Eczema itch? These household items might do the trick.
While moderate to severe cases of eczema require medical treatment, lifestyle tweaks like using the right moisturizer and a solid shower routine are also important to help keep eczema symptoms to a minimum. Certain home remedies can make a difference too, says dermatologist Suzanne Friedler, MD, of the Mount Sinai Hospital and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. You probably already have some of the best natural treatments for eczema already in your pantry:
Coconut oil. This trendy ingredient has long been touted as a natural skin moisturizer, but it actually serves another purpose for eczema: killing off staph bacteria on the skin and reducing the chance of infection. Apply “virgin” or “cold-pressed” coconut oil to damp skin one to two times a day.
Crisco, or vegetable shortening. This is just what people used before coconut oil became so widely available. Bonus: It’s cheaper than coconut oil, too.
Sunflower oil. This oil creates a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture, according to the National Eczema Association. It’s also anti-inflammatory. Apply this the same way you would coconut oil. Oh, and save this treatment for adults, due to the risk of sunflower allergies in children.
Meditation. Stress and emotional health issues may worsen skin conditions, so some doctors use “psychodermatology” to help eczema patients deal with anxiety and emotional disorders. One obvious method is meditation, which can build up your resilience against everyday stress. (If you’re ready to give meditation a shot, try this simple counting meditation.)
Massages. Another way to relieve stress is through massages. Sure, your partner’s massage might be free and totally romantic, but your best bet is to visit a massage therapist who has experience working with non-contagious skin conditions like eczema, says the NEA. Check that the therapist uses oils and lotions that won’t make eczema worse, or bring your own.
Humidifier. A dry home = dry skin. This is especially important when the heat is running in your home, as the warm air will leach the moisture from your skin.
Cold compress. This home remedy for eczema is the perfect quick solution when you need to quell a strong itch. Soak a clean rag in cool water, wring out the excess liquid, and apply to that itchy skin. Don’t forget to follow up with a rich moisturizer, preferably a cream or ointment. (Here are more tips for dealing with eczema itch.)
Plastic wrap and cotton gloves or socks. This home remedy is perfect for those whose eczema appears on their hands or feet. On damp skin, apply a rich moisturizer, wrap the affected skin with plastic wrap, and then cover with cotton gloves or socks. It’s a DIY spa treatment and will make your hands and feet oh-so-supple and soft in the morning.
Dr. Friedler is a dermatologist and clinical instructor at The Mount Sinai Hospital and St. John's Episcopal Hospital.
00:00.000 --> 00:07.060
00:07.060 --> 00:10.520
When eczema strikes, it feels like
nothing can scratch the itch.
00:10.520 --> 00:15.000
Many of my patients use home remedies to
alleviate the pain and provide relief.
00:15.000 --> 00:17.230
In addition to medication, skin care and
00:17.230 --> 00:21.470
lifestyle changes, home remedies can help
with the patient's overall treatment plan.
00:21.470 --> 00:25.270
Not just for cooking, coconut oil is
a good option to hydrate the skin.
00:25.270 --> 00:29.610
It removes staph bacteria on the skin,
which reduces the chance of infection.
00:29.610 --> 00:31.240
If you'd rather save the coconut oil for
00:31.240 --> 00:34.170
Crisco is a perfectly good alternative.
00:34.170 --> 00:37.760
It was actually the oil many used
before coconut oil became in vogue.
00:38.820 --> 00:42.190
Sunflower oil has properties that
helps the skin retain its moisture and
00:42.190 --> 00:43.930
00:43.930 --> 00:46.410
It's best applied when
the skin is still damp.
00:46.410 --> 00:49.240
Eczema flare up can often be
due to emotional stressors.
00:49.240 --> 00:53.300
Some experts say there's a strong
connection between the mind and skin.
00:53.300 --> 00:56.250
Meditation can help improve
the quality of life, and
00:56.250 --> 00:58.430
can help decrease
the intensity of the itch.
00:58.430 --> 01:01.450
Some dermatologists practice what
is known as psychodermatology
01:01.450 --> 01:03.680
to help alleviate emotional stressors.
01:03.680 --> 01:06.930
Massage is another stress reliever
that can help with eczema flares.
01:06.930 --> 01:08.840
Using oils are great for
hydration as well.
01:10.190 --> 01:13.590
Using a humidifier helps put some of
the moisture back in your environment,
01:13.590 --> 01:16.720
especially in the colder months
when your heating systems suck
01:16.720 --> 01:18.700
moisture out of your skin.
01:18.700 --> 01:22.070
A cool compress is an immediate
solution to alleviate itchy skin.
01:22.070 --> 01:25.660
Just be sure to follow up with
a rich moisturizer afterwards.
01:25.660 --> 01:26.340
If hand and
01:26.340 --> 01:30.670
foot eczema is your issue, give
yourself home spa treatment overnight.
01:30.670 --> 01:34.660
By taking a rich,
thick moisturizing cream or ointment,
01:34.660 --> 01:39.470
following it with some saran wrap and then
covering everything with cotton gloves.
01:39.470 --> 01:42.708
When you wake up in the morning, your
hands and feet will be supple and smooth.
01:42.708 --> 01:45.559
Complementary and alternative treatments. San Rafael, CA: National Eczema Association. (Accessed on December 30, 2020 at https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/complementary-and-alternative/.)Home remedies: What can relieve itchy eczema? Schaumburg, IL: American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed on December 30, 2020 at https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/eczema/eczema-resource-center/skin-care/home-remedies.)