Natural Relief and Remedies for Eczema and Dry Skin

Dealing with eczema and other chronic conditions of the skin such as psoriasis is not easy – it sometimes takes trial and error for you to discover your own personal trigger. Here is what has worked for me and many others and how I’ve changed my diet and lifestyle to lessen the effects of eczema and dry skin for me and my family.
Natural Relief for Eczema and Dry Skin via My Merry Messy LIfe If you missed my last post, My Battle with Eczema, Perioral Dermatitis and Corticosteroid Cream, I share my experience going off my skin’s addiction to steroid cream and how eczema and other skin conditions are really an internal, diet problem – not external. Here’s what I’ve done with a lot of success!

Go Gluten-Free

Yep, it’s not just a fad. It has been the number one thing I’ve done that works the most. Notice, I write “the most” but doesn’t work completely. When I accidentally get gluten in my system, I get a severe outbreak on my fingers that is painful, burns, and itches like I’ve got poison ivy. I don’t even miss the wheat because I know what will happen to me if I cheat – it’s just not worth it! But I do still get outbreaks because there is something else in my diet that is causing inflammation (I think it’s other grains like rice, sugar and dairy). I’m figuring that out right now on the intro diet of the GAPS protocol. Ever heard of that? I explain more in the next section.

I’ve learned how to cook, bake, eat differently and created new habits with new go-to snacks to make it easy. After just a month of going off of gluten, it had become easy! If you are also struggling with what to cook, check out my Gluten-Free Cooking board on Pinterest. I’m currently writing another post where I share how I went gluten free soon!

Reduce or Eliminate Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, and Dairy

Yeah, I know, that’s not easy. Sugar? I LOVE SUGAR. Wheat? My favorite food was always cookes. My vice is a few squares of Lindt chocolate bars every night with a glass of sweet or red wine. Helps me unwind after being so wound up chasing three little urchins around all day. But, now that my body has detoxed some (with the help of a very good, therapeutic grade probiotic (buy here)), I get stomach aches, gas and bloating when I ingest more than just a little sugar and alcohol. Not much of a vice when it’s accompanied with a stomach ache. I’ve had problems with dairy my whole life and have never really liked cow’s milk, so I simply switched to almond milk and have seemed to handle it well. If you want more dietary information, check out the book (affiliate link), Gut and Psychology Syndrome (referred to as, GAPS), all about how the foods we eat affect our guts (intestines) and how that influences our entire health. I’m also loving this cookbook that pairs nicely with the book, Nourishing Traditions.

All Natural Foaming Hand Soap Recipe - Non-Toxic

Use A Mild, Sulfate-Free Soap

Sulfates are synthetic detergents that abound in our shampoos, dishwashing and laundry detergents, body wash, bar soap and even toothpaste. But they are not a real soap – they work to strip your skin’s top layer of sebum to clean and leave the skin very dry. Instead, use a real soap like castile soap, a very gentle, olive-oil based soap that binds to dirt but does not strip your skin of sebum. My favorite brand is Dr. Bronner’s (buy here) – they are a super-duper, hippy, earth loving company. I am so accustomed to using my homemade hand soap (recipe here) that when I use soap at other peoples’ homes or out in public, my hands feel so dry and it exacerbates my eczema. If you’d like more information on sulfates, read my post – DIY Baking Soda Shampoo and Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner.

Here are my sulfate-free recipes:

Homemade Organic Lotion and Body Butter

Use All-Natural Lotion and Sunscreen

Most store-bought lotions (except the ones that are explicitly natural) are loaded with fragrances and added chemicals that can irritate eczema and sensitive skin. I much prefer to make my own lotion as it is so nourishing to the skin with shea butter, almond oil and coconut oil. It does wonders for me as I frequently wash my hands after changing poopy diapers, wiping off boogers and dirt, and before preparing food. Get the free recipe here!

I also make my own sunscreen for the same reasons. Click here for my free sunscreen recipe!

Use Anti-Inflammatory Supplements like Fish Oil and Probiotics

Inflammation of the gut and body are what lead to chronic diseases and conditions like eczema, so it can be very helpful to take supplements that help reduce inflammation. I take 4,800 mg of fish oil a day (mercury and gluten free) and it really helped me recover from a bad case of perioral dermatitis. But a good, probiotic (buy here) has helped me even more. I noticed a big difference in my energy level, eczema and even mood when I started taking probiotics. Of course, supplements alone will not help if your diet leads to inflammation. A proper diet for your needs is crucial!

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Comments

  1. I have only had eczema for the past 11 or 12 years, and I noticed that it started up a couple of weeks ago. I hate it as my skin gets so dry that it peels and cracks. Thank God I only have it on my hands and elbows, but that’s plenty for me. I am a senior and that’s just about when it started. I really need to find something that will really do the job without costing me a fortune. I have a wedding coming up in Feb. and would really like to have nice skin for dancing and holding hands.
    Are the products you make expensive?

    Fran

    • Hi Fran! I suppose they might be more expensive that just regular lotion, but they are cheaper than natural, organic store-bought creams and lotions. I have a cost breakdown for my homemade lotion. It’s more money upfront, but the supplies make several batches of lotion, so you save money in the long run.

  2. Eczema runs in my family. I was one of the unfortunate ones, or so I thought. I removed dairy from my diet and have had no further flareups, and it’s been 30 years or so. What resulted was improved health overall from the change in my diet. My youngest son suffered as well until we removed the dairy from his diet, but now he and his wife are trying to figure out what will work for their 2 year old daughter. I will pass this information on to her thank you.
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  3. Hi Sara, love your ideas. After being inspired by you and experimenting, I have found some naturals that work on my little girl who has super sensitive skin. I mixed one fifth of jojoba oil with four fifths of rosehip oil and added rose essential oil. I use a few drops of this on her skin when it’s looking dry/scaly and a few days later the flare up has gone. Plus it doesn’t sting her when applied. Hope this is of use.

  4. Great Post Thank you for sharing with us.

  5. I read that Shea butter is related to latex and I am severely allergic to latex, so no Shea butter for me! It appears to be in so many “natural” lotions so I have to be vigilant.
    I have had eczema on my hands for 35 years.
    Just this past June it showed up around my eyes and on my face. My eyes were so swollen and itchy! Two weeks ago I took out gluten, dairy, oils, sugar from my diet and are taking high quality vitamins. I already had a food allergy test and I am not allergic to any foods. I still have this eczema on my hands. It’s gone down around my eyes but still itches there. What else can I do! The dermatologist couldn’t help me.

    • Hi Liz! I’m sorry that you also suffer from eczema. Well, two weeks isn’t long enough to see results, really. We are talking about undoing years of damage and inflammation in your gut. So, it will take a long time, they say even two years of a good elimination diet and strong supplements. I’m seeing a naturopath right now, who’s tested me for food sensitivities and prescribed oils, supplements and some elimination, as I do still suffer from eczema because I don’t always stick to the Paleo diet like I need to be doing. That’s the key – when I’m 100% Paleo, my eczema disappears. I also suggest detoxing – I’m currently doing the Master Lemonade cleanse and will put a post up on the blog about it. But it’s great to get the gunk out of your digestive system as that’s what is dumping toxins into your bloodstream and then into your skin, causing the eczema. Then, you can start from a cleaner slate with the elimination diet.

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