I have to admit, eczema is a completely new term for me. I have never suffered from it, my family growing up (and there were 7 of us) never suffered from it, and my first child never got it either. My second child, however, does have eczema. This has been my inspiration for sharing my rash ‘cure’ with you.
Much to my surprise, after researching and learning a lot more about eczema, I realized how common it is as it is said to affect 30 million Americans.
What is Eczema?
The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a recurring condition of the skin that results in an itchy and red rash. Eczema usually begins during childhood and then may lessen as adulthood approaches. Eczema is said to be incurable, according to the National Eczema Association.
You can find some of the less common types of eczema if you visit the webpage of the National Eczema Association. For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on the most common type, atopic dermatitis.
Some of the common places you may notice eczema in children are the face (mostly the cheeks and chin), scalp, front or back of the trunk, or outer arms and legs. In adults, the most common areas are the neck, wrists and ankles or around areas that bend like the inner elbows or knees. Of course, eczema is not limited to these places as it can appear anywhere on the body.
Eczema is known to be very irritating and itchy and can range from mild to severe. People may experience it differently in terms how how it looks and feels. Not all cases are alike and may vary from person to person. Most people who suffer from eczema generally have sensitive and dry skin all around.
It is important to try not to itch during a flare-up of eczema (when eczema is peeking and most inflamed). Although the itch can be very intense at this time, scratching it will cause the rash to get more severe and lead to more itching, and even cause it to bleed.
A Personal Story About Eczema….
I couldn’t write this article without talking about a funny (OK, maybe not so funny) story on my road to discovering my one year old son’s eczema on his arms.
It was only a few months ago that my discovery of this mystery rash unfolded.
A close family member who was traveling to another country recently had come back from his trip with a curious and itchy rash. It turns out that two different doctors suspected the same thing – scabies! Scabies is the human itch mite that burrows and lays eggs in the deeper epidermal layers of human skin.
Scabies is very contagious and can be difficult to cure without invasive chemical treatment to the skin.
Anyway, my family member is healed now… but halfway through his treatment I discovered this new rash on my son’s arms. I recalled how my son visited closely with him a few times since his return from his trip. I panicked. I mean completely panicked. There was no doubt in my mind (after google searching ‘scabies’ way too much), that my sweet little boy had scabies!
To make a long story short, I hesitated to take him to the doctor’s as I was completely sure I already knew his outcome. The thought of using invasive chemical treatment all over his skin was making me very uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to the point that I was committed to try ‘natural’ treatments first. I just felt he was so young – and anyone who knows me understands how much I try to avoid chemical products to begin with.
So I began dousing my poor little boys rashes in whatever was suggested as a natural cure for scabies, even white vinegar! I used neem oil, tea tree oil, cloves, baking soda, and yes, vinegar. I remember the vinegar especially made my little boy cry.
Well guess what? I finally took him to the doctor after a couple of days when his rash appeared to be getting worse. And low and behold – the diagnosis of eczema was born!
Not the smartest move on my behalf that is for sure, actually a little embarrassing (to say the least). While diagnosing my son myself, I actually made his eczema worse and much more painful, I am sure.
What Causes Eczema?
The cause of eczema is still not completely clear, but it is possible that it may be inherited. Eczema does have a ton of triggers though that can contribute to rash flares. These factors include, stress, allergens (such as dust, pets, and pollens), hormones, hot or cold temperatures, certain foods, and irritants (like soaps, perfume products, cleaners, etc).
How To Treat Eczema, Naturally
1.Keep a Journal
If you suffer from eczema, it is wise to keep a journal of when you are suffering from a rash flare-up. Try to note what you were eating, doing, where you were, etc. to help you find what causes you to react. It is difficult to try to determine exactly what is causing it but you may be able to narrow it down over time. Since eczema is different for everyone, getting to know what makes you react will hopefully lead to some peace of mind and less stress.
2.Try to Use Natural Products
Since many products such as shampoos, soaps, cleaners, detergents, bubble bath soaps, etc., are generally full of chemicals that contribute to skin irritation and dryness, it is suggested to stick to products that are as natural as possible.
3. Get to Know Your Labels
Get to know your labels and try to avoid added perfumes and dyes and anything that would be harsh and irritating. Of course this isn’t as easy as it may sound. Getting to understand labels and their long list of chemicals can be challenging but rewarding all at the same time.
4. Make Your Own Products
I prefer to make my products so that I know exactly what is going into them. For instance, I only wash my family’s clothing in my homemade liquid laundry soap – and a bonus is that I save a ton of money as making it is much more cost effective. For body soap, shampoo, dish detergent, and all-purpose cleaner, I simply use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild soap. This stuff is all natural, non-irritating and has dozens of uses!
5. Keep Skin Hydrated
Keeping skin hydrated is key to avoiding a rash flare-up. Try to lather lotion all over your body or your child’s body right after a shower to lock in moisture.
When I need to apply something for skin dryness I find it the safest with this homemade lotion recipe as it is pure, ultra-hydrating and soothing to the skin.
6. Give Pets Dander Treatments
This is important if pets are your source of triggering an eczema flare-up.
7. Keep Your House Dusted
Try to avoid having too many allergens floating around your house by first dusting, and then vacuuming to rid your house and carpets of the fallen dust. When cleaning, remember to try to avoid irritating and harsh chemicals. I clean with this all-purpose cleaner and find that it still does an excellent job of disinfecting our home.
8. Wear lightweight, loose, cotton fabrics
Try to avoid clothing that is rough fabric, scratchy fabric or fabric that does not breathe well. Keeping your skin free of being rubbed and giving it the ability to let air get at it will ensure your skin is breathing and comfortable too.
9. Use a humidifier
I am a huge fan of using a humidifier to help to keep skin hydrated. Humidifiers are excellent for hot or dry weather and will help to keep your skin hydrated longer. Humidifiers help keep floating allergens out of the air because the air is more dense. As a bonus, this also ensures clear nasal passages if you or your child are stuffed up from allergies.
What to Put on Eczema Rash For Relief?
Ok, so here is why I wanted to write this article in the first place – to share with you my recipe that will literally clear up an eczema rash in just a few days. I actually used a jar of my homemade diaper rash cream that was already made and found it worked wonders for eczema as well. Basically all I did to create the eczema cream was eliminate the essential oil.
After my whole fiasco with the diagnosis of eczema on my son (who is only ONE), I was desperate to help clear up much of what I had caused. I use this cream each time the eczema shows itself and put it on his rash two to three times a day. I especially don’t forget to put it on immediately after his bath when the moisture will be locked in the best. I find that the rash is cured after 3 or 4 days. I mean… completely gone!
The eczema is likely to come back again. Once you notice the dryness and patches beginning, start applying the cream again and it should disappear before it gets worse.
Here is what you will need:
1 Tbsp. Pure Beeswax, grated and packed
2 Tbsp. Organic pure Shea Butter
3 Tbsp. Organic cold-pressed Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. Jojoba Oil
2 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder (thickening agent)
- Boil a pot of water with a glass bowl for mixing on top. You could also use a double boiler but I like the glass bowl so I can mix it easily afterwards.
- Grate your beeswax and add along with shea butter and melt together.
- Add jojoba oil and coconut oil until all melted and combined.
- Take glass bowl off the heat and stir in arrowroot powder until smooth.
- Transfer to 4 oz mason jar right away or if you have a squeeze bottle this is great for easy and clean application! At this point it will start to thicken and resemble vanilla custard.
- Once you have it in the jar stir it a few more times to cool it before putting the lid on. Keep stored for up to 3 months.
Do you have a special product you like to use for eczema?
I would love to know how this homemade eczema cream works for you. Please feel free to comment below and share your story.