Eczema is a universal term for many types of skin inflammation. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema and the two terms are often used interchangeably; however, there are many different forms of eczema—Seborrheic eczema, Nummular eczema, and Neurodermatitis. People of any age can be affected by eczema, but it most commonly affects infants. Usually people with eczema have a family history of allergic conditions.
The symptoms of eczema commonly include itchy, reddened, dry skin that burns. In severe cases, this can morph into broken skin, welts, and oozing lesions or it can go the other direction and become dry, scaly, and eventually crusted.
Doctors are not sure of the cause of eczema, but it is generally believed that a weakened immune system is at fault. Internal and external toxicity due to environmental pollution, preservatives and pesticides in our food, as well as stress all contribute to weakening the immune system.
There is no blood test for eczema. A doctor will diagnose it by doing a physical examination of the skin and taking a patient history of the condition. Sometimes, the doctor may do a biopsy of the lesion to rule out other skin diseases.
Keep in mind everyone is different. Each of us has a different emotional makeup and different nutritional deficiencies. One person may respond to a treatment that has no effect on another person. If you are searching for natural alternatives to treating eczema, you may want to consider the following—
Stay hydrated. If you drink juices or soft drinks do not count them as part of your daily water intake. If you suffer from some sort of allergic condition, it’s probably best to only drink water.
Go organic. Many people have cured their eczema simply by eating food free of pesticides and toxins. Often people complain about the cost of organic food, but think in terms of how much it will cost you to be sick—health insurance claims (if you have health insurance), medicine, time spent away from family, friends, etc.
Essential fatty acids. 1-4 tablespoons a day of flax oil although hemp seed oil has been proven to have a better balance of the omegas than flax. Some see improvement within a week, but be consistent for at least three months. You can also rub the oil on the affected area.
B Vitamins. Taking B vitamins with essential fatty acids helps create prostaglandins which help reduce inflammation.
Probiotic Supplements. Probiotics are good germs that aid in digestion, among other things. Most of our immune system is in our gut so strengthening digestion strengthens the immune system which is the root problem of eczema.
Neem. Neem is a wonder tree. Some of its properties are immune stimulant, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Seriously, you may be able to cure it just using soaps, oils, and creams made from this wonderful tree.
Calendula (Marigold). This is an age-old remedy. Skin care products made from this are very soothing and should calm inflammation.
Witch Hazel. Like calendula, a very old home remedy. Creams and lotions made from this should provide some relief.
Herbal Tea. There are many herbs that you can make a tea of that should provide some relief—burdock leaves, skullcap, red clover, and nettle are good herbal teas for eczema. You can also combine more than one herb in the same tea.
Diet. Some people have found that eliminating certain foods from the diet brings relief from eczema. One by one, try eliminating wheat, eggs, shellfish, and nuts. Watch for any improvement.
In the case of infants being fed cow milk, that may be the cause. There are infant formulas made of goat’s milk or even soy.
Lastly, only use natural skin care products to include laundry detergent. Your skin condition may not be caused by harsh detergents, but it won’t get any better because of them. Sal’s Suds is one natural detergent that has been around a long time. You can also make your own laundry detergent that’s free of harmful chemicals.
Hopefully something in this list will give you a little relief from eczema. Remember, the nature of this condition is that what works for one person may not work for you, but there is something out there that will give you relief.