Natural Home Remedies for Eczema/Dermatitis

Eczema and Dermatitis are essentially the same thing, at least in common usage.  

Jar of coconut oil with coconuts on a table

Both are the names for a condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Red, rough skin
  • Blisters
  • Itching
  • Bleeding
  • Cracked skin

PREVALENCE

MG217 reports that it is estimated 31.6 million Americans have symptoms of eczema and that worldwide, about 20 percent of the children have some form of eczema.

IS IT CONTAGIOUS

It is not contagious.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

There is no known cause but certain foods and irritants may trigger flare-ups. Heredity may play a role as well. Treatment will be to alleviate symptoms with medications, and/or phototherapy.

SELF TREATMENT

The substances and suggestions here have helped others and are offered to you for further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits,  quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT PROMOTE HEALING

  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Bone broth
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Fatty acid-rich foods
  • Fatty cold-water fish (can be a trigger for some)
  • GAP diet
  • Gelatins
  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Probiotic-rich foods
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Quercetin-rich foods
  • Whole, fresh living foods like raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

Some foods may cause an allergic reaction in some, but not all, people. You might need to experiment with elimination until you find your own food triggers. Common offenders:

  • Acrylic nails might be a cause of dermatitis because of the formaldehyde and polymers.
  • Antiperspirants
  • Chemicals in and outside of your food supply
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Gluten
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pollen
  • Shellfish
  • Smoke
  • Sugars
  • Wheat

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Comfrey
  • Dandelion
  • Green
  • Lavender
  • Marshmallow
  • Nettle
  • Consider teas made from some herbs on the list below

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Aloe Vera
  • Balsam
  • Burdock
  • Calendula
  • Centella
  • Comfrey
  • Dandelion
  • Fumitory
  • Goldenseal
  • Gotu Kola
  • Horsetail
  • Jewel Weed
  • Licorice root
  • Milk Thistle
  • Neem
  • Pentaherb
  • Red Clover
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Witch Hazel salve

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, mixed with a carrier oil (i.e. coconut, almond) and used topically, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath. You can also add drops to your favorite skin cream or coconut oil for an overall skin treatment. You can make a spray with a combination of your choice.

  • Balsam Fir
  • Benzoin
  • Bergamot
  • Birch
  • Black pepper
  • Calendula
  • Carrot seed
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Evening Primrose
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • Helichrysum
  • Hyssop
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Mandarin
  • Manuka
  • Marjoram
  • Neroli
  • Orange
  • Patchouli
  • Rose
  • Rose geranium
  • Rosemary
  • Rosewood
  • Sandalwood
  • Spikenard
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Yarrow

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Fermented cod liver oil
  • GLA (eat steel-cut oats a few times a week)
  • Omega 3’s
  • Probiotics
  • Quercetin
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body and necessary for healthy skin. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Avoid rapid temperature changes.
  • Baking soda mixed with water and sprayed on affected areas
  • Bathe and moisturize daily.
  • Bathe in warm water.
  • Calamine lotion
  • Coconut oil for dry eczema, Salt water spray with magnesium for wet eczema
  • Coconut oil, topically
  • Cold wet compresses of water or milk applied to a gauze pad and left on the irritated area for several minutes refreshing frequently
  • Diatomaceous earth, food grade
  • Edible clay internally and externally
  • Experiment with not wearing wools and synthetic clothing.
  • Heating systems. If you have a choice, avoid forced air heat.
  • Jojoba oil
  • Magnesium Baths
  • Oatmeal baths
  • Organic raw honey applied to small areas of irritation
  • Recipes online for homemade salves and ointments, eczema creams
  • Salt and magnesium spray
  • Swim in saltwater whenever you can.
  • Use a humidifier during cold and dry weather; if it isn’t practical to use a whole-house humidifier, it might help to have one nearby your bed.
  • Use mild non-chemical detergents for laundry and rinse well (Miracle Soap is good).

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

Since the cause is unknown, the best one can do is to promote a healthy immune system with a wholesome, balanced lifestyle and avoid any allergens or triggers to flare-ups.

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Regular exercise

See the entry for Ear Piercing for information on eczema related to that.

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