Right now, as many as 30 million Americans suffer from eczema. This common skin condition can be painful, irritating and downright embarrassing. The problem is, many eczema treatments are merely band-aid solutions, failing to address eczema’s root cause and are accompanied with dangerous side effects to boot!
Don’t become a slave to harmful chemical treatments. Compiled here are the most natural and effective eczema solutions to help you tackle a current flare-up and prevent future break outs.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, characterized by dry skin and itching. This painful skin condition occurs when your skin’s barrier stops functioning properly. According to the National Eczema Association, your skin’s surface begins to rapidly lose water weight, allowing harmful and irritating bacteria to access deeper levels of your skin. With that, eczema flare ups will worsen with repeated scratching, causing the infection to intensity and spread.
While the exact causes of eczema are unknown, there are several documented triggers:
- Irritants (soaps, detergents, disinfectants, etc.)
- Allergens (house dust mites, pets, pollen, mold, dandruff)
- Microbes (viruses and fungi)
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures (high and low humidity or perspiration from exercise)
- Foods allergens (dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products, wheat)
The Problem with Conventional Eczema Remedies
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Conventional doctors recommend a combination of medical therapies to treat eczema flare ups. The problem is, many of them come with harmful side effects if you suffer from chronic eczema outbreaks.
Prescription steroid creams, ointments and oral medications are the most common eczema treatment. While they can relieve itching, they do pose some dangerous side effects. When used on sporadic short-term basses, steroids may cause skin thinning, stinging and burning, stretch marks, discoloration, hair growth and other skin outbreaks, like acne and rosacea.
More dangerously, the systemic use of steroids leaches the chemicals into your skin and bloodstream, leading to more serious health ailments, including:
- Fluid collection in the legs
- High blood pressure
- Bone damage and thinning
- Weight gain
- Mood fluctuations
Natural Solutions to Eczema
Oat baths have been recommended for people with sensitive, eczema-prone skin. Since many sensitive skin types are unable to naturally moisturize, oats soothing antioxidant properties naturally hydrate and relive itching caused by inflammation.
Try this soothing olive oil, baking soda and oats bath and reap the moisturizing, pH balancing and cleansing properties:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup finely ground oats (using a blender or coffee grinder)
Add all of the ingredients to the bath water and mix well to distribute it throughout. Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes. Pat dry.
For some people suffering with eczema, soaking in water can be uncomfortable, but for those who can tolerate it, magnesium baths are helpful to skin healing. Here’s a simple recipe for a luxurious magnesium that your skin and senses will thank you for!
- 1-2 cups of epsom salts or magnesium flakes (magnesium flakes are absorbed much more easily)
- 1/2 cup Himalayan or Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of natural vanilla extract
- 10-15 drops of essential oil of choice, lavender or mint are great choices
Coconut oil strikes again! The oil’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties work to soothe your itchy skin and reduce excess inflammation. Plus, coconut oil’s high caprylic acid, vitamins E and K content help simultaneously repair broken skin and provide multi-layered nourishment.
A thin layer of coconut oil or coconut oil lotion car can help cool eczema’s itching and pain.
Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods are an element often missing form the modern diet. Since your gut bacteria is so important to skin health, taking probiotic supplements should always be a top priority. In addition to probiotic supplementation, boost up your probiotic intake with these fermented food and drinks:
- Kombucha (ideally homemade, if opting for store-bought, find an option that’s low in added sugar)
- Water Kefir
- Sauerkraut, and other fermented fruits and vegetables
Prevention Tips to Live Eczema-Free
Preventing the onset of eczema before it strikes is crucial to leading an eczema-free lifestyle. Treat this as your unofficial eczema prevention checklist, but most importantly, learn your personal eczema triggers and avoid them at all costs!
- Moisturize every day
- Wear cotton and soft fabrics – equally, avoid rough, scratchy fibers and tight clothing
- Avoid scorching hot baths and showers – instead, opt for lukewarm water temperatures, using mild soap or non-soap cleansers
- When you get out of the shower, gently pat your skin dry
- Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes after bathing to lock in moisturizer
- Whenever possible, avoid any rapid temperature changes
- Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather
- Keep your fingernails short to prevent any scratching breaking your skin
- If you suffer from allergies, remove carpets from your house, and give your pets dander treatments
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