Natural Approaches to Eczema

Woman with eczema scratching her arm and wincing in pain.

There are multiple natural ways to reduce eczema and soothe uncomfortable symptoms associated with this condition. Here are the basics you need to know.

 

What is Eczema?

Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, can be accompanied by hay fever or asthma and is most common in children but can develop at any age. It is a chronic inflammatory condition that flares up periodically, causing the skin to become red, scaly, itchy, and painful. 1 

 

Natural Ways to Reduce Eczema

There are a number of ways to treat eczema, including medication, prescription topical creams, and various natural techniques. Different people respond differently to eczema remedies, and what works for one person may differ from what works for you. The following natural approaches to eczema are helpful to many people, but you should always talk to a healthcare provider about the best option for your unique condition.

 

Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional medicine practice originating thousands of years ago in China. Acupressure uses the same principles as acupuncture, but instead of inserting needles into the body, pressure is applied at specified points in order to reduce inflammation throughout the body. More research is needed, but initial studies suggest that acupressure is an effective way to heal rashes and calm discomfort caused by eczema. 2 

 

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Prebiotics are live bacteria that improve gut health through the microbiome and probiotics are, essentially, food for these bacteria. 3 Probiotics come from fermented foods and prebiotics come from fiber. Studies show that the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics can effectively treat eczema in some people. 4 Sources of prebiotics include legumes, oats, bananas, and berries. Foods high in probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. Supplementation can also be utilized to balance the microbiome.

 

Coconut Oil

Moisturizing skin affected by eczema helps decrease itching and discomfort by reducing dryness, and there are a number of options for moisturizing that are effective at alleviating discomfort. Maintaining skin integrity is also important in minimizing the risk of secondary infections that can happen as a result of broken skin. Coconut oil not only soothes itching and pain but also helps to reduce eczema due to the natural moisturizer’s antibacterial properties. 5 

Finally, this wouldn’t be a naturopathic article if we didn’t discuss addressing the root cause of atopic dermatitis (eczema) which is often an allergy. Naturopathic doctors will not only focus on natural products that can minimize symptom expression, but will work as health detectives to uncover why symptoms are occurring in the first place.

If you experience eczema and are interested in trying natural approaches in conjunction with or instead of medication, speak to a naturopathic doctor for recommendations on the best treatment options for you. 

 

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