If you have eczema, you may be looking for natural remedies to ease your symptoms and restore your skin’s health and appearance. While the best way to manage eczema and keep it under control is to find the root cause of your condition, there are lots of simple things you can do at home in the meantime to keep flare-ups from getting out of hand. Here are seven ways to soothe eczema naturally.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that affects the outer layer of your skin and can make it dry, sore, cracked, and itchy. It's not contagious, but some types of eczema may be hereditary. It's possible for children as young as six months old to get eczema. A doctor will help diagnose the type of eczema you have by examining your skin and asking about any other symptoms you may be having, such as:
- Dryness -Itching or stinging sensations (pruritus)
- Swelling in patches on your skin (erythema)
- Blisters (vesicles)
- crusts on the affected area of the skin (exudate).
1) Stop scratching
The most important thing to do when you have eczema is to not scratch. Scratching will only make the itchiness worse and can cause additional skin irritations. To help with the itching, try taking a warm bath or shower. After your bath or shower, dry off using a towel made of cotton material with no harsh dyes. Afterwards, apply some moisturising lotion to your skin. If you find that even after moisturising, your skin is still very itchy, put on some clothing made of 100% cotton that feels soft against the skin and covers any parts of your body that are affected by eczema. Avoid sweating too much because this can worsen eczema flare-ups. Lastly, take an over-the-counter antihistamine if you are experiencing hives or wheezing because this could be a sign of asthma and should be treated immediately.
If you're feeling itchy, try our KARE Eczema Soother Toner! Helps to relieve your itch within seconds.
Moisturising is the most effective way to soothe eczematic skin. Moisturisers should be applied liberally and often. Use a thick layer of moisturiser as soon as you notice your skin getting dry after every bath or shower. When choosing a moisturiser, look for one with good ingredients for sensitive skin, like ceramides and essential fatty acids. Avoid ingredients that irritate eczematic skin, like fragrances, dyes, alcohol, or other harsh chemicals that might worsen symptoms. One easy DIY moisturiser recipe is coconut oil and lavender oil mixed. If coconut oil isn't an option because it triggers your eczema, olive oil can be used in its place.
You can try our KARE Body Soother Cream, incorporated with Reparative Complex, Vitamin E, Shea & Kokum Butter, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, it helps to soothe and reduce skin inflammation.
3) Use natural skin oils
Olive oil is a great natural skin oil for eczema. It's lightweight and has healing properties that can reduce the itching and dryness of eczema. The best way to use olive oil for eczema is by applying it directly to the skin where you have eczema, then gently rubbing it in. After your skin absorbs the olive oil, you can cover it with a light clothing layer or wrap it in a plastic or paper towel. Be sure not to use other lotions or oils on your affected area while using olive oil because they may cause complications. Other great natural oils are jojoba, shea butter, coconut and sunflower seed oil.
4) Take supplements
If your eczema seems to be triggered by stress, omega-3 supplements might help. Omega-3s are essential for producing natural body oils and can help relieve dryness, itchiness and inflammation. In addition, supplementing with vitamin D may also be a good idea. According to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people who lack sun exposure have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood and an increased risk for skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, or acne. Getting more sun or taking vitamin D supplements could provide some relief. No foods cause eczema, but you should avoid those that worsen it: high-fat foods and fried items, processed meats, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. Allergies also aggravate this condition, so avoid triggering foods such as peanuts, eggs, wheat, dairy products, and corn or citrus fruits. Finally, remember to moisturise!
5) Get enough sleep
Exposure to allergens, dust mites, and stress and anxiety can trigger eczema symptoms. Getting enough sleep is essential because too little sleep can make your body more susceptible to these triggers. Research shows that individuals who slept six hours a night were twice as likely to have eczematous skin lesions than those who slept eight hours a night. The general rule of thumb is to aim for seven-eight hours of sleep each night to maintain healthy skin. However, the amount of sleep you need may vary depending on your age, occupation, physical activity level and other factors such as medications or diseases. Your doctor can give you personalized advice based on your specific needs.
6) Stress less
Stress can worsen symptoms of eczema. Fortunately, there are some great ways to reduce stress and feel better. Meditation is a great way for people with eczematous skin to help manage their stress levels. Reducing sugar intake and avoiding foods that cause inflammation are also essential steps in reducing the amount of stress in your life. Finally, protect your skin from irritants by using moisturiser and protective clothing. If you have severe eczema, it's recommended that you see a dermatologist for treatment options.
7) Eat more foods with omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that helps reduce inflammation, which can help soothe eczema. Foods rich in omega-3s include walnuts, almonds, salmon, trout and sardines. You can also take a fish oil supplement or cod liver oil for an extra boost of the nutrient. For children with eczema, it's essential to give them foods with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 found in plant sources such as chia seeds, flaxseed and hemp seeds. In addition, eat plenty of vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and spinach - these vegetables contain zinc which helps promote healing. Lastly, drink lots of fluids because dry skin is often caused by dehydration.
If you have eczema, finding a way to soothe your itchy skin and get some relief can be challenging. These are just some ways you can help your eczema without using products that could further irritate the condition.