Alternative treatments for eczema are used by sufferers around the world in an effort to reduce flare ups and ease symptoms without resorting to traditional medicine. Topical creams, probiotic dietary supplements, and stress management techniques have been put forward as possible effective eczema treatments, with some demonstrated to be more effective than others. Sufferers can also take steps to avoid known triggers and reduce the chance of skin irritation.
Eczema is a catchall term for any of a wide variety of skin inflammations. Most often, the name refers to atopic dermatitis, characterized by dry, red, itchy patches of skin. Infants and toddlers are most vulnerable to the condition which often clears up on its own as the child matures. For some, the condition continues through adulthood.
Topical creams and oils are among the most common alternative treatments for eczema. Aloe vera is widely known to reduce irritation and hydrate the skin which may help ease eczema symptoms. Licorice may also be effective in soothing eczema flare ups.
Herbal remedies such as witch hazel and chamomile are sometimes recommended by advocates as alternative treatments for eczema, but studies have not been able to support these claims. In tests, these remedies produced results comparable to placebo treatments. Those suffering from these conditions will often get more relief from basic petroleum based creams and lotions which moisturize the skin, reducing dryness and irritation.
Dietary supplements containing specific bacterial cultures may effective alternative treatments for eczema. Studies of infants likely to suffer from eczema began by treating their pregnant mothers with supplements and continued for six months after birth. These children were significantly less likely to develop eczema than the placebo group. Further testing is needed to confirm these results and to identify the most effective cultures, but early results are promising.
Stress is a known contributing factor in eczema outbreaks, and those with this condition often can ease the frequency and severity of symptoms with effective stress management techniques. Exercise and meditation not only serve as excellent alternative treatments for eczema, but improve fitness, energy, and quality of life. A regular bedtime routine and adequate rest will also help to keep stress under control.
Irritants may also be responsible for an eczema flare up, and awareness of likely triggers may help keep the condition at bay. Perfumed products, detergents, strong soaps and even jewelry may also cause irritation. Sufferers should avoid known irritants and look out for other substances and factors likely to aggravate the condition.
Heat is among the most likely triggers, and often symptoms can be minimized by keeping cool. Baths and showers should be warm, not hot. Bedrooms in particular should be kept cool to avoid sweating during sleep. When heating or cooling is required in the home, humidifiers should be used to keep moisture in the air and prevent the skin from drying out.