Unfortunately, there is not a cure for eczema, which means that the aim of treatment is to manage symptoms when they occur. Doctors usually prescribe emollients and medicated creams to reduce symptoms, though many people are finding success using natural eczema treatments.
Eczema, or dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition. It is a pretty common but is mostly seen in children as it tends to disappear in adulthood. Eczema causes patches of skin to become itchy, red and cracked. It can appear on any part of the body but is often found on the neck, around the knees, around the elbows and on the scalp, cheeks and hands.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, are fatty acids that the body requires for optimum function but cannot synthesise on its own, which is why they are needed from dietary sources.
Your body depends on essential fatty acid for several important functions, including but not limited to the functioning and development of the nervous system and brain, the production of hormones, the regulation of blood pressure and the promotion of healthy skin and hair. Essential fatty acids are also known to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
There have been a number of studies that have looked at the effect Omega-3 and Omega-6 has on eczema. The majority of results show that when eczema sufferers increase their intake of dietary essential fatty acids, they have a significant improvement of symptoms; scientists believe this is due to the inflammatory properties in Omega-3. So, by increasing the amount of essential fatty acids you eat, you should notice and= improvement in symptoms.
However, as Omega-6 is present in a lot of foods we eat, this is especially true for Western diets, it is important that you concentrate more on your intake of Omega-3; this is because too much Omega-6 causes inflammation, whereas a balance of the both reduces inflammation. So, foods that are high in essential fatty acids includes:
Vitamins for Eczema
Taking the right vitamins for eczema may help to dramatically reduce symptoms. You may not know it, but more often than not, people with eczema are deficient in certain vitamins, especially vitamin D. The problem is, while we would like to think that we get what we need from our diet, we often don’t, which is why taking supplements can have a massive improvement for our health.
Vitamin D is a really good natural eczema treatment. Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a really important vitamin to take as it is essential for good your immune system, bones and overall health. A lot of people are deficient in vitamin D, especially those living in colder climates who aren’t exposed to a lot of sunshine. This is also why some people with eczema suffer more in the winter. Having the right amount of vitamin D in your body also means you can absorb some other vitamins, like calcium, better.
Studies about the link between vitamin D and eczema does suggest that there is a link between the two, with many eczema suffers lacking in the vitamin. Vitamin D may have an effect on eczema symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties and the fact that it increases antimicrobial defences, which strengthen your immune system so it can fight infections. You need to look for vitamin D3 as that’s the one that is benefits our body. Most medical professionals suggest 1000IU a day as a standard way to raise your levels of vitamin D3. It is probably a good idea to talk to your health professional who can test your current levels and suggest how much you need, if any.
Vitamin A, or retinol, is another important vitamin for eczema. Like vitamin D, vitamin A is good for strengthening your immune system. It also increases your ability to see in low-level lighting, maintains the lining of several body parts and protects your skin.
Vitamin A may help wth eczema symptoms as it contains properties that lower the level of bacteria on the skin and reduce inflammation. You can take supplements to increase the amount of vitamin A in your body, but you can also get it from dietary sources, including sweet potato, carrots, eggs, cheese, yogurts and fortified low-fat spreads.
Vitamin E contains several naturally occurring nutrients that possess antioxidant properties. It is essential for good health as it helps strengthen immunity, offers cell membrane protection and maintains cell structure and cardiovascular health.
Vitamin E for eczema is best used in oil form as a topical treatment; the powerful antioxidant nature of vitamin E can reduce inflammation, itchiness and redness associated with eczema.
Best Natural Products for Eczema
A lot of the time the products you use on your skin may be making symptoms worse; this is because people with eczema naturally have sensitive skin. This is why you want to use products that are natural and contain healing properties.
The sap, also referred to as a gel, from the aloe vera plant has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to cure various conditions and, it is especially good for its soothing nature for the skin, which is why many after-sun products contain aloe vera as the main ingredient.
Aloe Vera sap is packed full of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven to reduce symptoms, like burning and itching, of eczema. You can drink aloe vera, but it acts as a laxative, therefore, it is probably better used as a topical treatment. You should opt for an organic product as it is less likely cause side effects.
Virgin coconut oil
In recent years, coconut oil has become extremely popular with the natural health community because of its healing properties. It has been used for a range of conditions, including eczema.
Coconut oil makes a good natural eczema treatment as it is made up of anti- inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also makes an amazing moisturizer, which works wonders on dry skin.
It is important to buy organic cold pressed coconut oil as this is the purest form and will not contain ingredients that will irritate the skin.
Calendula, also known as marigold, is a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries due to its healing properties. Calendula oil, which is extracted from flowers of the plant, is still used as a natural treatment for many ailments today, including eczema.
Calendula oil contains properties which will reduce inflammation of the skin commonly associated with eczema. The oil has a soothing effect that will stop you from scratching your skin, causing more irritation. Another good thing about calendula is its healing abilities, studies show that it can significantly improve wounds in a short length of time.
Take a Magnesium Bath
Magnesium is very good for our health as it is an effective treatment for various ailments – from relieving muscles aches to soothing migraines. Magnesium is a good anti-inflammatory, which can prevent eczema from flaring up, it will also reduce the inflammation of any existing eczema lesions, making them less sore and red.
The effects of magnesium are better when it is delivered in a transdermal form, which essentially means via skin absorption. The best way to do this is by taking a bath with magnesium chloride flakes, although you can also buy a spray that does a similar job.
It can be really difficult when you suffer from eczema, especially when you are prescribed a product by your doctor that just doesn’t work. Luckily, most of the time there are alternative options and, the natural eczema treatments listed in this article, have worked for many eczema sufferers. It is always worth giving it a try. You don’t have anything to lose because it’s all natural!
What works for you?