Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a condition that makes your skin inflamed and itchy. It affects up to 20% of infants and 4% of adults in the United States. Some people live with this condition for years. At the moment, there is no exact explanation of the causes of eczema. Doctors believe that this skin disease can be caused by a combination of factors such as environment, genetics, high-stress levels, and widespread failure of the human immune system.
If you also experience symptoms of eczema (crusting, itching, red, inflamed skin), try these home remedies in order to stop itching and control the disease:
Oatmeal is a great breakfast idea, and it can also help you reduce the symptoms of eczema at home. According to a study conducted by M. Catherine Mack Correa and Judith Nebus in 2012, colloidal oatmeal (the fine powder) can soothe the itching and protect your skin. Also, it can help your skin surface pH. If you want to have an oatmeal bath at home, you can get colloidal oatmeal at the local drugstore or make it on your own.
To make it at home, you would need one cup of oatmeal and blender (feel free to use a coffee grinder or food processor as well). At first, you should grind oatmeal into a powder. Then, test your product by putting a tablespoon of powder into a cup filled with warm water. You should have a cup of milky liquid in the end. In case the oatmeal doesn’t absorb into the water, keep grinding until you have a liquid with a silky feel.
Once you have a fine consistent powder, fill the bath with lukewarm water. Make sure it is not hot; otherwise, it can draw moisture and aggravate irritated skin.
Add one cup of colloidal oatmeal powder under the running tap and mix it with your hands until the water in your bathtub looks milky. You can soak there for about 15 minutes in order to relieve the itch. However, you shouldn’t stay there a long time because it may dry out your skin. If you buy colloidal oatmeal from a drugstore, follow the instructions on the package.
Take a warm shower after the oatmeal bath and dry yourself with a towel. Avoid rubbing yourself since it can irritate your skin. The last step is to apply a skin moisturizer.
Aloe vera gel
According to a study, aloe vera gel has antibacterial, immune system-boosting, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties and can be used to treat symptoms of eczema.
You can buy aloe vera gel in the pharmacy or use the gel directly from the leaves. Another option is to find a skin moisturizer that includes a high concentration of pure aloe vera. Avoid creams that contain colours, alcohol, preservatives, and fragrances since they can only irritate your skin.
To use aloe vera for eczema, clean your skin with warm water and unscented soap first. Then, apply its gel directly on the skin and keep it for three minutes. Dermatologists recommend applying aloe vera gel at least twice per day in case you have eczema.
Recent studies show that honey can be used to heal wounds and help boost the immune system. Also, it has an antibacterial capability.
A lot of people have honey at home; you can also apply it directly to eczema in order to speed healing and moisturize your skin.
Tea tree oil
Dermatologists proved that using tea tree oil can be more effective in some cases than topical treatments such as ichthammol and zinc oxide.
Tea tree oil has a lot of skin-improving properties. For instance, it can reduce inflammation and alleviate swelling and redness. According to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, tea tree oil can also reduce allergic reactions, reduce skin hypersensitivity and speed up the healing process. If you want to use tea tree oil to treat eczema, make sure to mix it with almond or coconut oil. Keep in mind that using high concentrations of tea tree oil can lead to dryness and skin irritation.
It is better to check with your doctor whether you can apply tea tree oil to your face or eyelashes. You can also do a test: apply a small amount of oil mixture to your skin and wait for at least a day. If there is no reaction, you can apply it safely to all areas of the skin.
Apple cider vinegar
According to a study conducted by The National Eczema Association (NEA), apple cider vinegar can help fight the bacteria, balance the skin’s acidity levels, and reduce eczema symptoms. You can buy in the pharmacy or the supermarket.
To avoid chemical burns, you should dilute apple cider vinegar before applying it. There are two ways how you can use it: in a wet wrap or by adding it to the bath tap.
You can add two glasses of apple cider vinegar to the bath (water should be warm). Stay in a bathtub for about half an hour and then dry yourself with the towel completely. Don’t forget to moisturize your skin with a cream afterward.