The Best Natural Ways to Fight Dermatitis

9. Try Vitamin D Supplementation to Reduce Dermatitis Flare-Ups Researchers have thoroughly studied Vitamin D deficiency in recent years and linked it to several conditions, including… Samantha Davis - March 27, 2022
A diet low in vitamin D is a major risk factor for dermatitis. It also plays a critical role in cell regeneration and fighting inflammation. Shutterstock.

9. Try Vitamin D Supplementation to Reduce Dermatitis Flare-Ups

Researchers have thoroughly studied Vitamin D deficiency in recent years and linked it to several conditions, including eczema. Vitamin D plays critical roles at the cellular level. Not only has a deficiency in Vitamin D been linked to the development of eczema, but research shows supplementation may improve symptoms. In one analysis that reviewed several studies, researchers determined supplementing with Vitamin D was both safe and effective at reducing symptoms of dermatitis. Furthermore, getting Vitamin D from natural sources including diet and exposure to sunlight are also beneficial for people with eczema.

Getting enough Vitamin D is important for people with dermatitis because it plays a critical role in skin cell regeneration. It also plays a role in immune function and inflammation. For some people, applying Vitamin D topically or taking it as a supplement reduces inflammation and the number of flare-ups. The National Institutes of Health recommend consuming a minimum of 600mg of Vitamin D each day. As a topical treatment, Vitamin D is generally considered safe. You can use it every day without adverse side effects.

Probiotics play a critical role in skin health and inflammation through the body. Fermented foods and probiotic supplements may help people with dermatitis. Shutterstock.

10. Add Probiotics to Your Diet to Improve Skin Health and Reduce Inflammation

All through your body, trillions of bacteria live in your digestive tract and on your skin. Researchers have learned that people with eczema all have an imbalance in these bacteria. This imbalance is called dysbiosis and it means that there are more bad bacteria than there are good bacteria. One of the best ways to combat this is to introduce good bacteria to the digestive tract. While there are some foods that contain natural probiotics, a probiotic supplement is an easy way to ensure you’re eating a wide variety of probiotics every day.

Probiotics are a long-term solution that improves the health of your skin, digestive system, gut, and more. They help decrease inflammatory responses through the body, which may also help symptoms of eczema. Research shows that a combination of good Lactobaccillus and Bifidobacillus bacteria as a daily supplement works best for treating eczema. Ideally, you should choose a supplement that contains a prebiotic and a probiotic as well. Prebiotics are a special type of sugar that good bacteria can eat, which are not able to be digested by humans.

Rice bran broth is made by soaking the outer shell of rice kernels. It fights inflammation and helps strengthen your skin barrier. Pixabay.

11. Bathe in Rice Bran Broth to Improve Skin Strength

When added to warm water, rice bran broth creates a protective coating for your skin. This strengthens the skin barrier and makes it less susceptible to inflammatory reactions. Rice bran broth also decreases inflammation which can help with the redness and swelling associated with dermatitis. You can buy rice bran broth in powdered form to add to your bath. It’s made from the outside of a rice kernel. The starches of the rice kernel work with the skin and help form a protective layer.

In addition to being available in powdered form, rice bran oil is an effective remedy. The oil has the same benefits for your skin barrier and it also has the benefit of being moisturizing. For the most benefit, you should use rice bran every day. The starch builds up over time and improves your skin barrier, which might provide long-term eczema relief. Research has also shown rice bran is effective in supplement form, having antioxidant properties that fight inflammation, as well as lowering cholesterol and promoting overall health.

Coconut oil is incredibly moisturizing and has anti-bacterial properties to fight infection. Shutterstock.

12. Use Coconut Oil Prevent Infection and Protect Damaged Skin

People with dermatitis might find themselves scratching at their skin. Unfortunately, since skin is so irritated and dry already, scratching causes open wounds. While coconut oil will not stop dermatitis, the National Eczema Association states that it does have benefits because of its lauric acid content. The body uses lauric acid to create the antimicrobial agent monolaurin, which fights against the growth of infection and bacteria. Lauric acid is also found naturally in breast milk and it has anti-inflammatory properties that help with some of the redness and inflammation associated with dermatitis.

As an added benefit, coconut oil is an incredible moisturizer. Coconut oil deeply penetrates the skin and there is even research that shows it can be stored in the outer layers, where people with dermatitis need it most. In addition to adding moisture that might prevent the itchiness associated with dermatitis and similar skin conditions, coconut oil also creates a protective barrier over the skin. To get these benefits, it’s important to choose coconut oil that has been minimally processed. It should also be made by pressing coconut flesh rather than heating it. Heating the oil destroys the beneficial compounds.

Evening primrose oil contains Omega-6 fatty acids that fight inflammation, reducing symptoms of dermatitis. Shutterstock.

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.

This natural remedy for dermatitis creates a thick, healing layer over skin. It moisturizers, promotes wound healing, and works as an anti-bacterial. Shutterstock.

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.

Tea tree oil is well-known for it’s anti-septic properties. It is a great additive to your moisturizer or shampoo if you have dermatitis on the scalp. Shutterstock.

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.

Calendula boosts wound healing and the production of collagen. It’s also useful for fighting redness and inflammation associated with dermatitis. Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Cardiospermum, or the balloon plant, provides immediate relief from dermatitis symptoms. It also has the potential to relieve symptoms in the long-term. Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Adding spices like turmeric, fish, leafy greens, and colorful fruits and vegetables fights inflammation through the body and on the skin.
Wikimedia Commons.

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.