Eczema is an uncomfortable and unsightly skin condition that is experienced by about 1 in 10 people throughout the world. While it may seem like this flaky, rash-like skin condition can be treated simply with lotions and other medicated creams, more intensive, systematic approaches are often required as it is caused by an autoimmune response in the body. If you suffer from eczema, here are a few natural remedies that you can try to relieve or even clear up this troublesome skin condition:
Reaction to chemicals and other irritants in common household cleaners and soaps can often trigger or exacerbate an eczema outbreak. Eliminate harsh soaps or other personal hygiene products, or switch to a natural product that does not contain chemicals or fragrances. Next, eliminate products such as laundry detergent and dish soap with these same ingredients. Doing so will reduce irritation to the skin. Wearing loose-flowing cotton clothing will also help provide relief to the skin.
Improve Digestive Health
Digestive health is directly linked to immune system health. Improve your digestion by taking a high-quality probiotic and eating foods that are naturally rich in probiotics, such as kefir, yogurt, and fermented foods like sauerkraut. Doing so will increase the ratio of “healthy bacteria” in your stomach and intestines, which can counteract unhealthy bacteria that can promote yeast and other agents that will diminish your digestive and overall health.
Change Your Diet
Changing your diet can be the most difficult step to take in improving your eczema, but it can also have the biggest and most long-lasting impact. Many common food allergies trigger eczema and other health problems in the body. The most common food allergens include dairy products (including milk and eggs), wheat, gluten, nuts (especially peanuts), soy and shell fish. Often, the best way to determine if you have an allergy or sensitivity to any of these foods, or to determine if they are catalysts for your eczema, is to try an elimination diet. Eliminate one of the suspected food groups for two or three months and see if there is any improvement in your eczema or in the way you feel. Then gradually add that food back into your diet. If you experience negative health outcomes or see an outbreak of eczema, that food group is likely a culprit.
If you eliminate a food from your diet and see improvements, but your eczema has not cleared completely, you may have more than one food allergy. Work your way through the list to determine which foods are the cause of your troubles.
Topical Home Remedies
There are many topical treatments that you can create at home that may offer some relief. Rubbing pure coconut oil or castor oil on the inflamed areas can reduce or eliminate the problem. Others have found success by drinking a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. However, with all of these treatments, relief was not seen until two or three months of consistent treatment was applied. Anecdotal reports from some eczema suffers suggests that some of these treatments can even clear the eczema completely. Just remember that every body is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
Though eczema is an irritating and sometimes embarrassing condition, it need not be one that you have to live with forever. There are treatments that do not include steroidal creams and other medications that can offer relief. Experiment with these remedies to see what might work for you.
About the author:
Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on college student grants and arizona education grants.