[Note from Holistic Squid: My book, The Eczema Cure, has helped thousands of kids and adults heal from eczema from the inside out. One of the most common questions I hear though, is, “What do we do about the itching in the meantime?” To answer this question, I've invited Jennifer Roberge, founder of The Eczema Company to share the best natural remedies for eczema that can actually help stop (or at least minimize) the itching and dryness.]
As a parent whose son once had very severe eczema, I understand how difficult eczema is. The sleepless nights, the constant nagging not to scratch, the chase around the house when it’s time for cream or a bath.
While his eczema occasionally lingers, we have learned how to manage it and our days and nights are no longer consumed by my son’s skin condition.
What I’ve learned along the way is that diet often plays a huge part in eczema as indicated in The Eczema Cure, but healing from within takes time. In the meantime, there are natural remedies for eczema that can provide relief from the itching and discomfort.
4 natural remedies for eczema that can actually help
#1 – Manuka honey
While honey has long been praised for its antibacterial, antimicrobial and wound healing abilities (source), Manuka Honey is even more powerful and has been shown to reduce wound size and wound pH (source) making it very beneficial for eczema.
You could just apply Manuka honey directly to the skin, but it admittedly makes a bit of a mess.
This Manuka Honey Skin Cream is my family’s personal favorite skin care product. The ingredient list is short and sweet, and we use it on everything from eczema to cuts and scrapes to chapped cheeks and lips.
This cream is not water-based like a typical cream, nor is it oily like a balm, but it’s something magical that’s just in between. The unique, creamy, buttery texture provides excellent moisture and skin barrier protection which makes it particularly helpful for eczema.
Click here to try Manuka Honey Skin Cream.
#2 – Grass fed tallow balm
Tallow is one of the world’s oldest forms of skin care and contains many fat-soluble vitamins, not found in plant-based products. Grass fed and finished tallow has an even higher nutrient profile, which is why it’s so beneficial for the skin. Since tallow can help alleviate redness, inflammation, irritation, cracked and scaly skin, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the great natural remedies for eczema as well.
I love the simplicity of ingredients and moisturizing powers of grass fed tallow balm. Since allergies and sensitivities so often go hand-in-hand with eczema, finding a soothing and effective emollient that contains only minimal ingredients is so essential to provide healing without further irritating even the most sensitive skin.
#3 – Scratch mittens
While distraction techniques work wonders during the day, they aren’t much help at night when little fingers unconsciously scratch their itchy skin.
If your child scratches often at night, try covering their hands with cotton socks.
If they simply pull the socks off at night, try scratch mittens made for eczema like these ScratchMeNot Flip Mitten Sleeves which are very difficult for children to remove.
They fit over the shoulders like a cardigan and attached to the end of the long sleeves are soft silk mittens. Flip the mittens closed for scratch prevention at night and flip them open for play during the day. My son wore these for years – they really saved us.
#4 – Wet wrapping
For moderate to severe cases or stubborn eczema that needs something more, wet wraps can work wonders.
What is wet wrapping you ask? It’s all about soaking the skin and sealing it with moisture for intense relief. It really provides quick and amazing results.
How to do wet wrapping for eczema relief:
- Give your child a soap-less bath in lukewarm bath water for 20 minutes.
- Pat your child dry and liberally apply the skin cream or balm of your choice (we've found Manuka Honey Skin Cream or tallow balm work best).
- Saturate a form fitting layer of clothing, like cotton pjs, in warm water and ring them out. To make wet wrapping both easier and more effective, these WrapESoothe garments can help.
- Dress your child in this damp layer of clothing. Then dress them in an additional dry layer of clothing.
- Have your child wear this ensemble for a minimum of two hours or overnight. The key here is to not let the damp layer dry out completely.
- When the session is finished, remove the clothing layers and liberally apply another layer of skin cream or balm.
Wet wrapping can be done a few times a day, but only for a few days in a row and never with any form of topical medication. Studies show that an average of 71% improvement of symptoms with this therapy.
To learn more about wet wrapping, check out this step-by-step guide.
By using some or all of these eczema remedies along with the healing from the inside out (be sure to follow the suggestions in The Eczema Cure) you should see vast improvements in your or your child’s skin, if not complete healing.
However, if you find you still need help after all this is said and done, I recommend working with a holistic health practitioner (naturopath or acupuncturist/herbalist) to determine if there are other underlying health conditions that may be contributing to your or your child’s eczema.
Which natural remedies for eczema have helped YOU most?
Jennifer Roberge is the award-winning founder of It's An Itchy Little World blog and The Eczema Company. Propelled to find a solution for her son’s struggles with eczema, allergies and asthma, Jennifer has established herself as the go-to resource on integrative and holistic methods and healing both inside and out. Click here to watch The Eczema Song, created to empower kids and families dealing with the daily stress of eczema.