THE FACTS ON ECZEMA: ~Eczema affects about 15 percent to 20 percent of all young children and about 2 percent to 4 percent of adults. ~Eczema occurs in both men and women, but men seem to be at a greater risk. (5) ~Eczema has been found to be associated with allergies, especially in children. About one in three children who have eczema also develop allergy-related symptoms like asthma or hay fever. (6) ~About 70 percent of eczema cases in children begin before the age of 5. ~60 percent of infants or children with eczema continue to have symptoms at least periodically during adulthood.

5 Natural Eczema Treatments 1. Leave the Skin Alone (Don’t Scratch, Just Soothe!)

Itching caused by eczema can make it very tempting to scratch dry or peeling skin. But scratching has been found to lead to complications because it can cause open cracks or wounds that allow bacteria in. This sometimes causes infections, especially if the immune system is already weakened. It’s safer to try and leave the skin alone while you treat the underlying source of eczema. Applying a salve or moist towel to dry skin can keep you from picking at it.

Instead of scratching, other tips for protecting sensitive, healing skin include avoiding too much UV light/sun exposure, talking to your doctor if you take any medications that might worsen symptoms, keeping skin away from very hot water or very dry, cold temperatures (which can increase irritation), and changing the products you apply to your skin.

2. Reduce Allergies and Inflammation

Food, environmental factors and skin care products can all cause allergic reactions that trigger eczema symptoms. Allergies can be triggered in those with eczema by things like:

Chemical-containing soaps, lotions, detergents, disinfectants, etc. Dust, pollen, mold, pet hair or debris Foods like synthetic additives or preservatives found in packaged products, gluten, dairy, shellfish or peanuts. Inflammatory foods like sugar and refined oils might also contribute to symptoms.

3. Breastfeeding and a Healthy Diet

Research suggests that a child’s risk for developing eczema is reduced when the child is breastfed. Into childhood and adulthood, a healthy diet with anti-inflammatory foods can help boost immunity. Foods that might be able to help reduce eczema symptoms are:

Essential fatty acids — These fats are found in things like wild-caught fish, nuts and seeds. Probiotic foods — These include cultured veggies, yogurt, kefir and amasai. High-fiber foods — Aim for at least 30 grams of fiber per day to improve gut health from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut and sprouted grains/legumes. High-antioxidant foods — Consume more fresh, brightly colored plant foods to reduce inflammation and get plenty vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.

4. Supplement to Improve Immune Function

Supplements to help control eczema irritation are:

Probiotics (25–100 billion organisms daily): Research shows that probiotic supplements can have protective and preventive effects when it comes to skin health. They’re linked with improved gut health and immune function, along with other related factors like decreased allergies.

Omega-3 fatty acids (1,000 milligrams daily): Help lower inflammation.

Antioxidants (such as vitamins E, C and A): Antioxidants can help prevent skin damage, reduce inflammation and promote wound healing.

Vitamin D3 (2,000–5,000 IU daily): The “sunshine vitamin” helps regulate immune functions and is a very common deficiency.

5. Applying Healing Oils to the Skin

Certain natural essential oils, such as lavender essential oil, which has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, might help keep sensitive skin from flaring up. Make your own homemade eczema cream by combining hydrating, antibacterial ingredients like lavender oil, tea tree, raw honey, coconut or shea butter. You can also use products like probiotics, geranium essential oil and/or myrrh essential oil on sensitive skin.

Eczema Treatment: 13 Ways to Find Relief While there is no cure for eczema, there are a variety of non-invasive eczema treatment options that can provide relief during a flare-up and some that may prevent its onset. These can include corticosteroids, but the following home eczema treatment options may be best.

1. Light Therapy/Phototherapy

According to the National Eczema Association, phototherapy helps to calm inflammation, reduces itching, increases vitamin D production and helps fight bacteria on the skin. (4) Adding 10–15 minutes a day of sun exposure, particularly during an eczema flare, can provide relief and potentially speed healing.

2. Vitamin D

In addition to increasing sun exposure, supplementing with vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil