Eczema is a condition that is most often characterized by red, inflamed, and itchy skin, though it can look different in everyone. This is because ‘eczema’ is an umbrella term for eight different types of rashes, including atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, stasis dermatitis, and others. This condition, which commonly affects children, is seen in nearly 32 million people per year in the United States. Many sufferers see dermatologists for the condition, only to try cream after cream, steroids, immune-suppressants, and still find no relief. This is because there is no cure for eczema, as they aren’t even sure what causes it. When I was growing up, my youngest brother lived with horrific eczema. I’m talking, there were times he couldn’t even bend his legs because the skin was so dry and raw behind his knees. Doctors slathered literally dozens of creams on him in the years that he suffered, different drugs, attempts at treatment, but it was almost like he had to outgrow it.
So, as an adult, when I found myself entering the cycle of experimenting with pills and creams for my own eczema, I knew there had to be a better way. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the top 21 natural, topical treatments to help find relief for dry, itchy, inflamed skin.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera Gel, the inner jelly-like substance within the leaves of the aloe vera plant, can be extremely effective in hydrating the chronically dry skin of an eczema sufferer, as well as promoting the restoration that affected areas so desperately need. Aloe vera gel is loaded with vitamins and nutrients that can aid the healing process. It has been shown that relief is provided when aloe vera gel was applied to the skin of those with atopic dermatitis because interleukin, an immune response, was decreased. Aloe has also been found to be an effective antipruritic (or anti-itch), and its use for has been documented dating back over 2,000 years. Because of its active ingredients, amino acids, flavonoids, aloe is considered an effective treatment against eczema.
Find a quality aloe vera gel I recommend here.
Extracted from the African Shea Tree, Shea Butter is absolutely full of vitamin E, which helps reduce inflammation and free radicals in the skin. Early research, though much hasn’t been done, discovered that, when applied to the skin of those with eczema, shea butter acted as an skin softener. Its benefits are recognized by many pharmaceutical companies, and commonly used in topical formulations when treating eczema.
Find a quality shea butter I recommend here.
Cocoa butter, extracted and cold-pressed from whole, roasted cocoa beans has been highly regarded as being beneficial for skin health and healing for years. And while, like the majority of alternative remedies, cocoa butter’s research hasn’t been too in-depth, a “growing body of scientific evidence is becoming available to support that cocoa components with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activities are crucial for the maintenance of skin health.” Oxidative stress, which plays a huge role in the development and persistent recurrence of eczema, can be completely neutralized, protecting the skin, by cocoa butter.
Find a quality cocoa butter I recommend here.
Mango butter comes from the kernels of the mango fruit, and is commonly utilized in tropical locations. Like cocoa butter, mango butter is extremely high in stearic acid, and possesses ability to aid in wound healing, scar prevention and reduction, and replenishing a protective skin barrier. Mango butter “actively replenishes moisture for better skin protection thereby leaving the skin silky, smooth and hydrated.”
Find a quality mango butter I recommend here.
Sufferers of eczema often have an altered lipid skin profile, lacking in specific proteins. This makes coconut oil a worthy tool, as it has shown significant improvement in skin hydration and skin surface lipid levels. In patients with atopic dermatitis, one type of eczema, coconut oil cleared an impressive 95% of all staph bacteria present on the skin. This is incredibly important as eczema sufferers, in general, are extremely susceptible to staph colonization. The long-chain fatty acids found within coconut oil also help improve skin barrier function and keep moisture locked into the area.
Find a quality coconut oil I recommend here.
Pressed from the seeds of the neem tree, neem has shown remarkable curative effects for a number of skin diseases, including eczema, cancer, and even leprosy. Its medicinal use can be traced back centuries and, despite the lack of much supporting science, the use of neem has only grown and expanded to far outside India. It has shown impressive ability to add and lock in needed moisture, repair diseased skin, and boost healing.
Find a quality neem oil I recommend here.
Turmeric is an herb that I am completely obsessed with. I began learning about its literally endless benefits a few years ago after my husband suffered a car accident, and I never stop uncovering new ways that this root can change lives. For those with eczema, the active component, curcumin, could bring sure relief. It has history of being utilized topically for all sorts of conditions ranging from acne, eczema, hemorrhaging, and even parasitic infections. When studied, curcumin showed ability to reduce itching and inflammation[15, 16] . One advantage of using turmeric oil versus the powdered form is the ability to avoid the yellowing stain most associated with the root.
Find a quality turmeric oil I recommend here.
Anyone who’s ever suffered a flare-up of itchy, red, inflamed skin knows that it’s extremely irritating and painful. Myrrh is an excellent choice when it comes to eczema relief, as it has a broad spectrum of properties, including antibacterial, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and immune enhancing. When applied topically, myrrh reduces swelling, and gently promotes wound healing.
Find a quality myrrh oil I recommend here.
Patchouli, a bushy herb of the mint family, has been used since early Chinese medicine for its healing and beneficial properties. From treating small insect bites and fungal infections, to curing venomous snakebites, patchouli is a gift to the skin. It is most recognized for its superb ability to regenerate tissue and stimulating the growth of new cells, but also promotes faster healing and prevents scarring. Patchouli acts as an antiseptic and pain-reliever, aiding greatly in moisturizing dry skin.
Find a quality patchouli oil I recommend here.
Oil of Oregano
Discussed heavily in my e-book “Naturally Conquer Your Eczema” (found here), oil of oregano is one weapon you definitely want in your arsenal against eczema. The two major components of oregano, carvacrol and thymol both contain massive potential to relieve, and even heal, eczema outbreaks. Thymol, specifically, interferes with a protein that causes inflammation, which aids in calming the irritation so regeneration can occur. Carvacrol helps reduce the number of stress hormones expelled by the affected area, which in turn eases irritation and pain. As mentioned previously, eczema sufferers are particularly vulnerable to S. Aureus colonization. This is good news, as the staph bacteria are no match for oil of oregano.
Find a quality oil of oregano I recommend here.
Sweet Orange Oil
Extracted from the peels, orange oil possesses the amazing benefits of oranges in concentration. Application of this essential oil slows production of reactive species, thus reducing inflammation in the area. Massaging orange oil onto a painful area can result in relaxation and relief, and it also creates a layer of protection from the bacteria that cause staph infections and MRSA.
Find a quality sweet orange oil I recommend here.
For hundreds of years, rosemary has been utilized medicinally for purposes such as pain relief, stomach discomfort, and illness, and these uses are finally being backed by science. In fact, experimental creams, developed with rosemary extract, have proven effective at relieving contact dermatitis, a type of eczema. Rosemary is also packed with antioxidants, which are crucial to those suffering skin conditions like eczema. Rosemary, high in the compound caffeic acid, yields impressive wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects.
Find a quality rosemary oil I recommend here.
Most people have heard of lavender and its numerous health benefits. Because of its gentle nature, yet potent ability, lavender has only grown in popularity in recent years, and for eczema, the advantages are only just beginning to be explored. Studies into lavender essential oil have revealed its impressive analgesic and anti-inflammatory potentials. The effects produced by lavender “presented a similar effect to that of Tramadol“, which makes it incredibly relieving when applied to areas affected by eczema. It’s also been documented that lavender oil boosts skin regeneration when it comes to healing, and the “beneficial effect of lavender oil on wound healing may raise the possibility of new approaches as complementary treatment besides conventional therapy.”
Find a quality lavender oil I recommend here.
Chamomile, a beautiful daisy-like plant, brings so much more to the table than just beauty. It has reportedly been used for centuries to treat skin irritations and eczema, infections, inflammation, insomnia, and pain. When it comes to eczema, research shows chamomile’s ability to ease discomfort. In fact, when compared to one hydrocortisone cream, chamomile even showed a slight superiority. Chamomile is used commonly in Europe to treat eczema, and more studies are surfacing that praise its benefits.
Find a quality chamomile oil I recommend here.
Tea Tree Oil
Extracted from the leaves of the myrtle tree, tea tree oil – sometimes referred to as melaleuca – has grown increasingly popular in more recent years. One of the most well-known capabilities of tea tree oil is its use as an antimicrobial. Recognized as a powerful agent against the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause staph and MRSA, tea tree oil helps protect raw, open, irritated skin from becoming infected. Some forms of eczema have also been viewed as a histamine-related condition, which tea tree oil has the ability to act as an anti-inflammatory against.
Find a quality tea tree oil I recommend here.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Cold pressed and loaded with essential fatty acids, red raspberry seed oil is truly a gift from nature for those suffering skin conditions like eczema. The oil is used in countless cosmetics and pharmaceuticals because of its anti-inflammatory effects, which have been ranked as superior to dozens of other oils. Red raspberry seed oil is naturally high in Vitamin E, and, for sufferers with eczema, this has shown marked improvements for symptoms like extent, severity, and itch.
Find a quality red raspberry seed oil I recommend here.
Eucalyptus, another tree within the myrtle family, is also widely beneficial for skin health and healing. First used in traditional Aboriginal, Chinese, and Indian medicines to heal wounds and infections. It later was accepted for use in hospitals as an antiseptic because of it’s potent antimicrobial properties, disinfecting medical equipment, like catheters. “Eucalyptus oil has demonstrated its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and antibacterial activities and researchers have proved its efficacy beyond doubt in treatment of various metabolic and infectious diseases.”
Find a quality eucalyptus oil I recommend here.
With arguably one of the highest mean antioxidant values, clove oil is extremely effective in helping to manage free radicals, and the consequential damage that comes from them. The beneficial components also reduce inflammation, and show remodeling activity in damaged dermal cells.
Find a quality clove oil I recommend here.
Pressed from the rind of the bergamot orange, as you may imagine, the oil yields many benefits similar to that of the orange oil. Like many of the suggestions listed here, bergamot oil is also swelling with antioxidants, helping those with chronic oxidative stress, like eczema. It has been used since Italian folk times for disinfecting and healing minor wounds, treating skin and mouth infections, and calming a sore throat. Because of bergamot oil’s potent anti-inflammatory effects, it also helps to relieve the pain commonly associated with eczema.
Find a quality bergamot oil I recommend here.
Juniper Berry Oil
Juniper berries, the female seeds produced by the juniper tree, are naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and analgesic in nature. All of these characteristics are extremely good news for eczema sufferers, in general, as they can really help ease the torturous effects. By blocking the detection of pain from reaching the sensory neurons, juniper berries have the ability to significantly reduce the amount of irritation felt by those with eczema. And, while research is still in the early stages on juniper berries, “findings largely support the promising properties of JEO, including anti-inflammatory, and tissue remodeling” elements.
Find a quality juniper berry oil I recommend here.
A tropical plant of the grass family, lemongrass provides and impressive range of medical benefits, like limiting bacterial growth, warding off skin infections, and lessening skin issues. Topical application of lemongrass resulted in a potent anti-inflammatory effect.Lemongrass is actually so valuable, that its use can even prevent the onset of acute inflammatory skin conditions. For those suffering contact dermatitis, or some other form of allergic-response eczema, lemongrass can be extremely priceless, as it has the ability to suppress allergic and inflammatory symptoms.
Find a quality lemongrass oil I recommend here.
Most people remain quite familiar with olive oil, as it is a kitchen staple in many homes. High in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, olive oil is another must-have when battling with eczema. It naturally contains the compound hydroxytyrosol, which can be extremely effective at treating various forms of eczema, because of the scavenging of free radicals, and the locking in of necessary moisture.
Find a quality olive oil I recommend here.
Castor oil is created by pressing the seeds of the castor plant, and has only recently really been growing in popularity. Though it needs a lot more studying, castor oil displays a wide range of potential health advantages, with properties like pain relief, inflammation reduction, and free radical scavenging. The oil has a long history of being used to treat various skin conditions because of its impressive antioxidant profile. Ricinoleic acid makes up a large percentage of castor oil, and this compound has such a magnificent ability to reduce pain felt in the area where it is applied.
Find a quality castor oil I recommend here.
Produced from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub, witch hazel is absolutely crucial when it comes to locking in that moisture, and relieving the seemingly unbearable itch associated with eczema. Recognized as being an effective itch-relief, witch hazel also helps in stopping the ‘weeping’ wounds commonly seen in eczema sufferers. With its ability to relieve inflammation, witch hazel is commonly used my pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies in products designed to soothe the skin.
Find a quality witch hazel I recommend here.
Natural can be extremely effective in helping chronic conditions that modern medicine just haven’t caught up with. Pharmaceuticals can struggle to treat conditions like eczema, and they often come with a long list of unpleasant side effects. By working with the body to heal itself, instead of attempting to do so artificially, chances for recurrence are reduced.
Until next time,
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