The skin in our body is an outer covering that is made up of multiple layers of mesodermal tissue. It protects the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. The skin’s function is to protect the body against germs, and excessive water loss. It also regulates heat and temperature, and synthesizes vitamin D.
The skin is made up of a thin outer layer called the epidermis, a fairly elastic one in the middle (the dermis) and the subcutaneous tissue which is a layer of fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves at the deepest level. Each layer contains skin cells, water and fats, all of which help in maintaining and protecting the condition of the skin. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue which may be discolored or lose its pigment.
Healthy skin cells are plumped up with water, forming a protective barrier against damage and infection. Fats and oils in the skin help in retaining moisture, maintaining body temperature and also prevent harmful substances or bacteria from entering the body.
Eczema is a group of skin disorders. It is typically characterized by itching, inflammation and redness. Persons with eczema will have skin that does not produce adequate fats and oils and will be less capable of retaining water. This will cause an insufficient protective barrier. Gaps open up between the skin cells because they are not sufficiently plumped up with water. Moisture is then lost from the deeper layers of the skin, allowing bacteria or irritants to pass through more easily. Substances such as soap, bubble bath and so on, when used frequently, will remove oil from the skin and contribute to its break down. Persons with eczema will experience irritated, cracked and inflamed skin because it is prone to drying out and getting easily damaged.
Remedies for Eczema
Home, Natural and Herbal Remedies
- Peppermint oil: An oil that is effective in providing relief from itching caused due to eczema is peppermint oil. Rub a drop of diluted peppermint oil over the affected area.
- Neem oil: Neem oil is rich in anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. In order to treat eczema, it is recommended that the person take 2 neem leaf-based capsules per day and also apply 2% strength neem oil cream. However, pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant, are advised not to take neem based products.
- Patchouli: Patchouli is an essential oil that has antiseptic properties which help in controlling eczema outbreaks.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is very popular due to its ability to clear up eczema patches, relieve the accompanying itch and reduce the redness and swelling that result from an outbreak. This oil can be applied topically to the skin, or it can be used in creams, cleansers or lotions.
- Natural oatmeal: Prepare a warm bath with natural oatmeal to relieve constant itching, redness and dry skin. Ensure you soak the body in the oatmeal water. Aloe vera gel can be applied after the bath.
- Camphor, sandalwood, nutmeg: A good home remedy for eczema is to apply a mixture of 1 teaspoon camphor and 1 teaspoon sandalwood paste on the rashes. The application of a nutmeg paste to the affected areas is also effective.
- Vitamin E oil: Apply natural vitamin E oil on the affected skin to relieve itching. The lotion of blueberry leaves reduces inflammation.
- Zinc: Zinc taken orally and applied directly on the affected areas of the skin is an effective eczema remedy.
- Fish oil and fresh avocado: Including fish oil and fresh avocado in a person’s daily diet is also said to help the effects of eczema.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil can be applied to the affected areas to help sooth the skin and keep it soft.
- Apple cider vinegar and water: A 50-50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, when applied to the affected areas, is said to aid in relieving itching and dryness caused due to eczema.
- Organic evening primrose oil and organic calendula oil: Applying organic evening primrose oil or organic calendula oil on the areas affected by eczema is also said to provide some relief.
- Papaya seeds: Papaya seeds can be crushed and applied as a poultice to the eczema to prevent itching.
The perfect natural remedy for eczema that suits an individual will have to be discovered by trial and error process. You can use the above mentioned suggestions to discover that home remedy that best suits your needs and proves to be the most effective cure for you.