TOPICAL AND SUPPLEMENT TREATMENT OF ECZEMA
Diet is one of the most important factors affecting an eczema outbreak. See the article titled . CAUSES ECZEMA IN ADULTS . Together with diet, there are many natural topical products and supplements available to soothe and treat eczema. As mentioned in the previous article, steroid creams are necessary in severe cases, but long term use is not ideal. This article discuss alternative safe treatments.
- Betain HCL to increase stomach acid
- Vitamin B (specifically B6 and B7) complex for healthy skin and circulation
- Vitamin D: Research has shown that increase in vitamin D levels improved patients experiencing atopic eczema (1). An hour a day in early morning or late afternoon sunshine, can be sufficient in boosting Vitamin D levels
- Omega-3 fatty acids: This has been proven to prevent inflammation as well as boosting the immune system
- Probiotics for the improvement of gut flora
- Vitamin E helps to maintain healthy skin and eyes, while strengthening the immune system
- Vitamin K is invaluable when it comes to healing wounds due to its role in blood clotting
- Vitamin A is needed for smooth skin and preventing dryness
- Zinc is one of the most prominent minerals necessary for healthy skin and should be an essential mineral when dealing with eczema
It is absolutely imperative to be careful to only use pH balanced creams and soaps on the skin.
- Coconut oil: A recent study showed that Staphylococcus bacteria on the skin decreased by 95 percent after coconut oil was applied to the skin (1)
- Calendula oil (marigold) is a wonderful ingredient to include in eczema and dermatitis skin care formulas because it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties which helps to reduces the swelling and the desire to scratch these areas
- Sunflower seed oil stimulates the body’s natural ceramide (skin barrier fats produced in our bodies) production, thereby improving the skin barrier. It also serves as a natural anti-inflammatory (1)
- Castor oil contains Ricinoleic acid which is a rare fatty acid and together with the salts and esters found in the oil, it is able to treat eczema. It is an all-natural product that reduces inflammation and hydrates the skin. The ricinoleic acid content is able to draw out dirt, dead cells& bacteria, stimulate the lymphatic system and promote the growth of healthy tissue. It improves circulation and blood flow, thereby removing cellular toxins and reducing swelling and inflammation. Castor oil also helps boost the immune system, which speeds the rate of healing (2)
- Chamomile can soothe the skin by reducing inflammation (3)
- Other herbs that have shown to improve symptoms include witch hazel, comfrey, licorice root, centella, burdock , st johns wort, fenugreek and aloe vera (4, 5)
- Epsom salts and a few tablespoons of Himalayan salt added to the bath can be healing and soothing (6)
- Apple cider vinegar: Skin pH in atopic dermatitis patients is often increased into the neutral to basic range, and the resulting cascade of changes contributes to the phenotype of atopic dermatitis (7). It is speculated that Staphylococcus infection of the skin can trigger an eczema outbreak (2, 8). Application of topical acids, such apple cider vinegar, may inhibit the development of atopic dermatitis lesions by maintenance of skin surface pH as well as acting as an anti bacterial agent (9)
Jason Vale suggests covering the body in coconut or jajoba oil every evening after a bath and wrapping oneself in a blanket whilst doing something relaxing such as reading or listening to music. The relaxation and deep moisturisation of the skin will contribute positively to the healing process (10).
Homeopathy is such a vast field that it would require an entire article on its own to discuss its impact on eczema. A remedy is specific and unique to each person. To obtain the optimal remedy, one needs to be assessed, preferably by a homeopath. For the sake of brevity, I have included a small list of natural remedies below that are associated with eczema improvement and worth consideration (11).
- Kali. Sulph to detoxify the skin and liver
- Calc carb for rough, dry skin with a tendency to crack
- Nat phos to restore alkalinity to the body
- Nat. Mur for eczema with small blisters and intense itching
- Graphites to treat eczema that thrives in warm, moist places such as the folds of the elbows, behind the knees, eyelids, behind the ears, and between the toes
- Petroleumoleum is used for eczema that lives in the folds of the skin. In these cases, the skin is very dry and chapped, and will crack
- Psorinum for eczema that oozes a thick secretion with a foul odor near the ears and scalp
- Sulphur is used to treat eczema that is itchy enough to cause violent, damaging scratching, which is often followed by a burning sensation
- Rhus Tox is used to treat eczema that is found on the face & scalp and around the mucous membrane
- Ars for eczema that itches and burns
There is an abundance of information and advice available which makes it difficult to decide on a specific solution. For some it may seem impossible and impractical to implement all that is discussed above. In which case it would be advisable to attempt to follow the food guideline (seen in the article Causes of Eczema in Adults) as much as possible, include one or two topical treatments, a multivitamin with the above mentioned supplements (specifically zinc, omegas and probiotics) and one or two homeopathic remedies. Adding epsom salts to the bath and wrapping & moisturising the body with castor oil or coconut oil after a bath can be done without too much effort. Finally it is imperative to find a way to relax every day. This can include an half hour walk, yoga or any form of exercise which will benefit and contribute to healing.
Watch this interesting video on Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Eczema. Very good information!
- Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Fourth Edition. Phyllis A Balch
- http://5a324bfebe929967bf88-dc5414c1c74d2c78e881475f8f6acc63.r11.cf1.rackcdn.com/Skin Deep Download.pdf