Cold weather is upon us. Are you already battling eczema? Do you deal with it every day? We came up with some amazing tips to help heal your dry itchy eczema!
Eczema Treatment Tips:
Topicals: Applying things like balms, oils, and lotions help to seal in moisture and soften dry cracked skin. Look for products with natural ingredients and oils. Some great examples are shea butter, hemp seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and many more because they help relieve inflammation and itching. Coconut oil is also a really good anti-bacterial. Colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats) is another really great topical. It's very moisturizing and relieves serious itching! You can find our fantastically popular and effective Eczema products here.
Try taking an oatmeal bath by putting oats in a muslin bag and popping it in your bath water. You can also add in some other beneficial herbs to make a nice bath soak. Neem oil, calendula, and chamomile are also good for relieving inflammation, reducing redness, speeding the healing process, reducing pain, and relieving itchiness.
One of our team members, Autumn, occasionally suffers with eczema and likes keeping calendula hydrosol on hand. It hydrates, relieves itching, and absorbs quickly. It's very convenient to use when you are doing something where you don't want lotion on.
Apple cider vinegar is an another option to relieve itching and kill germs. It helps to balance the skin's acidity level. People with eczema may have less acidic skin than normal. Soaps are usually on the alkaline side which may explain why people get eczema flare ups when they use certain soaps. A safe dilution is 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water.
Bentonite clay can help relieve the itching and pain. It circulates blood to the area which helps reduce pain and it can also kill bacteria. You can easily make your own DIY clay mask with bentonite clay, colloidal oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils of your choice. Some of our favorites are turmeric, peppermint, and lavender. If you find the bentonite clay a little too drying you can add an oil of your choice or select a more moisturizing type of clay such as kaolin.
Using a type of therapy called wet wrap therapy can help during severe flare ups, as they rehydrate the skin and help topicals work better. Wet wrap therapy involves slightly moistening clean cotton clothing or gauze with warm water and putting on the affected area. You then put a dry layer on top of that to make sure the layer underneath doesn't dry out. Next, you put on your normal clothing. You should do this after you have bathed and applied a topical treatment. The wet wrap should be left on for several hours or overnight.
(From the National Eczema Association)
Gentle Soaps: Traditional soap bars, body washes, and laundry detergents contain harsh surfactants and chemicals that dry out the skin. Opting for chemical free natural soaps will help reduce dryness and irritation. It's also best to avoid products that have exfoliating particles, as they can irritate skin more. Using laundry detergents that are fragrance and color free usually help relieve eczema symptoms as well. Ecos, Molly's Suds, and Seventh Generation make free & clear laundry detergents. You can also try making your own using castile soap. For a castile soap detergent use 1/3-1/2 cup of soap for a large load. Cut those amounts in half for HE machines. You can make your own natural fabric softener by just using distilled white vinegar. You can also add some of your favorite essential oils.
Protect Your Skin: Protecting your skin from extreme cold weather is very important. The harsh cold, snow, and wind will dry out your skin so bundle up from head to toe to avoid irritation. You should also try to avoid going from hot to cold and vise versa. Major temperature changes like this can make the skin itchy and dry. Your skin will also thank you if you avoid taking hot showers and baths. Try to moisturize right after a shower to really seal in the moisture. You might also consider using a humidifier in the winter to help keep the skin more moisturized.
Making sure you are getting enough vitamin D is also key with eczema, as your skin needs this vitamin to help repair itself.
Beneficial Foods: Studies have shown that people with eczema can have their symptoms worsen with certain foods. Common food allergies can cause eczema. Examples are eggs. milk, and shelfish. Try to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as beans, lentils, fruits, veggies, leafy greens, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger.
We hope these tips give you some ideas for how to help tame and heal your dry skin and eczema issues.
We have a whole section dedicated to Natural Chemical Free Eczema Products that will help tame your itchy skin. We sell soaps, lotions, creams, balms, body oil, and so much more.