If you have eczema, then you know the feeling of itching and burning skin. You know the feeling when you have a flare up and you want to itch it so bad but know you shouldn’t. Flare ups can come anytime, and they can ruin your day and your plans.
Many people grow up with eczema but grow out of it as they get older. But for some, eczema can last their whole lives. And, even for some, eczema can come on later in life. I didn’t have eczema as a kid. But I recently developed it in my early thirties. At first, I didn’t know what it was, I just kept itching my arm. When I finally went to the doctor, I was diagnosed with eczema to my surprise.
We live at 8,000 feet in altitude and it’s incredibly dry here. My doctor said eczema can come on suddenly when you’ve lived in such a dry climate for so long. Most likely what happened to me.
So, I went home with some steroid cream and within a week my arm was clear. And eczema never came back on my arm, still to this day! But shortly after that, it started to appear on the front of my thighs and shins. And ever since that’s where I’ve had it appear and disappear for years.
Whenever I leave town, it magically goes away. And when I come home it reappears at some point. So, I have been testing and trying all the natural remedies for eczema for years now. And, I have some really good ones to share with you, ones that have helped me stop using steroids!
So, I’m sharing 25 natural remedies for eczema that you need now. And I’m not going to make you read my entire list to get to the good stuff. I’m starting with my top picks first and moving my way down. This is what works for me, but everyone is different, and different things can work for different people. So, try these natural remedies for eczema, and see what works for you!
This is my number one recommendation for eczema! I just found Gladskin last month, and I bought a bottle, not really expecting too much from them honestly. I had been having bad eczema recently as it’s always worse in the winter for me.
And to my surprise, this stuff works like a steroid cream. It helps relieve itch that quickly and it clears up red and irritated skin, making it smooth again! All I’m left with right now are scars on my legs, which is amazing. So, I will continue to use this daily. I hope it continues to keep working as good as it has been! Use code MIMI10 for a discount to shop at Gladskin.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
I moisturize with Organic Aloe Vera Gel daily. I use this instead of regular lotion. Organic Aloe Vera Gel moisturizes, heals, and soothes. So, it really does wonders for eczema prone skin and even if you have a flare up. I use this Organic Aloe Vera Gel everywhere on my body every morning after I get out of the shower, and then I put the Gladskin on my legs after the aloe dries as that is the spot my eczema comes back to.
I feel like sunlight helps my eczema. While it can be a trigger for some people, for me I feel it helps. My eczema is always better in the summer or when I’m getting some natural sunlight. Just be sure to wear sunscreen.
4. Take Cooler Showers
This is incredibly hard to do! I love a hot shower, a really hot shower. But, hot water can seriously irritate skin, not even just eczema! Hot water can dry out your skin, no matter if you have eczema or not. So, when you do have it, it can make it worse.
Try taking a cooler shower, which I know is incredibly difficult. But, this is also why I feel my eczema is better in the summer because I naturally take cooler showers because it is so hot out. Where in the winter, I want to just stand and soak in the hottest water possible! Another trick I do if I am taking a hot shower because it’s freezing out, I will end with cold water on my eczema areas, such as my legs. This cools down my skin but doesn’t make my entire body shiver.
Also, avoiding places like hot tubs or hot springs can benefit eczema prone skin. Hot water in the form of hot springs and hot tubs, also dries out skin incredibly. Especially hot tubs, as they have added chlorine.
5. Moisturize Within 3 Minutes of Showering
This is also incredibly hard for me to do, haha. I’m one of those people who likes to sit on the ottoman in my closet in my towel for many minutes, many more than 3 minutes! I also hate moisturizing unless I feel totally dry, otherwise it makes me feel hot (probably because I just took a hot shower!).
But that’s what this one is all about. Locking in moisture after a shower is important to do! That’s why moisturizing within 3 minutes of showering helps prevent flare ups. So, try to moisturize right after you get out of the shower. And if you take a cooler shower, this should also be easier to do, haha.
6. Moisturize 4x Per Day
My doctor told me I’m not moisturizing enough unless it’s at least four times per day! I was surprised at this as I thought I was doing well because I moisturized once a day after I got out of the shower! Nope, not good enough.
Now, I moisturize four times per day. I moisturize right when I wake up, before I work out. Then again after I shower, and again at some point in the afternoon. And again, before bed.
I use Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion in the morning, Organic Aloe Vera Gel right after I shower, then Gladskin, and either Organic Aloe Vera Gel or Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion in the afternoon, and Gladksin before bed. I really like the Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion, even though it is not organic. But it has very minimal ingredients and I’ve tried so many lotions, and this one really locks in moisture and seriously prevents dry skin, it’s a game changer! It also helps dry skin on hands like no other. I highly recommend it!
Try adding a small bottle of moisturizer into your purse, bag, or wherever you need to so that you can moisturize the spots where you get flare ups as often as possible!
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help boost your immune system, and when you have a healthy immune system, you have less flare ups. Vitamin C can be taken in a tablet or you can get it naturally from foods like oranges, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and more. I also love putting Organic Acerola Cherry Powder in my smoothies as it's packed with vitamin C.
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can help suppress inflammation and promote a stronger skin barrier, so it’s been known to help with eczema. You get natural vitamin D from sunlight, which is probably why I feel sunlight helps my eczema. But, in some people sunlight may trigger eczema.
But if it makes yours feel better try to get your vitamin D whenever you can as long as you’re wearing sunscreen. If you live in an area where there isn’t a lot of sun, try a supplement for vitamin D or vitamin D3, like Mary Ruth’s Organic Vitamin D3 Spray. I have this in my pantry and when I feel like the sun hasn’t been showing for a few days in the winter I use the spray.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have shown that taking an oral supplement or using it topically can help reduce inflammation. Try taking a supplement or you can use an organic vitamin E oil on flare ups.
10. Calendula for Itch
I was using this mostly for itch and relief before I found Gladskin. Calendula is a natural anti itch. I buy this Organic Calendula Salve that works very well for itch. The only downside is it’s a salve and it is greasy. It's great to put on in the evening when you go to bed.
11. Wear Loose Fitting Clothing
I think this is partially why my eczema is better in the summer and worse in the winter. I work out in shorts, and I wear loose shorts, and dresses in the summer. And in the winter, I work out in leggings and wear skinny jeans. So, my winter wardrobe includes more tight fitting clothing.
Wearing loose fitting clothing gives your skin room to breathe! So, if you’re always in leggings or skinny jeans and your eczema is bad on your legs, it could benefit from wearing looser pants. I limit the amount of time I’m in leggings, I wear them for working out only, and then I either shower immediately or if I’m cleaning the house, I’ll change into joggers so I’m not in them for hours at a time.
12. Wear Natural Fabrics
I have always worn mostly cotton clothing my whole life. My mom was big into quality clothing and materials, so I was fortunate enough to grow up with the sense to check labels. And fabrics I have always stayed away from are rayon, acrylic, wool, viscose, and polyester. I have always noticed that these fabrics are itchy, and they also don’t wash well.
Try switching to 100% organic cotton bras, cotton tops, cotton jeans. Pay attention to the clothing that sits directly on your skin, especially where eczema flare ups happen. Don’t worry so much about coats and jackets as those go over clothing and you don’t wear them all day.
I know it’s insanely difficult to wear only cotton, and many items also have polyester or spandex. But you can do it! I wear only cotton with a little leniency for polyester or spandex only in things like skinny jeans, workout leggings, joggers, or sweats. I stay away completely from rayon, viscose, acrylic, wool, and even linen, as I’ve noticed these fabrics can make me itchy. I only wear polyester when it’s blended with cotton by a small amount, like a sweatshirt that’s 80/20 cotton/poly. I stay away from 100% poly dresses, skirts, and shorts.
So, get in the habit of reading labels. Not sure where to look to find fabric content on your clothes? Inside on the left seam of tops and pants you should find a tag that usually has a few tags. On the first or second one of those tags, you will find the fabric content of the item. If you shop online, be sure to read the fabric content in the description before checking out.
And conduct a closet clean out of you have to. Invest in some new wardrobe pieces that you wear all the time that sit close to the skin. If you need recommendations don’t hesitate to email me! But my favorite places to shop include Pact, Gap (they have organic cotton bras and tops, and jeans that are 100% cotton), J.Crew has a better cotton initiative, and my online shop has organic cotton tees and soft cotton sweatshirts! Use code ECZEMA for 20% off when you spend $100 at my online shop.
Probiotics can help your gut microbiome health, and this can be related to skin health. This is all fairly new and there’s not a ton of backing here as you can’t possibly know what the state of the microbes in your gut are. But probiotics are good for you, so it doesn’t hurt to take some! Probiotics come in many forms, such as in Kombucha, kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. They also come in liquids or in pills.
If you live in a very dry climate, like I do, a humidifier may help with eczema if the dryness of your skin is causing flare ups. I have a humidifier, but to be honest I’ve used it five times since I bought it. I can’t seem to get in the habit of tending to it each day to see if it actually helps! But since I’ve had no flare ups since using Gladskin, it hasn’t been at the top of my mind. But, it’s an inexpensive item you can buy that could help.
15. Coconut Oil
Organic coconut oil (yes, the same organic coconut oil you use to cook and bake with), can help relieve dry itchy skin. Coconut oil acts as a barrier on skin and can lock in moisture. You can use it as one of your moisturizers throughout the day. The fact that it’s greasy is the only downfall.
Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And much of eczema is caused by bad bacteria. So, rubbing a little honey on an itch can help. The downfall here is that it's sticky.
17. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil also has antibacterial properties. So, using it on eczema can also help. I have an Organic Tea Tree Roller that I have in my medicine cabinet all the time. If you work out of the house, it’s easy to put in your pocket or purse and you can quickly roll it on anytime.
18. Licorice Root Extract
Licorice extract is a natural ingredient that is known to help with skin issues, such as eczema. Just like tea tree oil and honey, it has anti-inflammatory properties. You can add it to coconut oil for itch relief.
19. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Some people believe that certain foods can be triggers for eczema. When you get a flare up, your immune system is compromised. And eating inflammatory foods can create a compromised immune system which can lead to a flare up.
Inflammatory foods include things like red and processed meats, white carbs like pasta, white rice, or sugary cereals, chips and crackers, sugary beverages, and fried foods. There is a book called The Eczema Relief Diet & Cookbook and how food can relate to eczema flare ups. I don’t have it, but it looks interesting.
20. Notice Trigger Foods
Some people believe that certain foods can trigger eczema. Some of those foods include wheat, citrus, soy, broccoli, eggs, dairy, or tomatoes. And these things are even considered healthy!
Food can be hard to pinpoint. But if you do notice you seem to always get a flare up after eating ice cream or eggs, listen to your body. You could try eliminating that food for 3 weeks, and then eat it and see if you get a flare up in the next 24-48 hours. If so, it could be causing the flare.
21. Use Gentle Soaps
I can’t stress this enough, using gentle soaps is a big deal for people with eczema. So many soaps contain artificial fragrances and colors that can irritate your skin. Whenever buying soap, opt for fragrance free and go organic!
Soaps can include body soap, hand soap, dish washing soap! Here are my top picks that I use at home. For hand and body soap I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I use the bar in the shower and the liquid soap for our soap dispensers. I use the Citrus scent as it’s only organic orange and lemon oil, and I like the scent. They also have a lavender scent, and lavender can also help with eczema but I personally hate the smell. But many people love it, so that's an extra bonus! And, they also have an unscented one too.
For dish soap we use the Better Life Dish Soap. And if I’m in a pinch and Amazon hasn’t delivered my order in time (which happens all the time here!) then I buy the Open Nature Free & Clear Dish Soap at Vons.
22. Use Gentle Detergents
Just like with soap, laundry detergents can contain many unwanted chemicals that can irritate skin. So be sure to use general laundry detergent that’s also fragrance free. The laundry soap I use is Ecos Laundry Detergent Sheets, they are hypoallergenic and they are free & clear.
23. Use Fragrance Free Air Fresheners
Like I mentioned above, fragrance free is important as synthetic fragrances can irritate skin and you never know exactly what are in fragrances as it’s such a vague ingredient! So always opt for fragrance free soaps, detergents, and stay away from air fresheners as these all contain synthetic fragrances!
Things like Fabreze are known to irritate eczema. I have an insanely heightened sense of smell and many fragrances can make me feel sick, give me a headache, and more. So, I don’t use air fresheners. But many people like them and there is an organic way to use them that doesn’t include synthetic fragrances! Check out my DIY Organic Air Freshener post to learn how to make your own organic air fresheners with just 3 ingredients!
24. SkinSmart Antimicrobial Eczema Therapy
SkinSmart Antimicrobial Eczema Therapy targets bacteria linked to 70% of eczema conditions. It’s safe for your scalp, face, and even eyelids, according to SkinSmart. This is a simple spray that you can spray on flare ups. I have this, and it didn’t really work for me. But it has a lot of positive reviews and many people have said it has worked for them. Many people also said it worked on acne, I tried that, and I noticed a difference there. Makes sense as it kills bacteria! So, it's staying in my bathroom.
25. Cool Compress
When all else fails and you need relief now, a cool compress feels so good. All you need to do is run cold water and wet a clean washcloth. Make sure it’s clean so you’re not adding more dirt and bacteria to your flare up!
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