13. Try Evening Primrose Oil to Soothe Irritated Skin
Primrose oil is made by cold pressing parts of the evening primrose plant that grows natively in Europe, North and South America, and some of Asia. The official studies still show mixed results for using evening primrose oil as a treatment for dermatitis. However, it has been used for centuries in Native American medicine because of its inflammatory benefits. Recent research shows effectiveness in treating rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, and more. It’s effective because primrose oil significantly reduces inflammation, one of the main symptoms of dermatitis.
Evening primrose contains omega-6 fatty acids, including beneficial gamma-lineolic acid (GLA). When ingested, GLAs are converted into a compound that slows the production of inflammatory compounds in the body. By reducing these compounds, there is less inflammation. Something to note is that evening primrose oil may thin the cervix or interact with medications, so it should not be used by pregnant women or people on medication without physician guidance. You can apply primrose oil directly to the skin, take it as a supplement, or add a few drops to another cream or moisturizer.
14. Apply Honey for a Protective Barrier That Heals Open Wounds
Honey is another of those natural ways to fight dermatitis that has a long history in traditional medicine. It has incredible anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that prevent infection. Additionally, honey is a humectant. Humectants create a moist, protective barrier over the wound that keeps it protected without drying it out. Honey also has a slighly acidic makeup, and its organic acid gently exfoliates skin to remove dead and damaged skin cells. To use it, just apply a thick layer to the skin and cover areas afflicted with eczema. Then, wrap them in a sterile bandage.
When choosing honey for eczema, research shows that manuka honey has the most benefits. Manuka honey and raw, organic honey have similar anti-bacterial and humectant benefits, so you can use either. However, manuka honey is medical-grade and it has a higher concentration of MGO or methylglyoxal. The MGOs come from the nectar of the manuka plant, which bees native to certain areas in Australia and New Zealand. If Manuka honey is not available, however, research shows that raw, pure honey also promotes healing of skin lesions and soothing of the itch related to dermatitis.
15. Add Tea Tree Oil to Your Moisturizer for an Anti-Inflammatory Boost
Tea tree oil is another of those natural cures for dermatitis that has a long history in medicine. It’s used to fight bacteria, promote the healing of wounds, and relieve inflammation. The people of Australia have used it as an anti-septic for centuries and research shows promising results for treating different kinds of dermatitis. Even though tea tree oil does have a lot of benefits, it is caustic when used by itself. You should always add tea tree oil to moisturizer or a carrier oil before applying it to the skin.
Another benefit of tea tree oil is that it needs to be diluted, so it’s a good additive. You can add it into natural products you are already using to treat eczema, especially if they are providing you with some relief. For people with atopic dermatitis or dandruff on their scalp, tea tree oil can also be added to their hair care routine. Note, however, that you should never ingest tea tree oil. It is safe externally, but has the potential to cause breathing problems, loss of muscle control, confusion, and even coma or death when swallowed.
16. Consider Calendula Cream for Skin Inflammation and Wounds
Like many other natural remedies we’ve mentioned so far, calendula cream benefits dermatitis because of it’s anti-inflammatory abilities. It relieves redness and swelling and reduces inflammation that’s common with dermatitis. There’s even research that calendula cream increases the rate of wound healing by improving blood flow to the area and boosting the production of collagen. Collagen plays critical roles in skin health and wound healing. It’s ability to heal while working as an antiseptic make it a popular treatment for wounds, diaper rash, and even eczema.
In addition to helping heal the skin, calendula benefits dermatitis because it helps lock in moisture. Calendula is made using the garden marigold, which is relatively common and easy to grow in the right conditions. The parts of the plant are soaked in oil to gently extract all the beneficial nutrients. By adding moisture to your skin and helping with inflammation, calendula cream may reduce eczema. It’s another cream you can apply using wet wrap therapy, since there aren’t any harmful ingredients that will make dermatitis worse.
17. Try Cardiospermum as an Alternative to Steroids for Dermatitis
Cardiospermum is an extract made from the balloon flower, a vine native to South Asia. There, it’s been used for centuries in medicine because of the way it targets inflammation. In fact, recent studies show that cardiospermum is at least as effective as steroids at treating dermatitis. Cardiospermum is often sold in a gel-form that is similar to aloe. The thick nature makes it easy to apply and helps lock in moisture. While it can be used any time, cardiospermum works best for eczema immediately following a bath or shower.
In addition to soothing the redness and swelling associated with dermatitis, cardiospermum has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Research even shows that it destroys the bacteria responsible for flare-ups and prevents infection. Its benefits allow it to provide immediate relief from the pain and itching of eczema. For some people, however, it may provide a long-term solution that reduces or even eliminates their symptoms. Even though it is as effective as a steroid at providing relief, there is a lower chance of side effects with this being a natural remedy for dermatitis.
18. Fight Inflammation from the Inside with an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
In the last few decades, science has uncovered the important link between the health of your gut and skin. Your digestive health is determined by the balance of good and bacteria in your gut. Eating foods that nourish the good bacteria helps prevent inflammation, while eating processed foods, grains, and sugars nourish the bad bacteria. In addition to trying to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices, which contain antioxidants that help fight inflammation, choosing foods containing healthy fats (like fish, avocado, and olive oil) can also reduce inflammation.
Some of the specific foods known to help with inflammation include beans and lentils, fish, leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and spices like cinnamon and turmeric. By reducing inflammation through the body, many people also see benefits for their dermatitis. Some people also have success eliminating certain foods that their body doesn’t digest well. Foods that commonly trigger inflammation for some people include dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs. If you believe a food allergy is to blame, try eliminating one food at a time and seeing if that improves eczema symptoms.