Willow Sidhe is a nature enthusiast with over a decade of experience creating natural health and beauty products for herself and her family.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder characterized by chronic itching, flaking, red and swollen patches of skin. In most cases, eczema is first experienced as a child and the condition often worsens with age. The exact cause of eczema is unclear, but some doctors believe it can be attributed to an abnormal function of the immune system. Some forms of the condition can be triggered by environmental factors such as detergents, soaps and perfumes. Stress, allergens and changes in temperature or humidity can cause outbreaks in others.
Regardless of the cause of the problem, there are numerous treatment options available. The most common eczema treatments include prescription topical creams that contain corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory agents. If you're looking for a gentler way to treat the condition, however, natural eczema relief is available. A number of herbs and natural eczema remedies are available that produce comparable results without side effects.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Eczema Relief
Apple cider vinegar has a long history of use as a natural disinfectant and soothing agent for various skin disorders. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, many patients find relief by adding apple cider vinegar to their bathwater or applying directly to the affected areas of skin.
Try soaking a clean, cotton cloth in organic apple cider vinegar and placing onto inflamed skin for natural eczema relief. Add a cup or two to the bath water if desired, but avoid bathing too often during an outbreak, as this can cause the skin to dry out even further.
Tea Tree Essential Oil for Eczema Relief
Tea tree essential oil is well-known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is particularly useful in treating eczema naturally, as well as other inflammatory skin conditions. Tea tree oil does not irritate sensitive skin as some essential oils may. Instead, it soothes and heals.
Dilute tea tree oil prior to application by mixing 2 to 3 drops with 1 tbsp of high-quality vegetable oil. Don't use regular cooking oil, but try extra virgin olive oil, sweet almond or grapeseed oil. Apply the mixture directly to the affected area for natural, instant eczema relief. This treatment is particularly effective for relieving pain and itching.
Warning: Never take tea tree oil internally, as it can cause serious illness. It is completely safe when applied externally, however.
Calendula for Eczema Relief
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is an effective skin soother, although it will not heal eczema. When applied topically, it helps reduce inflammation, itching and pain. It can be applied in the form of a poultice or made into a natural ointment.
To make a calendula poultice for eczema, steep 1 tsp of the dried flowers in 1 cup of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 10 minutes and then strain the herbs from the liquid. Soak a clean, cotton cloth in the resulting tea and apply directly to the affected area for eczema relief.
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Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on October 11, 2012:
Thank you for a useful introduction to treating eczema with natural products. These avoid the use of steroid preparations which can result in a worse problem.
Kind regards Peter