Eczema is an all too common condition and term in my house. Research shows that it also affects between 10-20% of children and 3% of adults. Growing up I always had really dry skin, and during the dry winter months it would become extremely dry, almost scaly and it would itch and be irritated. Sometimes I would scratch myself until I bled. I have patches of eczema on my hands and my calves. I would apply lotions all day long, at the slightest sign of dryness. I became a bit obsessive to say the least. But it has gotten better over the years, and my skin is much more smoother and softer than it has ever been, as I have been able to identify some of the triggers that flare up my eczema, so lets dig in to see how to treat eczema in a natural way.
What is eczema & How to Treat Eczema?
It is a general term for a group of medical conditions that cause skin inflammation and irritation and chronic itching. Atopic eczema is the most common type. Atopic means a group of diseases that are often inherited and are related to other allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever. It causes redness and almost always itchiness. The itch will usually precede the rash that follows and leaves the skin dry, scaly, thickened and irritated and may cause discoloration. The most commonly affected area’s are the face, the back of the knees, wrists, hands or feet. In infants itchy rash can become more severe, producing an oozing and crusting that occur on the face and scalp.
Causes of eczema
The exact cause is not known, but it’s likely caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure. It is also thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant. There is also a hereditary, familial link with eczema occurring more in families with a history of other allergies or asthma. Another cause of eczema could be a defect in the skin barrier which could allow moisture out and germs in, thus causing dry skin and irritation. Some of the environmental triggers for eczema include food, aeroallergens such as dust mites and animal dander, and new studies show that air pollution is a major player in the triggering and development of eczema. Carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitric oxide compounds are associated with eczema flare ups. I can personally attest to this. My family is originally from Bangladesh, which is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and one of the most polluted. Every time I visit, my eczema is out of control, my skin itches and becomes very scaly and my usual routine of potions and lotions does not help to alleviate it. Nothing can really help until I am back home in Canada, and it finally starts to clear up and become manageable again.
Natural Ways to Treat Eczema
Although there is no cure, it can be effectively managed naturally.
- Coconut Oil– Coconut oil is my favorite, I use it on my face, in my hair, for my teeth. And I have used it on my eczema affected areas, and it keeps it moisturized and relieves itchiness.
- Cod Liver Oil– I know it sounds yucky, but it is very beneficial. It is a great source of the fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E and K and as such are supportive of hundreds or processes in the body. The flavored ones are pretty good
- Epsom Salt Bath- You can dissolve 1 to 2 cups of epsom salt in a full bathtub and soak in it for 30 minutes.
- Probiotics- These are important for establishing healthy gut bacteria. Can be found in probiotic yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
Although eczema is a chronic condition, and there is no way to treat eczema, it can be managed relatively easily with moisturizers and the natural remedies mentioned above. It is best to avoid triggers that cause it.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other natural remedies to treat eczema and let us know how the one’s mentioned in the article work for you. Connect with us on Social Media to stay informed about more ways to Live Life Naturally and make sure to comment below to share your thoughts with us!