Stop the Itch! How to Treat Eczema Naturally
By Marilee Nelson |
Eczema can be a challenging skin condition that is not only uncomfortable (hello, itchy!!) but can also be a window into the body’s elimination process. Did you know that the skin is a primary elimination system of the body and is sometimes called the third kidney?
Eczema usually indicates that there is a toxic backup that the kidneys and lymph system are unable to handle. Making dietary changes to reduce the toxic load and addressing the underlying causes is always foundational. But, thankfully, there are many other steps you can take to reduce the chemical load on your body to reduce and eliminate eczema.
WHERE TO START:
Clothing + Laundry:
Your clothes have 24 /7 contact with the skin and the skin absorbs harmful chemical residues left by conventional laundry detergents, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners. Switch to a nontoxic unscented laundrydetergent and wool dryer balls!
Personal Care Products:
Skin and body care products may contain harmful chemicals that can aggravate eczema. Look for nontoxic body care products. Not sure where to start? These are the products we love.
Epsom Salt Bath: The magnesium in Epsom salt baths helps to support the detox system and relieve inflammation. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. Avoid hot water as it may aggravate the skin. Note: Some people with eczema do not tolerate baths, for others it is soothing and healing.
Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV helps to restore the pH balance of the skin. Add one cup apple cider vinegar to a tub of warm bath water to soothe the skin. Apply coconut oil to itchy areas after bath. Some people also find that adding 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda to bath water relieves itching.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a wonderful remedy for eczema! Apply to skin for antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties that will help decrease itching and flaking, soothe skin, reduce inflammation, and prevent further infection. Adding a little castor oil to the coconut oil enhances the soothing moisturizing effect.
- Raw organic manuka honey is full of anti-bacterial and skin healing benefits for relieving eczema! Apply the raw honey to itchy patches to soothe and reduce inflammation. This eczema remedy contains Manuka honey as a main ingredient.
- Organic Moisturizing Grapefruit Lotion Bars – grapefruit is the key ingredient that possesses anti-microbial properties, assists in the prevention of eczema patches becoming infected, and promotes healing with its anti-inflammatory effects. These bars were formulated by a pharmacist mom looking for a natural safe way to treat her child with eczema.
- Borage oil is high in gamma linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is anti-inflammatory and helpful with eczema.
- Ensure you are using a fragrance-free non-toxic bathroom cleaner. It is just as important to ensure that the bathtub you are soaking in doesn’t have harmful chemical residues from cleaning as it is to ensure the products you are soaking in are safe! Using a bath filter to reduce chlorine/chloramine is beneficial.
- Avoid long hot showers and baths, as these can increase inflammation and strip your skin of oil. Instead take shorter, lukewarm showers and baths with a moisturizing body wash . Soaps, especially scented soaps with chemicals, can dry the skin and exacerbate eczema.
- Avoid wool clothing because it irritates sensitive skin with eczema.
- Avoid synthetic clothing as the chemical treatments can aggravate eczema.
- Wear 100% organic cotton pajamas.
- Try removing gluten and dairy from the diet. Gluten and dairy can be inflammatory and a trigger for eczema in many people.
Have you suffered from eczema? Have any particular non-toxic treatments worked for you?
Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.