Recent statistics indicate that 16.5 million Americans suffer with eczema, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Eczema is characterized as a type of atopic dermatitis, a series of inflammatory skin conditions that result in swollen patches of dry, scaly, itchy, red skin. While most eczema patients seek out doctor-prescribed or over-the-counter topical barrier creams, moisturizers, and corticosteroid and NSAID ointments to treat their eczema symptoms, many find these leave skin even more dry, irritated, and damaged.
In fact, many eczema patients utilize the following gentle yet effective natural home remedies:
1. Coconut oil
The meat of a coconut holds a bounty of juicy, moisturizing benefits, which is why many eczema sufferers apply coconut oil topically to boost skin moisture safely and naturally. In fact, experts from the National Eczema Association recommend the use of coconut oil for topical application for a number of skin conditions, and for it’s natural antibacterial benefits as a preventative method for infection in eczema skin that’s prone to cracking, dryness, and oozing.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a superfood often used to treat a number of skin and digestive ailments. Yet eczema patients note this natural vinegar is particularly beneficial for treating skin disorders such as eczema. Thoughts behind this remedy claim that apple cider vinegar balances natural skin acidity, which patients with eczema lack. However, the National Eczema Association (NEA) recommends diluting the vinegar as it can be very harsh on sensitive skin. Apple cider vinegar is also touted as anti-bacterial to help ward off Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which are common skin infections.
3. Colloidal oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal has been applied topically to skin for eons to reduce symptoms of dryness, inflammation, and to boost moisture. These finely ground oats can be made into a topical skin mask and applied to take the itch, pain, and swelling out of a variety of skin conditions, rashes, hives, and insect stings. In fact, many eczema remedies already contain colloidal oatmeal among the ingredients.
4. Aloe vera
Derived from the gel innards of the aloe plant, aloe vera gel is a soothing and natural remedy for all sorts of skin conditions (i.e., sunburn, diaper rash, and eczema). Aloe vera gel is considered both antibacterial and antimicrobial for speeding up wound-healing, moisturizing dry and cracked skin, and preventing skin infections. To use either buy an aloe plant and break off a leaf to use the inner gel, or purchase natural aloe vera gel from a health or drug store.