The term eczema refers to any medical condition that causes your skin to become irritated, inflamed, dry, scaly, and itchy. The rash is normally red at the beginning before it turns brown. In dark-skinned people, it may also turn white. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which occurs when the rash is caused by an allergy. It is most common in children, but in some cases it continues into adulthood. Both my twins have now outgrown it, but they used to struggle with it when they were younger. Luckily, after unsuccessful attempts with several eczema creams and plenty of research, we discovered how to get rid of eczema every time.
The Causes of Eczema
Eczema can be caused by almost anything to which you are allergic, especially if you have a genetic vulnerability to allergies, skin allergies, and asthma. It can be caused by grass, pollen, soap, detergents, smoke, sweat during exercise, dust, pet hair, mold, and foods like nuts, dairy, and wheat. It can be caused by physical damage to your skin, such as that brought about by bacterial infections, scratches, sunburn, dryness, insect bites, and nutritional deficiencies.
Eczema rashes can be invaded by bacteria, in which case they become infected, extremely inflamed, filled with pus, and oozing with it. This is why it is important to treat it as quickly as possible. It should not be left to clear up on its own.
As eczema is essentially a dry-skin condition, a good eczema treatment is one that moisturizes and that ensures that the skin keeps its natural moisture. It should also combat the inflammation and cell damage that occur during an outbreak. Ideally, it should have antibacterial effects to prevent bacteria from infecting the affected patches.
How to Get Rid of Eczema
After lots of research, I found an effective eczema treatment by the company Revitol. It was developed by dermatologists and has received the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. The company has been in business since 2002. It controlled my twins’ flare-ups beautifully and healed their skin within a day or two. It is safe for people of all ages.
Revitol Eczema Cream is made from colloidal oatmeal, ceramide, and vitamins, which means that it is natural and contains no artificial chemicals that can exacerbate the skin irritation.
- Colloidal oatmeal is oats that has been ground into a fine powder and then boiled to release the colloidal compounds. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized its use as a skin protectant. Colloidal oatmeal is high in beta-glucan, a substance that protects skin cells and promotes your skin’s moisture retention. It contains many phenols that have anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, soothing, and antioxidant properties that can thereby curb the inflammation, reduce the discomfort, and protect your skin cells from damage. Some of its phenols can absorb ultraviolet rays from the sun to prevent further damage to the affected areas. Saponins give colloidal oatmeal important cleansing abilities and the small particles in the colloidal oatmeal protect the skin against external agents like bacteria. Oates contains many other ingredients essential for skin health and recovery. These include proteins, most of the B complex vitamins, and vitamin E.
- Ceramides are essential fatty acids that are naturally present in the intercellular spaces in the human skin. These are the barrier compounds that prevent water from passing through your skin into your body when you shower or swim. They also keep foreign organisms like bacteria and allergens from entering your skin. Many people who suffer from eczema have too few ceramides in their skins. This allows soap, pollen, and other substances to enter. In bodies with sufficient ceramides, the skin barrier is strong and dense enough to ensure that these stuffs remain on the skin’s surface instead of infiltrating it. Revitol’s eczema cream is, therefore, able to strengthen this protective barrier so that the irritant remains outside.
- The cream also contains a range of skin healthy vitamins to aid with recovery.
Why can’t you just make a colloidal oatmeal cream at home by grinding oats into a powder and mixing it with water? There are several reasons why this will not work nearly as well as the Revitol cream.
Firstly, as you saw above, Revitol includes other ingredients that contribute substantially to the effect of the cream.
Secondly, old-fashioned and other types of oats are often steamed before they are ruled into the flat flakes that we buy. This preprocessing effects the nutritional quality of the oats; it removes most of the fatty acids, for example, to ensure that the fats do not go rancid and spoil the product.
Lastly, grinders for home use cannot grind the oats into a fine enough powder. It should not look like whole grain flour or coffee, but like silky white flour. Still, because of oats’ other nutrients, it might be beneficial to grind it into a rough powder and add it to a warm (not hot) bath.
Medical Treatments for Eczema
Like most people looking into how to get rid of eczema, we abandoned the medical route quite early on, as the remedies were either ineffective, or loaded with potentially scary side effects, or both.
- Doctors normally prescribe topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, but these drugs have the tendency to cause reduced skin density and sores like acne. Weak hydrocortisone (corticosteroid) creams are available over-the-counter, but they are so diluted with other creams that their effect on the inflammation is hardly noticeable.
- There is currently no research that shows that antihistamines work to manage eczema. It is often prescribed for its sedative effect to prevents sufferers from scratching during the night. However, taking medication that makes you feel drowsy during the day and that has not even been proved to work seems unwise.
- Doctors often prescribe topical immunomodulators like Elidel and Protopic to change your immune system’s response to irritants. The aim is to prevent outbreaks completely. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that they may cause cancer and should be used only in the most severe cases.
If you have eczema, you probably understand the futility of visiting a doctor by now.
Home Remedies for Eczema
There is no evidence that most of the foods and beverages I’ve seen recommended on the Internet are useful when it comes to how to get rid of eczema. For example, Apple cider vinegar may prevent the rash from becoming infected by bacteria, but it cannot moisturize or aid skin recovery. Moreover, it may irritate your skin and exacerbate the rash. Coconut oil is a great moisturizer, but it cannot help your skin to restore its protective barrier, like the Revitol cream can. Still, many of them can contribute something.
- The most important action to prevent and manage outbreaks is to moisturize your skin regularly. You must find an ointment that does not irritate your skin further. Many people are sensitive to essential oils, so it is better to avoid those. As the densest, greasiest natural cold pressed oil is avocado oil, it is a better option than coconut or olive oil. If you know of a company that makes body butters from pure, organic plant ingredients with no artificial chemicals, they are good to use too.
- The World Allergy Organization recommends that you take a probiotic supplement if you are particularly vulnerable to eczema. While admitting that the evidence is still disputed, they explain that some studies have demonstrated that healthy intestinal bacteria, such as those in probiotic’s, can reduce the chance of skin infections. If you prefer not to buy a supplement, just eat plenty of yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha to consume some healthy bacteria.
- Take regular warm baths, but make sure the water is not too hot. As described above, you can grind oatmeal into a powder and add it to your bathwater. If you find bits of oatmeal sticking to your body when you get out of the bath, rather put it in a muslin bag next time. Apply a moisturizer immediately after the bath to lock the moisture into your skin.
- If you live in an especially dry climate and you can afford it, consider a humidifier to prevent your skin from drying out.
- While this may be difficult, try to identify your eczema triggers and avoid them. A water-based cleanser is less of an irritant than a soap.
- Because sweat is often an irritant, shower immediately after exercise to wash all the sweat off yourself.
- Avoid rubbing your skin with a towel or wearing scratchy, tight clothes.
- Eat enough vitamin E. It reduces your risk of developing allergies. Almonds, sesame seeds, butternut squash, pumpkin, avocado, olive oil, and salmon are tasty sources.
By following these tips, you can prevent some episodes of eczema and reduce the severity of the flare-ups. Avoid following advice on the Internet that is not scrupulously referenced, such as I did above. It is easy to exacerbate the symptoms. My family is now eczema-free and I am very grateful.