By Brooke Cade (see bio below)
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that affects over 30 million Americans. Common as it may be, eczema is still an uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating condition that can compromise your quality of living.
To treat eczema, more and more people are turning away from conventional medicine to essential oils as they search for a more holistic and “big picture” remedy to their skin condition. The anti-inflammatory and stress-reducing properties of essential oils can help to promote healing and lasting change to improve your eczema for good.
In this article, learn more about the causes of eczema, who’s at risk to develop it, as well as the best essential oils for eczema.
What Causes Eczema?
The exact cause of eczema is unknown, and different people can have different triggers. However, the Mayo Clinic has listed the following factors that are likely causes of eczema:
- Dry, irritable skin
- Genetic conditions
- Immune system dysfunction
- Bacteria, particularly staphylococcus aureus
- Environmental factors
Another characteristic of eczema is that it can manifest itself differently in different people. For example, your child may develop red, blotchy weeping eczema on his/her cheeks that they don’t seem to mind, while someone else may have dry, scaly eczema with a significant itch.
Essential Oils For Eczema
Essential oils used as a topical eczema treatments can be very effective. Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying any new treatments, and consider adapting your diet and lifestyle to address all factors that could contribute to your eczema.
Using lavender oil for eczema is very common, as lavender oil is a traditional treatment for many skin conditions. It’s derived from lavender flowers and contains linalool and linalyl aldehyde, which are known for their anti-inflammatory agents and pain reducers. It can also help to relieve the itchiness associated with eczema.
To use lavender oil to treat eczema, you can make your own homemade eczema cream with ingredients like raw shea butter and coconut oil. You can also apply lavender oil undiluted directly to your skin (just a drop or two will be fine) a few times a day until your eczema goes away. This is not recommended for children. Always dilute essential oils when applying to children’s skin.
Sandalwood oil can be an effective oil for treating eczema. It is moisturizing and soothing, with anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties. Many people also use sandalwood oil for stress relief, adding a few drops to a hot bath to promote relaxation.
Sandalwood oil isn’t recommended for pregnant women. Before using sandalwood oil, test a small portion in your skin to see if you have a reaction.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is also commonly used as an essential oil for eczema for its regenerative properties to help heal broken skin and reduce inflammation and swelling associated with various skin conditions. It is also known as a powerful antiseptic that can help prevent infection in especially sore skin that has been vigorously itched. Tea tree oil isn’t recommended for children 6 years old and younger.
Manuka oil is very similar, but while tea tree can be toxic when taken orally in large doses, manuka is not. It may be worthwhile to try Manuka oil in a skin cream such as Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream.
Great Essential Oil Bases for Eczema Treatment
One great way to benefit from essential oils is to mix it with a base oil. This creates a calming lotion that can have added benefits.
As a base for these oils, many people prefer various vegetable oils for their moisturizing properties. Using coconut oil for eczema is especially recommended for its rich, highly moisturizing properties as well as its antibacterial properties. Another great option is to add your essential oils to an oil blended with healing calendula flowers, like this Organic Calendula Oil with a base of olive oil.
Before using essential oils, test a small amount on your skin to ensure you aren’t allergic or susceptible to any adverse reactions and, as always, talk to your doctor about your condition and treatment methods before attempting them.
Bio: Brooke Cade is passionate about health and wellness. She enjoys writing about all the things she loves in life, including yoga, hydrotherapy, Nature’s Sunshine products, and anything related to living life to its fullest.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.