Dry, leathery, or scaly skin. Rashes that itch. Oozing and crusting skin blisters. No, this isn't some kind of exotic skin disorder we're talking about, but eczema. It is estimated that around 10% of the people in the world suffer from some form of eczema, and those numbers have only been increasing.
If you go to your doctor complaining about eczema, it is likely that he or she will offer you some kind of manufactured drug to deal with the problem. Luckily, this isn't your only option – there are plenty of natural remedies out there to alleviate eczema and get your skin looking and feeling healthy and smooth in no time.
Oatmeal bath. Bathing in a type of food isn't the first thing that pops into most people's minds when trying to treat an itch, but oatmeal actually does a great job at reducing the inflammation in your skin and can keep you from wanting to scratch down to the bone. Add one or two cups of regular grocery store oats to a lukewarm warm and just climb right in and soak.
Natural lotions. Blueberry leaf lotions lessen the irritation that comes along with the itching and reduce inflammation. Spearmint and dandelion leaves also can work wonders for some people – you just have to find what works for you.
Tumeric and nutmeg. In keeping with the food theme, these everyday spices are wonderful at reducing the redness and itching that eczema often causes. Combine them with olive oil and apply to affected areas.
All-natural zinc tablets. Most pharmacies have all-natural zinc pills that you can purchase, and they are fantastic at getting rid of inflammation and healing your skin. You can take them orally or even apply them directly to the infected skin.
Non-synthetic Vitamin E. Want to fight that itch that comes along with eczema? Try vitamin E to sooth and moisturize your skin. Just make sure there's just a "d" and not a "dl" before the description on the product, or you'll be buying the synthetic vitamin E that your body won't be able to process.
Aloe. It helps to reduce swelling and redness while soothing the affected area. Mixtures of aloe and vitamin E have proven especially effective.
Olive oil. There are people out there who swear by olive oil as an effective natural remedy for eczema. Apply it directly to the affected area and your symptoms should be reduced within a few hours.
Natural skin wash. Want to get really natural? Try a mixture of comfrey root, slippery elm bark, white oak bark, and water. Boil it for about a half hour, wait for it to cool down, then use it to wash the affected area of your skin. Most people say that their itch practically disappears afterwards.
Just as important as these natural solutions are the "natural" things you can do to prevent an eczema outbreak in the first place. In general, it's best for people who suffer from eczema to stay away from heavily scented detergents and soaps, and to wear natural fabrics like cotton instead of synthetic ones. The sun has also been known to exacerbate eczema symptoms, so it's wise not to stay out in it for too long unprotected.
Follow these simple preventive measures and keep your skin moisturized and you may not even need to worry about the next flare up!
As an environmental activist, Lindsay Parrich always favors natural solutions to other environmentally unfriendly options. That’s why she uses oatmeal to cure her eczema and electronic insect repellent to discourage bugs from coming into her garden.