How do I treat eczema naturally?

Treating eczema naturally is surprisingly tricky and difficult.

A lot of the “natural” products are not effective and some can even make eczema worse.  But it is important to you to treat eczema as natural as possible.  So I will tell you the best approach to treating eczema naturally based on actual medical advice!  You, and your child, should get the natural eczema treatment you desire!

Eczema cream to show treating eczema naturally
How to start treating eczema naturally

Question:  How do I treat eczema naturally?

– Laurel T

 

Answer:

Laurel,

I get a lot of questions about how to treat eczema naturally.  It is a great question and you have some good options.

 

Remember, for good eczema control ALWAYS treat the skin FIRST

As I describe in my “Treating Eczema the RIGHT Way” post, the key to good eczema control is to always prioritize the skin first (since eczema is a problem with inflammation of the skin).

This is still the most important step even if you want to treat eczema naturally… and it is best done by increasing moisture in the skin.

 

Step 1 – Treat eczema naturally with natural skin moisturizer creams

Most symptoms of eczema are due to skin inflammation and dryness, which then results in more irritation, more skin cracking, more redness, and then worsening inflammation (which causes the cycle to continue).

If you want to treat eczema naturally, the first step to breaking this cycle is to apply a moisturizer cream AT LEAST TWICE A DAY.

Your best bet is to use as “bland” a cream as possible:

  • Vanicream (what  I use all the time in my house)
  • Cetaphil
  • Eucerin or
  • Aveeno

These tends to be my general recommendations for good, bland creams.

 

At this point, I need to ask you a question:  what do you MEAN when you want to “treat eczema naturally?”

Treating eczema naturally means different things to different people:

  • Does “I want to treat eczema naturally” mean you don’t want to use any chemicals?
  • Does “I want to treat eczema naturally” mean you don’t want to use medications?
  • Does “I want to treat eczema naturally” mean you are ok with using creams but no steroids?
  • Does “I want to treat eczema naturally” mean you want to find the trigger and eliminate it and need no medication at all?
  • Does “I want to treat eczema naturally” mean you want to try and find as many natural products as possible but are ok with medications… if needed?

 

The reason I ask is that the medications I listed in the first step are all creams are made of chemical emollients, but contain no medication.

For many people, this is “natural” enough.  However, if you want to take it a half step further, Aveeno has a natural cream that might be more toward your desire.

 

Do you want to treat eczema MORE naturally than this?

If you want more natural than these creams, then I have a possible warning.

I see many people who want to treat eczema naturally so they get their creams/lotions from natural stores, outdoor markets or online.

  • Many of these products, although they might be more “natural,” usually have additives such as lavender, orange, other scents/perfumes or other components to make their product unique.
  • Most of these natural moisturizers are competing against store brand moisturizers.  So they try to add things to increase their marketability:  such as perfumes, smells, lavendar, etc.
  • For eczema, I don’t want more additives.  I want less!

“Natural” additives such as lavender, perfumes/scents or anything else can actually WORSEN eczema!

 

A very easy solution to treat eczema naturally

If neither the bland creams nor their natural variants aren’t natural enough, I would rather you used coconut oil or shea butter instead of buying a “natural cream” that might have additives.

Both coconut oil and shea butter are great options because you can use it as a moisturizing cream OR, for coconut oil, you can take a small amount and add it to the bath water (for children or adults who want to take a bath).  That way, it helps trap the moisture of the bath water into the skin!

There are a lot of good recipes online, but the one I like the most is a combination of coconut oil and shea butter (they add lavender and other additives, but I highly recommend keeping those out).  You can find the link here or download the recipe and article summary below:
Download my “How to Treat Eczema Naturally” handout and also get
the recipe for making your own natural eczema lotion at home!

Small word of warning:  Using creams like shea butter/coconut oil tend to work for many people, but not everyone.  In my house, adding a small amount of coconut oil to my son’s bath water significantly improved his eczema naturally.  However, it made my wife’s eczema worse!

Consider all of this as a good first step but if it isn’t helping (or isn’t helping enough) then send me an email and I’ll see if I can find you a better alternative.

 

Step 2 – Treat eczema naturally by improving your bathing routine for optimal skin moisture

Most “treating eczema naturally” posts stop with their cream recommendations or immediately jump into the internal triggers/causes (which I discuss the problems with in this post).

But one area that is often overlooked is the bathing routine itself.

There are three very important steps to take with each shower/bath to improve skin moisture:

      1. Take cooler showers/baths.

        • While hot baths/showers are relaxing and nice, they dry out the skin (and are the leading cause of winter itch too)!
          • This can make eczema worse
          • It can also mean you need more medications… which is the opposite of treating eczema naturally.
        • Note:  I don’t mean cold baths/showers.  That sounds miserable!
        • Go for a nice warm shower.
          • What I say is to reduce the temperature until you get to that point where it becomes “just a bit too cold” and then bring it back to “just warm enough.”
          • Make it the lowest temperature you can COMFORTABLY enjoy.
      2. Next, consider WHEN you put on the cream.

        • In addition to morning and evening, you should always apply moisturizer cream IMMEDIATELY after a shower or bath… BEFORE YOU DRY OFF!
        • Adding moisturizer cream to damp skin can “trap in” some of the moisture and help add moisture to the skin.
        • Always start with the worst areas first so you get the most benefit.
        • When you start to get cold, that is the evaporative effect of water drying
          • This is your time limit.
          • You want as much moisture on your skin as possible before you start to get cold.
        • One way to improve this is to bring the moisturizing lotion into the bathroom with you and don’t open the shower curtain/shower doors until AFTER you have applied lotion.
      3. Finally, when you are drying off:  PAT the skin dry, don’t rub.

        • Rubbing with a towel can remove the moisturizer and also irritate the skin itself.
        • A good pat is the ideal way to dry.

 

Does this help your goal of treating eczema naturally?

I hope this plan is a good start to treat eczema naturally.  I tried to help show the importance of skin care as the first stop to good eczema control, to help identify what you mean by “treating eczema naturally” and to show you a trick with showering that helps maintain skin moisture.

This is all the first step toward treating eczema more naturally.  If you want more advice, or have questions, please email me and I will be happy to help.

NOTE:  I am not an affiliate of any product, have no disclosures, and am not getting paid in any way by any product.  My recommendations are my own and based on how I practice allergy/immunology.

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