Even though an estimated 16.5 million adults suffer from atopic dermatitis in the United States alone, research still hasn’t found anything to cure it. Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a condition that creates itchy, red, inflamed, and sometimes even scaly skin. It’s uncomfortable to live with and creates confidence issues for some people. Fortunately, even though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure, there are steps you can take to manage your dermatitis naturally. These natural treatments generally have a lower risk of side effects and are at least as effective as prescriptions used to treat dermatitis.
Dermatitis has many causes, however, the symptoms are generally characterized by a thinner, weaker, and drier outer layer of skin. Since skin is dry and itchy, it’s susceptible to damage and skin can easily open when scratched. Any open wounds also have a greater chance of infection. Many of the remedies recommended here help improve this skin barrier and reduce the symptoms associated with eczema. Of course, if you are already treating your dermatitis using cream or medication from the doctor, it’s always advised to discuss any natural remedies you’d like to try.
1. Try Colloidal Oatmeal to Relieve Redness and Itching
Oatmeal is a popular skincare additive for it’s nourishing properties, but it is also a century-old remedy for red, itchy skin. Scientists have studied its use in treating dermatitis and eczema, and one double-blind study found that it was at least as effective as prescribed topical treatments. Colloidal oatmeal works because it has high levels of starch that attract moisture and lock it into the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that reduce redness and stop itching. As an added benefit, you can make colloidal oatmeal at home by blending oats until they are fine and powdery.
If you are going to try a warm bath, you’ll want to use a powdered form of colloidal oatmeal. It is also available in a cream, which may be a good alternative for people whose dermatitis is irritated by soaking in water. For the most effectiveness, add powdered oatmeal to a warm bath and soak for ten minutes. When you’re finished, pat your skin dry and apply a hypoallergenic moisturizer or topical cream. You can soak longer if your skin tolerates it, but avoid soaking so long that the bath dries your skin out and makes eczema worse.