As anyone can attest, winter is an itchy time.
After battling a skin rash on my legs for a few weeks, I decided to visit my dermatologist. It looks like I developed eczema. To combat this—in addition to using prescription creams from my doctor—I’m exploring natural remedies for eczema.
To understand the best ways to treat eczema, you first have to know what it means for your skin.
What Is Eczema?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, eczema, which is also known as atopic dermatitis, is a non-contagious skin condition that causes flare-ups of itchy skin and patchy rashes that may become infected. One to three percent of all adults have eczema, while eczema in children is even more common, with 10 to 20 percent battling the condition.
The causes of eczema vary, from hereditary traits and allergies, to stress and overly dry skin. The main goals for dermatologists include controlling the itching sensation, reducing inflammation, removing scaly lesions, and preventing infection in the rash areas.
I was instructed to apply a prescription-level steroid cream on the rash areas, followed by a thick moisturizing cream (not lotion) over my body, from head-to-toe. Now that my rash is healed, I’m exploring additional ways to moisturize my skin twice daily, as recommended by my dermatologist, to keep future redness, itching, and rashes at bay.
One of my go-to skin care and beauty products is 100-percent pure coconut oil. I use it to remove my makeup, to keep my hair’s frizziness under control, and when shaving. Recently, I swapped my heavy skin cream for the lighter oil and used it as a moisturizer. It helped calm the itching and left my skin soft—it doesn’t, however, have quite the same staying power as the thicker skin creams. I rely on coconut oil for my morning moisturizer when I know I’ll be in the swimming pool within a few hours, which is followed up with a shower and more moisturizer.
Epsom Salt Bath
Soaking in a warm bath instantly calms the itchiness of eczema for me. When I add a cup of Epsom salts to the water, I notice even more reduction in swelling and redness. I try to soak in the salt bath for 10 to 15 minutes to calm my skin.
Afterwards, I gently towel off and immediately moisturize my skin to keep dry skin away. When choosing a moisturizer, look for thick creams or ointments made without any artificial fragrances or dyes, since these can often irritate sensitive skin.
Finally, I try to keep my skin healthy by preventing dryness. I only use natural soaps made with plant-based moisturizers, such as jojoba oil or olive oil. I also look for formulas free of perfumes that could irritate my skin. My current favorite soap is the Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Daily Moisture. It keeps my skin soft and hydrated, and it has a wonderful scent.
Do you have any natural remedies for eczema that you’d like to share? Tweet them to @TomsofMaine!
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.