treat other skin ailments effectively.
Listed below are essential oils for eczema that will not only keep the inflammation at bay but will also soothe your senses and calm the itching down.
1. Lavender essential oil for eczema
This oil needs no description. It is amongst the top essential oils across the world and the most purchased essential oil in America. The healing, regenerative and calming properties this oil make for an easy therapy almost every time.
How to use lavender essential oil to treat eczema: Lavender oil, when used on the skin for anomalies, reduces the inflammation and heals the redness. To use lavender essential oil for eczema, prepare a body cream using lavender essential oil and shea butter.
Process for preparing the lavender and shea butter cream: Take about half a cup of coconut/ olive/ almond oil. Take a pan and add raw shea butter to it. Let the butter melt. Now add the carrier oils to the pan. If you are using coconut oil allow it to melt and blend in with the butter. Next, add a tablespoon of honey to the mixture. Lastly, add about 30 to 35 drops of lavender essential oil and about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil to the warm mixture. Allow the mixture to cool down. Let it not thicken a lot. Keep it soft. Finally, transfer it to a glass jar and store in a place away from direct light. Apply the mixture 2 to 3 times a day.
Note: Before making the cream, we advise you to test the essential oils on your skin. Tea tree oil is quite potent and might not suit all skin types. Try a patch test for 2 to 3 days by mixing the essential oils with a carrier oil.
2. Thyme essential oil for eczema
The essential oil of thyme contains carvacrol. Carvacrol is an organic compound with properties that initiate natural defence mechanism in the body and alleviate pain, infection, swelling and inflammation. A research published 2010 explains how carvacrol helps in suppressing COX-2 – an enzyme that plays a vital role in circulatory homeostasis and inflammation. Thyme essential oil was found to reduce the effect of COX-2 enzyme by up to 65%.
3. Carrot Seed essential oil for eczema
The essential oil of carrot is derived from the rich seeds of the plant. The carrot seed oil is recommended for all skin types. It heals and tones the skin, adds elasticity, helps fight fine lines and calms inflamed skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
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4. Rose essential oil for eczema
The aphrodisiac oil of rose is revered in the ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory properties. Its sweet, flowery, and uplifting aroma complimented with its eugenol contents makes it ideal for treating eczema.
5. Eucalyptus essential oil for eczema
The oil for eucalyptus is known for many amazing benefits. The oil is rich in eucalyptol, an organic compound used in cough suppressants, insecticides and mouthwashes. Studies show that the oil of eucalyptus is effective in treating inflammation and relieving the pain.
6. Clove essential oil for eczema
Clove essential oil is rich in eugenol. In fact, the spice of clove is composed of about 80% to 95% eugenol. Eugenol is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory biochemical that relieves pain and swelling. You can read more about the versatile uses and health benefits of clove here.
7. Chamomile essential oil for eczema
Think of skin problems, think of chamomile essential oil. The oil works wonders on skin anomalies like eczema. It helps in soothing dry and flakey skin, and reduces inflammation. The oil is ideal if you suffer from recurring eczema.
8. Bergamot essential oil for eczema
Ever tasted the earl grey tea? Bergamot is responsible for its unique taste and healing properties. The oil smells citrusy and fresh and is revered for its mood boosting effects. Be it acne, seborrhea of skin or scalp, psoriasis or eczema, this oil is ideal for you
9. Tea tree essential oil for eczema
The tea tree leaves were first used by Bundjalung people of Australia to treat cold, infections and skin ailments. This oil has been scientifically proven to work magic on skin. However, one should be careful before applying this on the skin and it should always be diluted in carrier oil or water before the application on the skin. The oil clears the skin of acne, oil, itchiness and sores.
Recommended carrier oils for all skin types
Essential oils are volatile and concentrated plant extracts. Therefore, they must be always be diluted before use. The best way to use essential oils for eczema is to mix them with a carrier oil. Listed below are a few carrier oils that suit all skin types and especially the ones with sensitive skin:
- Coconut Oil: Without a doubt, this is the best carrier oil. It helps in nourishing, hydrating and softening the skin. And the best part, it is loaded with antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Olive Oil: Another best carrier oil to be used during eczema is the olive oil. It traps moisture within the skin and protects the cells from further damage. Moreover, the oil helps in neutralising free radicals and prevents ageing.
- Sweet Almond Oil: The oil of almonds is rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful skin protector that restores elasticity and nourishes the skin.
- Shea Butter: Shea butter is an excelling moisturizer. Hence, it is included in a variety of skin care products. It is rich in Vitamin A and heals the damaged skin.
To use carrier oils and essential oils for eczema, follow this process: Dilute about 10 drops of essential oil in an ounce of carrier oil. Apply this blend over your skin topically. If this is your first time with essential oils, we recommend you to try a patch test on your skin.
How to use essential oils for eczema?
Keeping your skin well hydrated and moisturized helps you prevent eczema from flaring up. Below mentioned are some of the best ways to treat eczema using essential oils:
- Bath: No better way to keep eczema away. This remedy can be tried even when you are not suffering from skin inflammations. Just add about 5 to 6 drops of your favorite essential oils into your lukewarm bathing water. This would nourish your skin and lock moisture within.
- Massage: Another popular way of using essential oils for eczema would be to massage the blend of essential oil with a carrier oil on the inflamed area. Add 4 to 5 drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil and topically, massage it on your skin. Right after a shower is the best, but you can repeat this process 3 to 4 times a day depending on how dry your skin is or how strong the inflammation is.
- Moisturizing Lotion: Add about 10 drops of essential oil to shea butter and apply it to your skin. Not only will it soothe your skin and ease the inflammation, but it will also leave the skin hydrated and smooth.
- Spray it all over: This remedy will help you fight the itch and help you apply the oil in areas that can be massaged topically with ease. Take an empty spray bottle and fill half of it with water. Add about 2 tablespoons of carrier oil in it and mix it with 10 drops of lavender, tea tree and clove essential oil. You can pick and choose the oil that soothes your skin too. Mix the ingredients well and spray it over the affected areas.
We hope you found what you were looking for. Include these natural remedies for eczema will help you soothe your skin and keep the anomalies at bay. Share your secrets and tips of treating eczema with us in the comments section below.