Natural Remedies for Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that causes itching, a red rash and sometimes small blisters that weep and become encrusted. It occurs on the face, scalp, wrists, and hands, as well as at the crease of the elbows, in back of the knees and occasionally elsewhere on the body.
There are different types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is characterised by sensitivity to foods like milk, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat, strawberries and chocolate. It tends to be genetically linked, affecting individuals with a family history of hay fever or asthma. Flaking and scaling on the face, scalp, front of chest, back of trunk and skin folds are typical of seborrhoeic dermatitis, while contact dermatitis produces an acute local rash after an individual comes into contact with irritants like a soap, detergents or jewellery. Skin infection by yeast called pityrosporum is believed to play a part in seborrhoeic eczema. Discoid eczema is usually found in adults and appears suddenly as a few coin shaped areas of red skin, normally on the trunk or lower legs. 
Other factors associated with outbreaks of eczema are dry air; too much sun; stress; topical medications and certain drugs, such as penicillin.

Essential oils can have a calming effect on many of the symptoms of eczema, particularly inflammation, itchiness and infection.

Add a few drops to your bath or mix with a carrier oil and massage onto the affected areas. Recommended oils include

• Soothing: Bergamot and Chamomile
• For relieving stress related eczema: Melissa
• Healing: Lavender and Geranium

Herbal Remedies for Eczema

• Rescue Remedy cream can be applied to soothe irritation and promote healing.
• Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) acts as a mild natural tranquilizer and can be taken to relieve stress. 
• Calendula Lotion (Calendula Officinalis) helps to relieve itching.
• Pennywort (Centella Asiatica) is one of the most important skin herbs and has been used for centuries in India to treat Leprosy. It can be applied as a cream or added to bath water to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Nutritional Guidance for Eczema

• Evening primrose oil contains essential fatty acids that can revitalize the skin and relieve itching and inflammation.
• Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral, Zinc act as powerful anti-oxidants to boost the immune system and block inflammatory responses to allergens.  
• Grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids (antioxidant substances that inhibit allergic responses) and can relieve the itchy flare-ups that are associated with eczema. 
• An oatmeal bath can help to soothe skin. Put one or two handfuls of oatmeal into a cheesecloth bag and place under the hot water tap when running a bath. 
Lifestyle Guidance 
• If your eczema is worsened by stress, consider relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. 
• Avoid chemicals, harsh detergents and irritating fibres like wool.
• Use a mild herbal soap containing chamomile which is gentle on the skin.
• Use herbal liquids or lotions on oozing spots and creams and ointments on dry patches when treating eczema topically. 
• Consult a Doctor or therapist about allergy testing. 
For more information please contact Yvonne at or visit

Recommended Reading:

Roberts, Margaret.  Herbal Beauty for Healthy Living. Spearhead, 2004




Your A to Z of Complementary Health & Healing