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By Laura Dolgy (see bio below)
If you’re suffering from eczema and researching remedies to heal your skin naturally, then you most likely have already come across using witch hazel for eczema.
Witch hazel is currently being used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments such as bug bites, acne, haemorrhoids and lastly, eczema.
Learn all about witch hazel and eczema below!
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is a strong astringent made from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel shrub.
Studies have shown that witch hazel possesses certain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is also shown to restore water loss and encourage hydration to the outer layer of the skin, which eczema prone skin desperately needs.
It is an herb that can be found in several creams, treatments or as a standalone oil.
Why Use Witch Hazel for Eczema?
Witch hazel contains natural chemicals such as tannins, flavonoids and resin that are beneficial to eczema prone skin. These natural chemicals contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can benefit dry, irritated and itchy skin caused by eczema.
There is very little research done on witch hazel on eczema, but most studies do not consider witch hazel as an eczema remedy. In fact, one study that compared two different products: hydrocortisone steroid cream and a placebo cream against a witch hazel cream showed that all the treatments reduced itching, scaling, and redness at one week, but the steroid cream was the best at reducing symptoms . This proves that witch hazel might not be considered an eczema therapy, but can perhaps help in providing relief.
In fact, the herb has shown to help with not only itching, but calming irritated, red skin as well as drying up oozing skin brought on by weeping eczema.
Researching online, you’ll find many eczema sufferers who have and still do have significant results using witch hazel for eczema. Like many other home remedies, testing will determine its effect on your skin.
How To Use Witch Hazel on Eczema?
Like with other home remedies, it is always best to seek professional help if you are suffering from severe eczema.
When trying any new ingredient or remedy, it is also best to start slowly. Patch testing witch hazel on a clean area of skin can best determine whether you are allergic to the herb.
Although there are many witch hazel products sold in pharmacies and stores, we suggest avoiding these for eczema. Many of these solutions contain alcohol that will exacerbate and dry eczema even further.
Once you purchase the solution of your choice, you want to make sure to dilute it with water or a carrier oil like coconut oil or Organic olive oil.
Opting for a natural witch hazel oil will allow you to avoid additional ingredients that might cause your eczema to flare. It can also be easily added to any cream or balm you might be using like this Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream.
Once your witch hazel oil is diluted, you can use a cotton pad or towel to dab it on skin. Remember to avoid rubbing skin, as this can cause further irritation.
1. Korting HC, Schafer-Korting M, Klovekorn W, et al. Comparative efficacy of hamamelis distillate and hydrocortisone cream in atopic eczema. Eur J Clin Pharmacol.1995;48(6):461-465; PMID: 8582464.