Eczema is one of the many forms that skin allergies can take. It’s characterized by red and itchy skin, and it’s a long-term condition that most people have to learn how to handle and live with. While there are some standard treatments and procedures that doctors recommend to their eczema patients, a lot of non-conventional means appeared in the recent years. Some of them are supported by science, while others are passed down between generations, but all believed to alleviate some atopic dermatitis-related symptoms.
What are complementary therapies?
Complementary therapies, just as the name suggests it, are form of treatment that can be used together with the conventional ones. They are generally recommended by doctors who are looking to improve their patient’s way of life, especially when dealing with allergies that cannot be permanently cured.
What are alternative therapies?
Alternative therapy is a replacement for conventional treatment. There is typically no scientific (or too little) evidence to support their claims. Since most of them are natural treatments, people turn to them when they are skeptical about using a direct medical approach, or when they reach the point when they are willing to try anything.
Since eczema is a very visible skin condition, it tends to affect people on a psychological level as well. Some people also resort to therapy, in a need to discuss their self-consciousness and to find means to help them cope with this condition.
Complementary & alternative eczema therapies
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Calendula cream
- Aloe and Vitamin E
This is a common form of treatment when dealing with atopic dermatitis. It reduces the chances of skin infections, as long as the oil extraction process is chemical-free and doesn’t irritate the skin. For the best results, cold pressed or virgin oil is recommended.
Treatments with sunflower oil can improve the skin’s capacity of retaining moisture. Aside from that, it’s well-known for its anti-inflammatory characteristics. It’s best to apply sunflower oil while the skin is still yet, but make sure that you don’t have any sunflower seed allergy first.
This is a natural treatment that has been around for centuries. It’s used in treating cuts, burns, and to heal skin inflammation. Common belief states that calendula cream can improve blood circulation in injured zones of the body, but also helps the system fight off skin infections. There is no scientific research that helps support this claim, but people still recommend it as a viable over-the-counter option for atopic dermatitis.
Aloe & vitamin E
Because eczema is a condition that implies a lot of itchy skin, turning to natural remedies for soothing itchiness is not that uncommon. For example, the combination between aloe vera and vitamin E is known for having soothing properties, not to mention that it helps moisturize dry skin. Vitamin E is often used for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a good complementary method of treating eczema.
Lavender and others
Essential oils aren’t just for aromatherapy: they can also help reduce skin inflammation, provided you use the right assortment. Lavender, rose otto, and neroli are known for having soothing properties. There are lots of recipes on the internet that can teach you how to prepare a mixture of essential oils that’s suited for alleviating some eczema-related symptoms.
An article published in the International Journal of Dermatology states that bath salts can reduce inflammation caused by atopic dermatitis. A salt solution seems to have a soothing effect on the skin, while also improving its barrier function.
Stress management & mind therapy
Stress is often the cause of a lot of health problems. When a person suffers from eczema, they are subjected to a vicious circle: stress can intensify the symptoms of this condition, the eczema gets worse, it leads to more stress, and the cycle continues.
Acupuncture is also believed to be useful in treating eczema. The subject is still up for debate and requires more scientific evidence to back it up. An alternative to acupuncture is acupressure, which implies the use of hands to apply pressure on specific body parts, instead of using needles. There is some preliminary research that links acupressure with an alleviation of itchiness in people who suffer from eczema.
If your child is suffering from atopic dermatitis, you should pay close attention to their sleeping schedule. Children between the age of 3 and 12 should get at least eight hours of sleep per day. Adults shouldn’t neglect the daily recommended sleeping schedule either, as the body regenerates considerably when you sleep.
People who suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, and tension, should consider seeing a therapist. Therapy not only helps people cope with eczema, but it helps them understand that it’s a condition that people all across the world live with every day, without having their quality of life decrease. Every person who suffers from atopic dermatitis must know that it’s not a fatal condition if they always carry an emergency adrenaline shot with them.
Along with seeing a therapist, relaxation techniques can also help. For example, taking a deep breath in stressful moments can go a long way. A person who has to live with atopic dermatitis should take some time to relax each day, whether that implies taking a long hot bath or exercising.
There are people who like to take stress support supplements. In theory, these should do no harm (unless you are, of course, allergic to any of the ingredients in these supplements), but it’s always a wise choice to consult a doctor before taking even non-prescription meds.
Pretty much every long-term disease in the world implies a set of lifestyle changes, that can either improve or prevent the condition from getting any worse. With eczema, there is an entire relationship tree, as the condition is related to asthma, hay fever, food allergies, stress, and even a disrupted sleep-wake cycle. Taking care of your body is more than just making sure you avoid contact with the triggers.