Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by inflamed, red, itchy skin, and is commonly seen in allergy-prone or immune-sensitive individuals. It’s often part of the “allergic march” that describes the typical progression of allergic conditions in an individual—the appearance of eczema in early life, then food sensitivities, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. One recent study found that 71 percent of children with eczema had at least one of these other conditions, demonstrating their inflammatory relationship.
There are various underlying causes for eczema, including food sensitivities, low stomach acid, leaky gut, candida overgrowth, and other factors such as being overheated, being exposed to allergens and stress.
Just as there are various causes, there are several ways to treat eczema, including getting tested for allergen triggers, deciphering food sensitivities, and using topical ointments and lotions that can relieve symptoms. Finding the right combination that works for your skin can take time and a lot of trial and error—so be patient with your body while you figure out the right course of action for treating your eczema.
Take a bath
Cleaning irritants and possible allergens from your skin is one of the primary ways to treat eczema. Be sure that the bathwater isn’t too hot, and use only gentle soaps and cleansers (one to try: African Black Soap). You can also experiment with adding different agents to your bath to see how they impact your condition, such as baking soda, vinegar or oatmeal.
Aloe vera has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments, one of them being eczema. This plant-based remedy is antibacterial and antimicrobial, and doesn’t contain alcohol or other drying agents often found in eczema treatments (which can potentially make your condition worse).
Tea tree oil
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil may help relieve the symptoms of eczema, primarily itchiness and inflamed skin. Just make sure you dilute the oil before applying to skin, either with water or another carrying agent such as coconut oil.
The body’s response to emotional stress is often manifested physically. By reducing the stress in your life, you can help reduce the symptoms of eczema. L-theanine is a supplement derived from green tea that promotes calmness and relaxation. And CBD, derived from extracts of the hemp plant, is often used to treat anxiety (available in extracts, capsules and lotions). In addition to supplements, try meditating or breathing exercises as a way to stabilize and eliminate stress.
Being overheated can exacerbate eczema symptoms and cause you to be more uncomfortable. Stay away from intense heat sources such as radiators or fires, and be sure to dress appropriately for the weather to avoid sweating, which can aggravate itchy skin.
Resolve dietary issues
Try to determine which foods your body reacts poorly to and might be aggravating your eczema symptoms. Foods like milk, soy, eggs, and wheat are known triggers. You can treat low stomach acid with formulas that contain pepsin, such as Thorne Research Betaine HCL + Pepsin or Pure Encapsulations Betaine HCl Pepsin.