How To Get Rid Of Eczema: 13 Natural Remedies Backed By Research
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can affect people of all ages, but especially young children and infants. Eczema comes in many forms and most of these forms tend to cause red itchy skin rashes. Persistent flare-ups of eczema can cause the skin to become thickened and scaly, and sometimes blister-like bumps can appear which ooze fluid and become crusty scabs.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and it can affect any area of the body. It is common to have itchy patches of eczema on your hands, feet, upper chest, around the neck and facial area, and even on the scalp. It can be especially sore and irritating when it occurs inside the bend of the elbows and knees as the skin there constantly moves and stretches. Infant eczema can affect the face and scalp.
The itching sensation on the inflamed skin can lead to intense scratching which can damage the skin even more and cause bacterial skin infections.
If you suffer from this uncomfortable skin condition, there are many natural cures to get rid of eczema quicker.
In this article I am going to cover 13 home remedies for eczema backed by research. These home remedies can help you find relief from its symptoms like dry skin, itchiness, and red rashes.
Why Does Eczema Appear On The Hands
There can be a variety of reasons why eczema appears on the hands. For example, the hands can be affected by irritant or allergic contact dermatitis or both at the same time.
Coming into contact with irritants such as dust, detergents, cleaning agents, airborne sprays or even just frequent hand-washing can cause irritant hand eczema . The skin on the palms of the hands is much thicker than elsewhere on the body and is normally able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. But in people who regularly immerse their hands in detergents or solvents, the protective barrier of the skin breaks down, and eczema may develop. People who have this form of hand eczema often have a history of eczema in childhood.
Allergic hand eczema arises as a result of an allergic reaction to a particular substance in the environment. It is possible to be allergic to a number of different substances, but common causes of contact sensitivity include nickel, fragrances, preservative chemicals, rubber and various plants, amongst other things. Once a persons immune system has identified a substance as harmful, they will react to the substance every time their skin is exposed to it, and this reaction becomes more severe on every exposure to the allergen.
When an allergic reaction of this kind is suspected, your GP should refer you to a dermatologist, who will normally perform patch tests to try to identify the allergic cause.
Moisturizer Withdrawal Can Help
This natural way of healing your inflammation involves bathing or showering and allowing your skin to dry without applying anything to your skin. Your skin will feel weird, tight, possibly even more itchy, ashy, and overall uncomfortable. The idea is to dry your skin out completely, and eventually the natural oils from our body will coat the layer of skin. I will vouch for moisturizer withdrawal, as its something Ive tried and it really works!
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Natural Ways To Cure Eczema Toes
Having a dry, cracked toe nail can be extremely painful and itchy. It can also lead to unsightly boils on the foot. If you have eczema toes, then you know how irritating and painful it can be. Here are a few simple treatments for eczema toes.
You may have heard about using natural eczema cures. There are several natural remedies that you can try to alleviate your eczema symptoms. A great home remedy for eczema is to soak your toes in a tub of warm water a few times a day. The warm water will help to soothe the cracked and dry skin on your toe nails. This treatment should be repeated at least twice a day.
Another simple treatment for eczema is to moisturize the dry cracked skin on your toe. You can use petroleum jelly or baby oil. The oil will provide a natural emollient, which will reduce the cracking of the skin. You can also try rubbing some coconut oil directly on the dry cracked skin of your toe. Do this daily until your toe nail starts to heal.
To relieve pain, try applying vitamin E or capsaicin cream directly to the area. These creams are made from chili peppers. By putting these creams on the affected area, you will help to reduce the pain caused by the dryness of the skin. These natural eczema cures are safe and effective. Just make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any type of eczema natural cure.
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Where Does Manuka Honey Come From
Manuka Honey comes from New Zealand and was first produced in the early 1840s. Australia also produces Manuka Honey but the use of the name Manuka Honey has been a bitter argument with New Zealand claiming Australia cant use the name as the name comes from the Maori language spoken and originated in New Zealand.
The New Zealand government has filed an application in five international jurisdictions to trademark the term manuka honey.
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Coconut Oil For Treating Eczema
Virgin coconut oil is a soothing natural home remedy to prevent and treat eczema. Coconut oil provides deep hydration to the skin, protecting it from drying out and becoming scaly. Coconut oil is an effective natural treatment for eczema because it contains antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory agents.7
Research on the healing properties of coconut oil for eczema shows that its antibacterial activities are effective against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. In fact, a study published in the journal Dermatitis showed that coconut oil also acts as an emollient to moisturize dry skin and kill off bacteria that cause skin infections. It described coconut oil as useful in the proactive treatment of atopic dermatitis colonization.8
Coconut oil is also gentle enough to help treat mild to moderate eczema in infants. The International Journal of Dermatology found that virgin coconut oil effectively helps to reduce redness on the inflamed skin of infants, as well as helping to hydrate and soothe dry skin.9
Many eczema sufferers claim that organic unrefined virgin coconut oil helps to keep their outbreaks of eczema under control and gives them better results than much more expensive products.
To use coconut oil to repair skin damaged by eczema all you have to do is apply coconut oil directly to the affected area several times a day and before you go to sleep. Apply the coconut oil daily until the reddish itchy patches of skin have gone completely.
Try To Reduce The Damage From Scratching
Eczema is often itchy, and it can be very tempting to scratch the affected areas of skin.
But scratching usually damages the skin, which can itself cause more eczema to occur.
The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas as a result of chronic scratching.
Deep scratching also causes bleeding and increases the risk of your skin becoming infected or scarred.
Try to reduce scratching whenever possible. You could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead.
If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin.
Keep your nails short and clean to minimise damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.
Keep your skin covered with light clothing to reduce damage from habitual scratching.
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Feel Like Your Skin Is On Fire Heres What You Need To Know About Eczema
According to the National Eczema Association, one in ten people in the United States will develop eczema during their lifetime.
Also referred to as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a non-contagious, chronic skin condition that can cause burning sensation, severe itching, dryness, redness, and swelling, among many other symptoms. The condition can affect people of all ages, but it is most prevalent among infants and children.
Eczema typically develops in the hands, wrists, inside the bends of the elbows and knees, eyelids, feet, ankles, neck, and upper chest, .
If youre experiencing the symptoms mentioned above and you suspect you have eczema, the information provided below will give you a better insight into the condition.
Eczema Risk Factors Causes & Symptoms
As a matter of fact, there is a wide range of causes and risk factors associated with eczema. And, eczema symptoms can manifest widely differently between those affected. While a singular cause of eczema has not been established, there are certain common causes leading to the onset and flares. In addition, a wide range of risk factors has been identified.
Risk Factors for Eczema
- Temperature changes
Symptoms of Eczema
While many will experience a lessening of symptoms and fewer flares as they age, some will continue to experience eczema symptomsthroughout adulthood, such as atopic eczema rashes. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and change from one outbreak to another. Common symptoms include:
- The appearance of small, raised bumps which may ooze liquid and develop a crust
- Thick, dry, scaly skin that cracks
- Red, brown or grayish patches of skin on hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, in skin folds, and on the face and scalp of infants
- Sensitive skin that is swollen and raw from scratching
- A recurring rash that causes intense itching, often disrupting sleep patterns
- Rashes due to atopic eczema
Treating Dyshidrotic Eczema At Home
Wrap Up In Cold Weather
Cold, harsh winter winds can dry out the skin and cause eczema flares.
Keep the skin covered when temperatures are low. Also, consider covering the face with a scarf if eczema occurs in this body region.
While many home remedies are suitable for babies and children, always speak with a doctor before using them.
The following home remedies and tips may help:
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Eczema In Infants And Children
It is very distressing for parents to see their toddlers and infants suffer from eczema. According to the National Eczema Association, around 10% of all infants in the U.S. suffer from some form of infant eczema.2
The appearance of infant eczema is different from eczema in older children and adults. Depending on the age of your infant, patches of eczema appear in different places. According to the National Eczema Association, the stages of infant eczema are as follows:2
- Babies under 6 months. Red patches of weepy skin around your babys face and on the scalp.
- Babies from 6 to 12 months. Patches of eczema develop around the elbows and knees. If these patches become infected, then pus bumps can occur which turn crusty when the pus dries.
- Toddlers from 2 to 5 years. Your toddlers eczema thickens and have the appearance of dry, scaly, and inflamed skin. Outbreaks of eczema may be more common around the mouth and eyelids.
How To Prevent Eczema Flare
Eczema is a chronic skin condition which can only be cured until the next flare-up. Therefore, one of the best ways in managing outbreaks of eczema is to take steps to prevent the frequency of eczema flare-ups.
Dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman recommends a few simple tips which can reduce the frequency of eczema outbreaks on your skin:
- Moisturize your skin regularly throughout the day to keep a protective barrier on your skin and prevent itchiness.
- Try to avoid sudden changes in temperature.
- Stress can trigger an eczema flare-up, so try to find ways to manage stress better.
- Avoid clothing and other fabrics that can irritate sensitive areas of skin that are prone to eczema flare-ups.
- Avoid soaps and detergents that strip the skin of its protective oils.
Dr. Jaliman also said that certain foods can trigger an outbreak.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Eczema
The signs of eczema :
- are mainly dry, itchy skin. Because it is so itchy, it is often called “the itch that rashes.”
- include redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid and then crust over
- tend to come and go. When they get worse, it is called a flare-up.
- may be more noticeable at night
Symptoms can vary:
- Infants younger than 1 year old usually have the eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk .
- Older kids and teens usually get the rash in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or on the inner wrists and ankles. Their skin is often scalier and drier than when the eczema first began. It also can be thicker, darker, or scarred from all the scratching .
What Are The Treatments For Severe Hand Eczema
If your hand eczema is severe, discuss the possibility of a dermatology referral with your GP. The referral may be for diagnosing contact allergy or for treatment, which may include a short course of oral steroids or immunosuppressants . Alternatively, dermatology departments may recommend alitretinoin or phototherapy, as described below.
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Resist The Urge To Scratch
Scratching takes dry, irritated skin from bad to worse. If mentally willing the itch away doesnt work, try an over-the-counter anti-itch spray like TriCalm Extra Strength Spray. Its recommended by the National Eczema Association and doesnt require touching your itchy skin.
Another idea? Don a pair of cotton gloves at night so you dont accidentally scratch yourself while youre snoozing. Sounds weird, but it works.
Monitor Your Caffeine Intake
When Im stressed, I often overcompensate with coffee. This can make me feel more anxious and disrupt my sleep cycle. To avoid this, I try to limit the amount of coffee I drink and have rooibos tea instead.
If you find that you reach for coffee to keep your energy levels up during periods of high stress, you can opt for green tea. It contains caffeine, but has been shown to actively reduce anxiety.
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Where And Why Eczema Hurts
Jonathan Silverberg, MD, with the department of dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, told the National Eczema Association that cracks and wounds on the palms, soles of feet, toes, chest, and around the mouth may trigger excruciating soreness. Atopic dermatitis on the buttocks, fingers, legs, neck, and forearms can also be particularly painful.
In the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology study cited above, Dr. Silverberg and colleagues found that patients with mild eczema were more likely to have pain related to scratching, while those with moderate or severe eczema felt more constant discomfort and aching due to inflammation.
The scientists noted that for most eczema patients with pain, the issue was linked to open parts of the skin caused by scratching and with fissures in the skin . About a quarter said they were hurting from inflamed skin. Just 10 percent reported a burning sensation caused by topical medications like steroid creams.
Karan Lal, DO, committee chair for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology, says that when inflamed skin opens up, exposed nerves increase the risk of pain as well as infection.
I think a lot of people who get pain have more active eczema that is inadequately controlled and have chronic disease in the common eczema sites, says Dr. Lal.
What Kinds Of Moisturizers Are Most Effective For My Eczema
Not all moisturizers are created equal. In fact, there are many types of common moisturizers that arent good at helping control your eczema and may even make it flare or get worse. Its important to understand the differences between the three basic types of moisturizers ointments, creams, and lotions so that you can properly hydrate your skin and help keep your symptoms under control.
Moisturizers are classified based on the amount of oil and water they contain. The more oil in a moisturizer, the better it usually is at treating eczema. The best moisturizers to use are the ones that feel greasy , because they contain more oil. These are very effective at keeping moisture in and irritants out.
All moisturizers should also be applied to your hands immediately after washing and gently blotting them dry. For this reason, its a good idea to keep moisturizer near every sink in your home and carry a small tube with you at all times, so that you can reapply it throughout the day.
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