Eczema is an inflammation with symptoms that can present as irritated skin, inflamed skin, and dry skin, which may itch or burn. Eczema may also produce cracks in your skin and blisters.
Although there are at least seven different types of eczema, contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis are the most common. You can get contact dermatitis from being in contact with an irritant or something you are allergic to.
There is no cure for the condition so the goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms. Often, this includes a combination of moisturizing anti-itch creams and medications.
When prescription drugs cannot relieve eczema, patients turn to alternative remedies. Though evidence is still in the early stages, their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties may ease the symptoms.
Essential oils are extracts from plants that may help to relieve the symptoms of eczema when other solutions aren’t doing it for you.
Top Natural Essential Oils for Eczema
Here are some of the most popular essential and natural oils found to help with this condition.
Borage oil comes from the seeds of the borage plant. It is high in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid beneficial for people with eczema. GLA helps reduce inflammation and irritation and improves the skin’s overall health.
Calendula oil is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It is an antioxidant, which can help heal damaged skin cells and promote healthy skin growth. It contains medicinal properties that help the skin retain moisture and reduce itching.
Chamomile essential oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant properties which aid in relieving itchy and irritated skin.
Clove is an essential oil with many medicinal purposes. It can help to numb and reduce pain in a toothache as well as eliminate bacteria that causes bad breath. Another benefit is minimizing inflammation and itching associated with conditions such as eczema.
Eucalyptus oil is a staple in many natural beauty products because it can help with various skin conditions, including eczema. Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory and can stimulate blood flow in the pores, which helps clear up eczema flare-ups and reduce swelling.
Geranium oil is known for its medicinal properties that help to improve circulation. It also has a calming effect on the mind, which can help you better cope with the irritation of eczema.
Lavender oil is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of skin conditions, including eczema. Lavender oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It’s perfect for treating eczema, soothing, and healing the skin.
Peppermint essential oil can help to reduce the itching and inflammation associated with eczema and relieve dry skin.
Sunflower oil is a light, non-greasy, and easily absorbed oil that is perfect for eczema-prone skin. It is high in oleic acid, which helps to soothe and protect the skin. Sunflower oil is also rich in vitamins A, D, and E, which help to nourish and protect the skin.
Other Botanical Oils (May be used as carrier oils)
Many carrier oils can dilute essential oils. The best carrier oil for eczema depends on the person and their skin condition so always consult with your doctor and test your oils in a small patch prior to applying.
Coconut oil is vegetable oil from coconuts composed of medium-chain fatty acids. They are easier for the body to break down and use. Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties that can help with eczema, so it’s good to put on the skin after cleansing it.
Jojoba oil is a liquid wax ester extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It has a long shelf life and is non-comedogenic, so it will not clog pores. Jojoba oil is also hypoallergenic so it’s a good option for people with allergies. Jojoba oil can help soothe and heal eczema by restoring the skin’s natural lipid barrier.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent that can disinfect cuts and treat acne. Tea tree oil is also a good option for people with allergies because it is hypoallergenic. Tea tree oil can help soothe and heal eczema by restoring the skin’s natural lipid barrier. Tea tree oil is not a carrier oil though so do not apply this directly to your skin.
Essential Oil Risks & Precautions
When using essential oils for the first time, always do a patch or skin test. Some people may have an allergic reaction to essential oils, so be aware of the risks before using them.
You can do a patch test by applying a small amount of diluted essential oil to your skin. Then, wait 24 hours to see if you have any reactions.Essential oils are very potent and concentrated, so you must pay attention to the recommended use and consult with your medical professional prior to using.
How to Use Essential Oils
Topical and inhalation are two of the most popular ways to use essential oils for eczema.
When using essential oils for topical application, always dilute them with a carrier oil. In doing so, you reduce the risk of unpleasant reactions or skin sensitivities.
To dilute, add a small amount of the essential oil to a carrier oil. Never apply an essential oil directly to your skin without diluting it first, as it can cause skin irritation.
Diffusion is dispersing an essential oil into the air. It’s best to diffuse essential oils in a well-ventilated area. Add a few drops to a diffuser with water to diffuse essential oil into the air.
Personal inhalers are another way that people use essential oils. The inhaler is a small tube that contains the essential oil. To use, place it close to your nose and inhale.
When using essential oils, it is important to remember that they are not safe for ingestion. Ingesting essential oils can cause serious health problems. They should only be used for diffusion, inhalation, or topical application.
If you are looking into using essential oils for your skin condition, seek advice from a medical professional first to be sure they’re a viable option for you.
Causes of Eczema
The causes of eczema vary and range from allergies to external factors like stress or hygiene. Below are some of the most common causes.
Many foods can trigger eczema. For example, foods high in sugars may aggravate an existing condition. It can also happen from ingesting artificial dyes that provoke inflammation.
A protein called filaggrin is vital for the outer barrier function of the skin. An inherited gene mutation can cause eczema by inhibiting filaggrin’s function.
Hormone changes can trigger imbalances that cause eczema flare-ups. Changes in hormone levels occur days before menstruation, during pregnancy, or when approaching menopause.
An injury can cause eczema by releasing histamines, which cause itchiness and inflammation. Injuries can also lead to scratching, a risk factor for skin infections that may contribute to eczema.
Common irritants that trigger eczema are detergents, solvents, smoke, animal dander, pollens, and molds.
Some common medications that can cause eczema flare-ups include ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Talk to your doctor if you notice increased eczema symptoms while taking these medications.
Stress can impact one’s immune system and skin barrier, making one more prone to eczema. When stressed, the body produces the hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels suppress the immune system and lead to inflammation.
When to Call a Doctor About Eczema
Essential oils can help you manage skin conditions such as eczema. However, sometimes it is necessary to seek medical attention.
Among the reasons you may need to see a doctor about eczema are:
- If painful, fluid-filled blisters appear.
- Eczema that develops yellow crusting or pus-filled blisters could indicate an infection.
- If you become feverish, experience chills, loss of energy, or develop signs of infection, such as blisters and excessive itching.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to call a doctor. Eczema can be a serious condition if not treated properly.
Essential oils have promising properties and records of impressive results. Still, everyone is different, and reactions will vary from person to person.
While essential oils have been beneficial in some cases, it’s important to consider that more research is necessary to prove their clinical efficacy.
Essential oils are not FDA regulated and may have side effects, so consult your doctor before using them. With these points in mind, essential oils have shown incredible antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.
Soothing Scents is the best place to purchase essential oils. We pride ourselves on providing high-quality, reliable, and reputable products which are trusted by hospitals and medical facilities throughout the United States.