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Top 10 Natural Ways to Treat This Common Skin Condition
It seems as if everyone knows someone who has suffered from eczema, that irritating and sometimes painful inflammation of the skin that affects as many as 30 million Americans. Most cases of eczema are related to diet or problems with their gut bacteria. Sometimes it’s allergies to foods, other times it’s sensitivity to food dyes or additives.
Unfortunately, most of the “cures” for this skin condition are downright scary. Bleach baths, steroids, and hydrocortisone treatments are commonly recommended. You don’t have to go that route, however. First, try to address the food issue that is the base cause of the problem. Try eliminating wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, corn, beef, tomatoes, and citrus from the diet. These are often a major contributor to eczema. Another issue is stress. Stress and genetics also play a role in this disease and while we can’t change our genetics, we can change our stress levels and learn how to appropriately deal with stress and remove it from our lives as much as possible.
After these issues have been addressed, take a look at the top 10 natural ways you can treat eczema.
1. Get sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids
Even if you don’t have eczema, your body needs these essential fatty acids. Some studies show that about 90 percent of Americans are deficient in these essential fatty acids because our bodies cannot make them on their own, we must obtain them from our diets. It’s recommended that we get between 7 and 11 grams each week.
Cold water fish, cod liver oil, krill oil, chia seeds, and flax seeds are one great way to add more of these healthy essential fatty acid omega-3’s into our diets. Hemp oil, primrose oil, and borage oil are also good sources of another essential fatty acid called omega-6.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is simply great for everything, from skin conditioner to cooking (See more about coconut oil uses). It’s also great for those with eczema. (As long as that person isn’t sensitive or allergic to it!)
Placing a thin layer of coconut oil helps to stop the itching, pain, and cool eczema. If you are one of the unfortunate ones who are allergic to coconut, there are hypoallergenic lotion bars you can buy at most health foods stores that work well.
Of course, in today’s modern world, it’s impossible to completely avoid toxins entirely, but we can lessen our exposure to toxins in our day to day lives. Remove all pesticides, herbicides, and toxic cleaning products from your home. Then set up a regular detox routine, which, besides juice detoxing, should include some massage and sweating (think saunas) detox programs.
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4. Fermented cod liver oil
OK, so it doesn’t taste good. However, fermented cod liver oil is probably one of the best supplements you can take on a daily basis for good health, and for those with eczema. This is a great source of healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation in the body while leading to healthy hormones, brain development, and healthy cells. Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamins D, E, K, and A, all of which are important to hundreds of processes in our bodies. Supplements can be a bit expensive, but they will heal your skin like nothing else.
5. Manage stress
Too many Americans live stress filled lives that we do not know how to deal with. Although stress alone is not enough to cause eczema on its own, but it can cause flare ups. Practice deep breathing. This sounds overly simple, but this practice alone can work like a charm and you and you can do this anywhere, even in the car. You can also try exercise, yoga (see best yoga poses for stress), and meditation. Also, be sure you are getting enough sleep every night.
6. Use a homemade salve
Mix up the following recipe to help ease the pain of eczema. It can also help to speed healing. You might want to avoid creams like Neosporin, as they contain petroleum.
- 2 Cups almond or olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of comfrey leaf
- 2 Tablespoon plantain leaf ( not banana leafs)
- 1 Teaspoon Echinacea root
- 1 Tablespoon calendula flowers
- 1 Teaspoon yarrow flowers
- 1 Teaspoon rosemary leafs
- ¼ Cup of beeswax pastilles
- ½ Teaspoon vitamin E oil
Infuse all the herbs into the olive/almond oil. (Put the herbs and oil in a jar for 4 weeks, shaking every few days) Strain the herbs by pouring the oil through cheesecloth. Let all the oil drain out and then squeeze the cloth well to get out the remaining oil. Throw the herbs away. Now heat the oil in double boiler, along with the beeswax, until melted and well combined. Pour into small containers such as old lip balm tubes, small tins, or glass jars. This works well on bug bites, stings, cuts, diaper rash, and eczema.
SEE ALSO: 7 All Natural Allergy Remedies that Work
7. Eat more probiotics
Probiotics are another supplement that makes a big difference in your skin health. Since your gut bacteria is so important (and important if you want to cure eczema) probiotic rich foods, or supplements, are the way to go. Try to eat more foods such as kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
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8. Magnesium baths
For some people, water only seems to make their eczema even worse. If you are one of these people, this is not for you, but if water does not bother your skin, then magnesium baths can be very helpful.
Add about 1 cup of Epsom salts or magnesium flakes, along with a few tablespoon of Himalayan salt to your next bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. This is another way to help stop the pain and itching of eczema and speed up the healing process.
9. Ocean spray
If you have eczema that is the wet or oozing kind, sometimes trying to dry it out works better than trying to keep it moist. Try making a mix of water, magnesium oil, and a bit of salt and spray the affected areas. Of course, for those of you lucky enough to live near the ocean, dip the affected areas in sea water and let dry in the sun.
10. Eat gelatin rich foods
Eat more bone broth soups to get more natural gelatin into your diet. Gelatin is very soothing to the digestive system and is great for your skin and hair. Always use bones from grass fed, free range beef or chicken. For those of you who just can’t deal with making soup, there are gelatin supplements instead. Look for supplements that are “kosher” as these largely come from natural, grass fed cows and will be higher in nutrients.
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