How to Treat Eczema Naturally

Four Parts:Treating Eczema Through Lifestyle ChangesTreating Eczema Through Topical SupplementsTreating Eczema Through Dietary ChangesRecognizing the Symptoms of Eczema

Eczema can affect people of all ages and can cause quite a bit of misery. Doctors often prescribe a steroidal cream. For many people, using steroids has many side effects and doesn't always work very well. The good news is that there are other things you can do to ease the itching, dryness and skin changes. Implementing a few natural remedies may make a significant difference in how your skin looks and feels. If your skin doesn't respond to natural treatments or gets worse, consider seeing your doctor.

Part 1
Treating Eczema Through Lifestyle Changes

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    Track your lifestyle triggers. Triggers are different for everyone. One person can be sensitive to wool while another is sensitive to a chemical in perfume. Since we don't really know what causes an individual to have a flare-up of their eczema, you will have to try to figure these out. You can try a variation of a food diary by writing down the products you use and see what happens when you eliminate one.
    • It may take a bit of work to figure out what affects you, so many people just go all-natural and all-organic. Then they begin to add back products to see if the new products affect their eczema.
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    Wear non-irritating clothing. Wear loose clothing wherever possible and avoid items made from itchy, scratchy fabrics like wool. Smooth-textured clothing made from cotton, silk and bamboo are the least irritating on your skin.[1] Also be wary of your washing detergent. It may be leaving a slight residue on your clothes that's contributing to eczema flare-ups. Try using a natural washing powder, or simply switch to a different biological brand.
    • When exercising, wear proper sports clothing designed to keep your skin cool. This will prevent you from sweating excessively, which can aggravate eczema.[2]
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    Choose non-irritating soaps and shampoos. Irritants like soaps and detergents, shampoos, dishwashing liquids, disinfectants and any product with added perfumes can irritate your skin. Try using natural vegetable based soaps and cleaning agents instead.[3]
    • Avoid any products containing sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens. These are commonly found in hygiene products and are known to irritate and dry the skin. Sodium lauryl sulfate also breaks down your skin's natural proteins, making skin more vulnerable to outside contaminants. Medical studies have linked parabens to endocrine disruption, cancer, and reproductive problems.[4]
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    Use a humidifier. Dry air in your bedroom and home can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema, causing the skin to become dehydrated and flaky. You can remedy this situation by investing in an air humidifier which will add moisture to the air and to your skin. Portable home humidifiers, along with humidifiers you can attach to a furnace, are easily available and can be found in a range of styles and price ranges.[2]
    • It is also possible to humidify the air in a room without buying a humidifier. House plants naturally increase the amount of moisture in the air through a process known as transpiration. The Boston Fern is a popular natural humidifier.[5]
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    Keep your house clean and avoid allergens. Allergy causing agents like dust mites, pet dander, seasonal pollens, molds and dandruff are all eczema triggers. Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter and vacuum often.[6]
    • Try to avoid bacteria, fungi and viruses. People that are obviously sick should also be avoided, since this could be contributing to your eczema.
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    Minimize stress. Eczema and other skin conditions have been strongly linked to stress, both psychological and physical, so taking some time out to work on stress-relief can be extremely beneficial. Try to do whatever relaxes you: visualization techniques, hypnotherapy, meditation, yoga, listening to music, or painting.
    • Set aside time for yourself every day to relax and unwind. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, stress has been shown to make eczema worse.[7]
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    Bathe less frequently, using warm water (not too cold or too hot). Bathing too often can actually strip moisture from the skin and make eczema worse. Try to limit your baths and showers to every 1 to 2 days if possible. Avoid steamy or cold showers and limit each session to 15 to 20 minutes, tops. Use a clean, dry towel to gently pat yourself dry.[8]
    • Make sure to moisturize after the shower, preferably while your skin is still damp as this locks in more moisture. Use moisturizers with no additives and which are based on coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, avocado or castor oil. Be aware that while these oils tend to be better tolerated by people with eczema, everyone is different and you may have to experiment to find what works best for you.
    • Try not to stay in the tub for too long. Sometimes the water can wither your skin. You do not want your eczema to be disturbed, since disturbed skin results in higher chance of the eczema to itch.

Part 2
Treating Eczema Through Topical Supplements

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    Use aloe vera. Use aloe from the actual plant, rather than purchasing an aloe product. Snap off a leaf and squeeze out the clear, gel-like substance. Smear this gel over the skin affected by eczema and leave to soak in. You can store the leaf in the refrigerator for multiple uses. Pure aloe vera is not associated with any negative side effects when used topically, so it is safe to use as often as necessary.[9]
    • The gel-like sap from the Aloe vera plant has been used for thousands of years as a moisturizing and anti-inflammatory treatment.[10] Many people have found it effective in the treatment of eczema, as it soothes itching and moisturizes the dry, flaky skin.
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    Apply calendula lotion. You can apply calendula liberally all over your skin, since there are no known side effects when applied topically[11], or you can mix it with aloe vera gel before rubbing over the skin. Calendula is a marigold-like flower whose extract is commonly used in skin lotions and salves to reduce pain and inflammation.[12]
    • Many calendula products, such as soaps, oils, lotions, salves and creams can be found at health food stores. These products are preferable to those found in drug stores, since they usually contain a higher percentage of pure calendula and less potentially irritating ingredients.
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    Use oats. Fill an old cotton sock or nylon knee-high sock with organic steel-rolled oats and tie it over the tap of your bathtub, letting the water run through the oats. Oats contain anti-inflammatory and anti-itching compounds that can be very soothing.[13]
    • Try oatmeal paste. All you have to do is just mix some oatmeal and water together until it forms a paste. Then apply it directly to your eczema!
    • Stinging nettle also works the same way and can be used just like oats in the tub. It's believed that they act to interrupt the body's pain and itch signals.[14]
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    Make a chamomile compress. Chamomile is a popular natural treatment for eczema, as it is said to soothe itchiness and calm inflammation. You can make chamomile tea by brewing dried chamomile flowers in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes. Strain the flowers and allow the tea to cool slightly. Then, make a warm compress by soaking a clean cloth in the chamomile, wringing out the excess moisture. Press it against the affected skin for 10-15 minutes.
    • You can also massage the oils directly onto the skin or add a few drops to a warm bath. But be aware that some people develop on allergic reaction to chamomile, so you may want to test it on a small patch of skin before using.[15]
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    Use organic coconut oil. Organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil is often used as a moisturizer which many eczema sufferers claim to be far more effective than expensive store bought creams. It can be found in health food stores, online and in select supermarkets. Apply the oil (which looks like a solid but quickly melts) on eczema patches all over the body and allow the oil to sink in.
    • Cold pressed means that the oil was processed at temperatures below 116 degrees, allowing all of the oil's nutrients, enzymes and minerals to be preserved.
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    Try sweet almond oil. Sweet almond oil is often used in the treatment of eczema as it contains ursolic and oleic acids, which are believed to reduce inflammation and help repair the skin. It can be applied liberally all over the body as a moisturizer, or it can be spread all over the skin before baths and showers, creating a barrier that protects the skin from the drying effects of hot water.[16]
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    Try some lemon. Just cut the lemon in half and put that baby right on your eczema. You should see some changes. Expect a burning sensation. It only burns when you scratch it. It burns because the lemon is removing the inflammation trapped under your skin. The burning mostly occurs when you have broken skin on the eczema.

Part 3
Treating Eczema Through Dietary Changes

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    Improve your diet. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. If you can, go organic and as natural as you can. In other words, choose fresh fruit and vegetables, cook your own beans and legumes, snack on nuts, berries, seeds, fruit and vegetables and minimize the red meat in your diet.
    • Make sure you get lots of sources of omega-3 oils (fish, leafy green vegetables) to help keep your skin moist and soft.
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    Eliminate milk and dairy products. Cow's milk is one of the most common dietary trigger for eczema,[17] so it is worth cutting it out of your diet (at least temporarily) to see if you notice an improvement. Cow's milk can be quite acidic and is often filled with hormones and chemicals, which may be aggravating your eczema. Try eliminating all cow's milk for at least two weeks and see if you notice any difference.
    • There are many, many substitutes for cow's milk, so don't worry about having to drink your coffee black. Goat, sheep and buffalo milk are all great creamy alternatives.
    • If you want a non-animal substitute you can always go for soy, hazelnut, almond, oat, or rice milk.[16]
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    Cut out gluten from your diet. Wheat is also believed to be a common dietary trigger for eczema.[18] If possible, eliminate gluten from your diet as it may be triggering your skin condition. Cut out bread, pasta, cereals and other processed, carbohydrate rich foods.
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    Practice the elimination diet. Try keeping a diet diary. Every day, write down everything you eat and try to notice any changes in your symptoms when you eat the food. Sometimes, you may notice something right away or within a few hours. You should begin to notice some patterns with certain foods. Then, eliminate those foods from your diet for a minimum of 2 weeks (better if you can eliminate the food for 4-6 weeks) and see if there is any change in your skin.
    • In addition to dairy and wheat, eczema may also triggered by soy, eggs, nuts, and seeds.[19] If you notice that these foods aggravate your eczema, avoid them.
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    Take natural supplements. There are plenty of dietary supplements you can which may help reduce eczema symptoms. Some of the best ones include:
    • Fatty Acids: Fatty acids have been shown to relieve dry skin and reduce inflammation, making them effective for treating eczema. Use Omega-3s which are anti-inflammatory. Take the DHA and EPA forms of this. Omega-6s can be pro-flammatory. One study showed that 1.8 grams of EPA (an Omega-3 fatty acid) taken daily for 12 weeks reduced eczema.[20]
    • Vitamins A, D and E: These help the skin to retain hydration, improve its texture, boost collagen production and protect it from free radicals.
    • Gamma-linolenic acid: This is a type of fatty acid found in evening primrose oil, borage oil and blackcurrant oil. It is believed to help relieve skin inflammation and to correct the balance of lipids in the skin.[21][22]

Part 4
Recognizing the Symptoms of Eczema

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    Understand common eczema symptoms. Eczema is actually a term for a group of conditions where the skin is inflamed and irritated. All types of Eczema have itchiness as a symptom. Scratching these areas leads to “weeping” sores and the crustiness and scaliness that is so often seen in the atopic dermatitis form of eczema.
    • While the direct cause of eczema is unknown,[23] stress has been shown to make eczema worse. Eczema commonly starts in infancy or childhood, though it does start in some people after the age of 30.
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    Look over your body for symptoms. The most common symptoms of eczema are itching, dry and scaling skin and rashes on the face, behind the knees, on the inside of the elbows and on both hands and feet. In adults, though it only happens in about 10% of eczema patients, the rash most often appears in the elbow and knee crease and on the nape of the neck.[24]
    • In infants, eczema generally starts as a rash usually on the scalp (cradle cap) and face (especially the cheeks) and can begin when the baby is 2-3 months old. In children between 2 years of age and puberty, the rash usually begins in the elbow creases of the arms and/or the back of the knees.[25]
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    Determine what type of eczema you're experiencing. While inflammation and itchiness is a common symptom, you can differentiate between eczemas depending on the location or type of inflammation.
    • If you're experiencing allergic or contact eczema, this could be a response to touching some substance. You'll notice inflammation on your skin where the clothing, jewelry, or substance came into contact.
    • If you notice eczema on your palms and soles or have blisters filled with clear liquid, you probably have dyshidrotic eczema.
    • If you experience one or more coin-shaped patches of inflamed skin mainly along your arms, lower legs and buttocks, you have nummular eczema.
    • If the skin on your scalp and face becomes yellowish, oily, or scaly, you most likely have Seborrheic dermatitis.


  • Be determined. You won't be able to beat eczema without being determined. Being lazy, easily giving up, or saying things like, "I'm never getting rid of eczema, no matter how hard I try!" never works. That never helps.
  • Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) found in evening primrose, borage, and black currant oil has been found useful in relieving the symptoms of eczema.[26]
  • Get regular sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, try having a relaxing bath before bedtime, make sure your bedroom is cool and dark and switch off any screens or electronics at least an hour before sleep.[27]
  • Try other approaches including acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, herbs and homeopathy. If you choose to try Ayurvedic medicine or homeopathy, be prepared for a long session with what you might consider lots of questions not necessarily related to eczema. Both homeopathy and Ayurvedic medicine are systems of medicine with significantly different philosophies and approaches, but remember that Ayurvedic medicine has been around for thousands of years and homeopathy has been around for hundreds of years. Something must be working!
  • If your hands are in bad shape, buy a pair of cotton gloves. After applying lotion mixed with a little coconut oil, slip them on and wear them about 1 hour on and 1 hour off, applying lotion mix each time.
  • Consider getting an allergy test. Although having one done is sometimes cumbersome, you can discover what foods, animals, carpets, or even trees cause your eczema flare-ups.
  • Try lavender oil in any room vaporizer; it has a relaxing quality that might help if you can't sleep from your eczema.
  • If you don't have a humidifier, then you can try spraying the room with water.
  • Be sure to see a licensed acupuncturist if you are considering acupuncture.
  • Use a non-scented lotion to avoid any irritation. Gold Bond healing aloe lotion works very well. If you are allergic to aloe, try Glysomed Hand Cream.
  • You could also use a oatmeal based lotion called Aveeno. Try to apply it daily and often to see the effects.


  • Try not to scratch your eczema. It can result in catastrophic inflammation.
  • Although eliminating dairy products/milk from your diet can improve eczema symptoms, it is important to get calcium and vitamin D from other sources. Great choices are dark leafy green vegetables such as kale or almond or soy milk. Another good option is taking calcium supplements, but there is such a thing as having too much calcium, so talk to your doctor about whether these supplements are appropriate for you.[28]. It's up to you and your doctor to weigh the positives and negatives.

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