Some of you might have read my previous post on “How does Chinese Medicine view Eczema“. In this post, I’m going to share some of the basic eczema care about supplements, moisturisers, bath and home care that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle.
Evening Primrose or Blackcurrant Oil
Evening primrose oil has an omega-6 fatty acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The oil is available in capsules, which you take by mouth. Native Americans traditionally used the stem of the plant and the juices of its leaves to soothe skin inflammation, swelling, and bruises. Take 500 mg of either twice a day. Be patient when taking this supplement because it will take about 6 to 8 weeks to see results.
⚠️ Do not take Evening Primrose if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Fish oil, Krill oil
Find a fish oil that has been purified, with the toxic mercury removed and contains omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. A good starting dose of this is 2000-3000 mg of EPA & DHA combined.
⚠️ Do not exceed this dose if you are on blood thinners like aspirin or Coumadin.
Another option is Krill oil. Krills are small crustaceans and are a dietary staple for whales, small fish, and seabirds.They typically contains more EPA but because they oxidise very fast as compared to fish, making the processing and extraction is more complex. That makes krill oil more expensive than fish oil.
It’s a flavonoid (group of plant metabolites). which is a natural type of antihistamine. A daily regimen of quercetin of 1,000 mg per day seem to improve the skin conditions.
You can try one like this on iHerb.
The sunshine vitamin! Studies and eczema community shows that Vitamin D helps with eczema. Make sure you get Vitamin D3 as it’s is the form that’s absorbed best.
⚠️ Some even take up to 5000 IU, but do consult with your doctor because everyone has a different starting point.
Skin is the mirror of the internals. Sometimes inflammation starts from the inside, your gut health and internal immune system. Avoid any food that triggers skin allergies such as night shades vegetables (tomato, capsicums, chili, potato, eggplant) and seafood such as shellfish and prawns. Choose probiotics what contains Lactobacillus GG (Culturelle) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
⚠️Start with a small dose 5 billion CFU and increase slowly. Too much too fast may cause bloating and other digestive issues.
🍌 Banana Patch
The banana peel can help reduce the itchiness, inflammation and dryness from the eczema.
- Find fresh banana skin.
- Cut a small piece and test for any potential allergic reaction a small area first.
- Apply banana peels directly to the affected areas of the skin.
- Leave the peel on the skin for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Banana peels can be kept fresh in a seal-tight storage bag and placed in the fridge for a few days
🥣 Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal is not just for breakfast anymore. A quick oatmeal bath is easy to do land will reduce discomfort for a few hours. Note that this is not a cure for chronic eczema and it’s only to alleviate the symptoms temporarily.
- Start running lukewarm (not hot!) water into a clean bathtub.
- Grind 1 to 2 cups of raw, unflavoured oatmeals using a food processor.
- Add the grinded oatmeal under the running tap to help mix it in with the bathwater.
- As you continue to fill the tub, mix the oatmeal with your hand. The water should be milky and feel silky on your skin.
- Soak for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Straight after shower/bath, pat the skin lightly leaving it a little damp and moisturise straight away. You want to remember the “Soak & Seal” treatment method to combat dryness and flare ups.
What’s the difference between Ointment, Cream, Lotion
Topical moisturizers come in different preparations, including ointments, creams, lotions and gels. These preparation affects the potency of the product. Here are some simple and general guidelines so you can choose your moisturisers according to your needs.
Ointment is the most potent and provide more lubrication due the high level of oil content. They tend to be more greasy.
Cream is less potent. It is made from a mixture of water and oil so it’s easily absorbed by the skin, hence less greasy. Alot of creams include preservatives so look out for ones that doesn’t include perfumes, fragrance or any preservatives.
Lotion and gel are the least potent and least moisturising. They penetrate the skin most easily so it’s great if you’re rushing and have to get dressed straight away. These are good for hairy areas and scalp.
It’s also a good idea to wear cotton gloves or socks after applying moisturisers. It can help to keep the skin moisturised for a longer time and stops the urge to scratch too (especially for kids).
Natural Moisturisers Care
I’ve never used this personally but I found this Lyonleaf Calendula Cream has raving reviews! Made with 97% cold pressed and organic plant oils (including Almond, Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel and Borage) and a potent dose of home-grown calendula extract. They have a fragranced product (with essential oils) and non-fragranced alternative.
Aloe Vera Gel
- Has a moisturizing effect which can to speed wound healing.
- Has properties that are harmful to certain types of bacteria and fungi.
- It’s more for cooling and moisturizing effects, not so much for treatment.
Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)
- Has emollient properties, making the skin softer and more soothing.
- Has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it can reduce the bacteria on the skin that may lead to infection.
- VCO can coat the skin to slow the water loss when skin barrier is damaged.
- Also known as Cardiospermum halicacabum
- They grow abundantly in India and has been used for years in Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine.
- Has anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
- Also known as Calendula officinalis.
- Used in folk therapy as remedies for burns, bruises and skin inflammation.
- Has anti-inflammatory effects, but research on the uses for eczema is limited.
Other natural moisturisers also include:
- Papaw (carica papaya) ointment
- Emu oil
- Argan oil
- Kakadu plum ointment (Australia’s superfruit)
Not sure what products to use? Forget trial and error! The National Eczema Association has collated a huge range of creams and lotions that are suitable for babies, kids and adult with eczema. Click here to find out.
For Singapore, I found this website that has alot of information on eczema care, skincare products and diet. Check it out here.
🛀 Bath Care
- Use mild non-fragrance baby bar soap instead of liquid soap. Make sure you rinse with water thoroughly, especially in the bent areas (neck, armpits, elbow, back of knees)
- Do not use towel or loofah to scrub the skin
- Use cold or lukewarm water only
- Always wear gloves when doing dishwashing or any other cleaning.
- Avoid polyester, nylon clothes and stick to cotton materials. Cut away the label tags to avoid itching.
- Avoid using softeners
- No soft toys, pets, carpets – Dust mites and fleas love living there.
- Use anti-dust mite spray on mattress, carpets and soft toys.
- Ventilate the rooms daily. During good weather, sun dry the mattress, soft toys and any woolly items.
- Vacuum or use wet towel (I love MagicClean wiper) to clean the house regularly
- Keep your diet plant based & alkaline based and avoid any trigger food (if any) such as nightshades vegetables, shellfish, prawns and stay away from oily and spicy food.
- Eat food that is digestible so that you won’t burden your Spleen and cause more dampness – which is one of the root cause of eczema.
- Eat cooling food such as mung bean soup, winter melon, coix seed / barley soup with lotus seeds.
- Drink honeysuckle Flowers and dandelion tea – Have clear heat and remove toxin properties.
- Don’t sleep too late, no junk food, no CRAP (Carbonated drinks, Refined food, Artificial flavouring, Processed food), limit diary.
- After exercise, make sure you shower with cold/lukewarm water and change into fresh clothes as soon as possible.
Keep a positive mind and you’ll eventually find the best treatment that suits your skin. Good luck!