According to research from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, roughly 7.3$ of American adults suffer from a form of atopic dermatitis. Eczema is the most prevalent type of atopic dermatitis, affecting an estimated 16.5 million individuals in the U.S. Eczema causes symptoms of itchy, red, dry, and scaly skin marked by painful inflammation. Topical medications are often the first line of treatment for eczema, and may include a combination of moisturizers with barrier repair benefits, corticosteroid creams and NSAID ointments. However, many of these prescribed treatments can leave skin substantially dry and irritated.
Luckily, there are many safe and effective home remedies to treat eczema symptoms while lessening dryness and inflammation while replenishing moisture and boosting the skin’s natural barrier:
1. Witch hazel
This potent astringent may sound pretty harsh to apply to already irritated skin, but it’s actually quite natural and derived from the witch hazel shrub. Even though scientific evidence is limited on the effects of witch hazel, anecdotal evidence from actual eczema patients suggests when used topically, witch hazel soothes skin inflammation and itching, and helps relieve scaly, dry, and oozing areas of skin.
2. Evening primrose
Taken for the plant of the same name, evening primrose oil is taken orally and applied topically by many eczema patients in order to calm and reduce skin swelling and irritation. This plant derived oil is loaded with gamma-linolenic acid and omega 6 fats, a power duo in inflammation-fighters.
3. Coconut oil
Have you ever looked inside a coconut and eaten a piece of the moist, juicy coconut meat? That’s exactly where coconut oil is derived from. So no wonder many eczema patients reach for a bottle of coconut oil to naturally moisturize skin. Not only that, research from the National Eczema Association claims that coconut oil has natural antibacterial abilities and acts as a way to ward off infection in broken, cracked and oozing skin areas.
4. Colloidal oatmeal
Also known as finely ground oats, this remedy can be added to a bath soak or applied topically as skin mask to reduce inflammation and re-moisturize dry skin. You can also find natural topical creams that include colloidal oatmeal as an ingredient. Colloidal oatmeal has been used for centuries as a gentle way to soothe eczema, skin sensitivities, insect bites, and rashes.