Posted on Jun 17, 2021, 10 a.m.
Roughly 30% of Americans suffer from varying skin-related issues, with eczema being a common ailment. While home remedies might not cure eczema instantly, they can reduce the symptoms and provide relief. Over time, proper administration of such natural remedies can help individuals overcome the challenges posed by eczema. Several natural treatments can help soothe itching skin and prevent flare-ups in the winter, wherein symptoms are at their worst. These products can also prevent inflammation, reduce chances of infection and help manage painful symptoms. Are you sick of having to deal with irritated and itchy skin during the winters? Here is a look at the top six natural remedies that can prove effective in the fight against eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema, also known as Atopic dermatitis, is a medical condition that leads to red, inflamed, irritated, and itchy skin. While it can occur at any age, it is most common in children. The chronic condition is challenging to manage as it tends to flare up periodically. In some children, it comes along with hay fever and asthma, which further complicates treatment methodologies. Doctors have not found a cure for the condition as of now. However, self-care measures, natural remedies, and treatment protocols that individuals can follow help prevent outbreaks and alleviate symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of atopic dermatitis are as follows:
- Dry skin
- Itching, which becomes severe at night
- Red to brownish patches of skin on the feet, neck, eyelids, knees, hands, and chest
- Small bumps which leak fluid when scratched
- Thickened, scaly, raw, and swollen skin
The first symptoms may appear around the age of five and tend to persist into adulthood. In some individuals, the flare-ups occur annually, whereas, in others, they may clear up for several years before reappearing. You will have to consult a doctor if the condition impacts your daily activities or sleep patterns negatively. Additionally, frequent skin infections, scabs, and severe symptoms and pain also require immediate medical attention.
What Causes Eczema?
Humans need healthy skin to retain moisture, stay supple and protect their bodies from allergens and harmful bacteria. A gene variation that influences the skin’s ability to offer such protection leads to eczema’s development, making skin more susceptible to environmental factors. It essentially damages the skin’s barrier function, making it more prone to dryness, sensitivity, and infection. Studies also suggest that in some children, specific food allergies have a role in causing eczema. It affects around 30 million Americans, with between 10% to 20% of infants suffering from the ailment. While half of these children outgrow the condition, others have to find natural remedies to prevent outbreaks. Studies also highlighted that individuals with a family history of food and environmental allergies are prone to developing eczema.
Researchers believe that eczema arises due to a combination of environmental factors, stress, immune system response, and genetics. Our body’s immune system must work in tandem with our internal systems to maintain a proper balance. When the system overreacts to external stimuli, it can lead to skin inflammation and sensitivity. Additionally, those with a genetic history of dermatitis are more prone to this condition due to their shared genetics. Similarly, a history of asthma, hay fever, and allergies to food, pollen, and pet hair also raise your risk of developing the condition.
Top 6 Ways that May Prove Effective in Treating Eczema
These natural remedies may not cure eczema instantly. Over time, they can prove effective in controlling the disease and preventing further outbreaks. Additionally, these techniques can help soothe the skin and alleviate other symptoms associated with the disease.
1. Aloe Vera gel obtained naturally and organically from the plant can help soothe irritated and dry skin effectively. A study done in 2015 showed that such gels have antimicrobial, immune-boosting, and antibacterial properties. As a result, products containing aloe vera gel can help combat infections and heal wounds caused by dry skin. The best way to use such products is to purchase an aloe vera plant and extract the gel yourself. If you are buying third-party products, opt for ones with minimal ingredients to ensure you eliminate triggers and harsh chemicals.
2. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural remedy that can provide relief from several skin-related disorders. Even the National Eczema Association believes that such products can help prevent eczema flare-ups but advise strong caution due to their acidic content. Diluted apple cider vinegar helps balance the skin’s pH, fight harmful bacteria and prevent infections.
3. Colloidal oatmeal or Avena sativa is famous for its skin-healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. As a result, these products can prevent skin dryness, roughness, sensitivity, itching, and scaling. Individuals can add powdered oatmeal to their bath and soak in it for around fifteen minutes to alleviate symptoms associated with eczema. Avoid products with fragrances and other additives to eliminate allergic triggers.
4. Ensure you keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing at least twice a day. Choose products that contain natural ingredients to prevent adverse allergic reactions. Try to take shorter showers and baths and limit them to fifteen minutes to prevent moisture loss from the skin. Never use hot water on the skin and substitute it with mildly warm water to soothe your skin. Add a bleach bath to your regimen to decrease bacterial build-up and prevent flare-ups. Go through the guidelines provided by the American Academy of Dermatology to understand the strength of household bleach required.
5. Watch everything you feed your children as they can experience outbreaks of eating soy, wheat, eggs, or milk. Consult a pediatrician and try to diagnose and identify food allergies early on. Keep a note of everything you eat and your sleep cycles to identify and eliminate triggers that exacerbate the condition. Practice meditation and yoga to prevent excessive stress and tension as these can worsen your skin condition and cause issues.
6. Cannabidiol has potent anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in combating and preventing eczema. Additionally, Organic Cannabis CBD also contains antimicrobial properties, helping prevent skin infections and eczema flare-ups. These products bind with our endocannabinoid receptors to regulate our immune response and reduce unnecessary swelling and inflammation. They also work as potent analgesics, helping alleviate the pain associated with broken skin wounds arising from excessive dryness and scabbing.
Cannabidiol and Eczema
Atopic dermatitis causes itching by influencing our histamine release, worsening skin dryness, and affecting our sensory nerve fibers. The anti-itch effect of cannabinoids helps combat these features by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. They also manage and prevent excessive Staphylococcus aureus colonization, thanks to their antimicrobial properties. These compounds bind to our CB2 receptors to regulate our immune response and combat excessive inflammation. As a result, hemp products can influence and neutralize various aspects of eczema, providing individuals significant relief.
While there is no instant cure for eczema, products like aloe vera and cannabidiol can help individuals manage their symptoms effectively. Unlike over-the-counter medication, these methods do not cause adverse drug reactions or side effects. Hence, the development and use of cannabidiol-infused topical creams for eczema can help millions of individuals worldwide.
This article was written by Alexandra Doherty, blogger and health advocate.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Content may be edited for style and length
Materials provided by:
30 million Americans suffer from eczema -https://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-facts/
Aloe Vera medicinal benefits - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557234/
National Eczema Association - https://nationaleczema.org/
Oatmeal colloidal solution medicinal benefits - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25607907/
Bleach bath therapy - https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/eczema/childhood/treating/bleach-bath
Effect of CBD-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30993303/
Observational Study of the Application of a Topical Cannabinoid Gel on Sensitive Dry Skin –
Cannabidiol as an Antioxidant - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128007563000934