A research suggests that there are more than 30 million cases of eczema across the country. Eczema as a whole is not a single condition. It involves a group of conditions that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema which is sometimes also referred to as hand eczema. Following are some of the risk factors and causes of eczema.
- The first and foremost point to note here is that eczema is a genetic predisposition. This means there are high chances that a people may suffer from eczema if the disease runs in their family.
- Adolescent obesity is also one of the conditions that could later cause eczema.
- Low vitamin D levels due to poor nutrition or even during pregnancies might increase the risk of developing eczema in the early years of life.
Although there are some widely-accepted causes of eczema, there are no definitive causes of the skin condition. Some of the common causes include:
- Dysfunctional immune system
- Environmental conditions
- Gene alteration that affects the skin can also result in eczema in the form of inflammation and itchiness
- There are some cases where eczema is caused due to food allergies, beauty products, laundry detergents, and other chemical components
- Temperature changes (which causes sweating) and chronic stress also cause eczema.
Here are some of the popular home remedies to get eczema relief:
- Bath recipes
One of the simplest eczema relief remedies, it requires a cup of vegetable or mineral oil to be poured in a warm bath. This helps in moisturizing and soothing the dry skin caused due to eczema. Apart from this, you can also try mixing 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a glass of milk. Add this to your bath water. Adding finely crushed oatmeal or Epsom salt into the bath water reduces itching and scales. Lavender and other essential oils also have healing and soothing properties and help reduce the symptoms of eczema.
- Vegetable shortening
Vegetable shortening is a thick and greasy kitchen staple which can be applied topically on to the dry, cracked, and scaled skin to help it heal. For effective eczema relief, coat the affected area with the shortening and cover it with plastic wrap and secure it surgical tape and leave it for a couple of hours. Repeat the procedure until the rash calms.
Turmeric helps in reducing the inflammation which is one of the main symptoms of eczema. Turmeric has curcumin and other free radicals which help in reducing the inflammation caused due to eczema thus providing relief.
- Apple cider vinegar
One of the most common ingredient found in every household. Also a disinfectant, apple cider vinegar helps in soothing the inflammation and burns caused due to eczema. Apply vinegar topically on the scaly skin using cotton balls. To cover a larger part, use a clean paper towel soaked in 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Strictly do not use this method if the affected skin is cracked and is bleeding as it might cause severe irritation.
- Tea tree oil
An Australian remedy, this can be used for reducing itching due to eczema, thus providing relief. This home remedy can be used for mild cases. Add a few drops of tea tree oil diluted with olive oil so that it spreads evenly on the affected skin.
One of the most common eczema relief remedies, flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that help block a chemical called arachidonic which causes inflammation in the body. Include a few tablespoons of flaxseeds in your daily diet.
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and healing chemical components that provide relief from itching caused due to itching. Extract aloe vera gel straight from the leaf to get the best results. Aloe vera gel can also be found in drug stores and other food health stores.
- Fish oil
Fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids that help in getting relief from general symptoms of eczema. Make sure you are not consuming omega-6 fatty acids that are found in safflower, sunflower, and corn oil as it can worsen the inflammation and flare-up the symptoms of eczema. Make sure that you consume at least 3 to 4 servings per week of canned fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, lake trout, herring, etc.
- Baking soda
One of the most uncommon eczema relief remedies, baking soda can be used with water to get quick relief from eczema. Mix at least 1 and a half cup of baking soda in 3 gallons of water. Dip a washcloth in the solution and apply it to the itchy area.
Home remedies can be used mostly for mild to moderate cases of eczema. It is important that you consult a health specialist before using any of these remedies. Severe cases of eczema might require medical intervention.