Eczema is a chronic skin condition in which a red rash forms on one or more parts of the body. Many people use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to treat eczema, while others may seek help from their doctor or dermatologist for prescription-level ointments and lotions. Alternatively, essential oils are another treatment tool for eczema, due to their ability to reduce inflammation.
Most essential oils are commonly used in therapeutic settings or in products, like candles, bath soap or even diffusers. For eczema, people can use most individual essential oil bottles to spot-treat their rashes. Some essential oils, however, are highly potent and should be used with a carrier oil to ensure safety and reduce the risk of negative skin reactions.
Some people may be concerned about the potential side effects of using essential oils for eczema. First, we will expand on those side effects and then explore the various options people with eczema have when it comes to essential oils.
Potential Side Effects
Upon first using essential oils to treat eczema, you may experience side effects, including:
- An allergic reaction
- A flareup
Alternatively, essential oils may not affect a person’s eczema at all. They may not notice any improvement or minimal changes.
Some of the most common essential oils used to treat eczema include the following:
Probably one of the gentler options, coconut oil is smooth and has a soft scent. It works as a carrier oil, or an oil that should be used with highly potent oils, in order to dilute them. It is frequently used to treat various skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis or other rashes. Coconut essential oil not only alleviates irritation caused by inflammation, but it also hydrates the skin.
Many people rely on argan oil as an anti-aging tool in beauty products. It is composed of many antioxidants and essential vitamins. When it comes to eczema, argan oil can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin. Argan oil is another carrier oil that can dilute highly concentrated essential oils.
Lavender oil can reduce inflammation, which is a common symptom in severe cases of eczema. Though most people with eczema already have sensitive skin, lavender oil is the best choice for sensitive skin overall.
For best results, adding a few drops of lavender oil to a bath or shower can help alleviate irritating eczema symptoms more quickly. Lavender oil should also be accompanied with a carrier oil to ensure its potency is at a safe level when it is used to treat skin conditions.
Peppermint essential oil is another anti-inflammatory oil that can treat eczema symptoms. In aromatherapy settings, its soothing scent can alleviate stress. Peppermint is an antibacterial ingredient that promotes quick eczema healing, but you should use it with a carrier oil to decrease potency.
Yet another anti-inflammatory oil, eucalyptus can reduce redness in eczema flare ups, too. The healing properties of eucalyptus oil can also promote healing through air diffusion. You can massage eucalyptus oil directly on to the skin or enjoy it with an oil diffuser.
Most people think of sunflower oil as a cooking product, but it can also come as a healing carrier oil. When consumed, sunflower oil can promote healthier digestive and immune systems while also improving overall energy.
As a carrier oil, it can promote healthier, clearer skin and reduce dryness. Dilute stronger essential oils with sunflower oil to create a healing moisturizer for eczema patches.
Tea Tree Oil
Made from tea tree plant leaves, tea tree oil contains antiviral properties, which make fighting eczema and other health concerns much easier for people with eczema. This essential oil can prevent and tackle infection on irritated skin patches, as well as promote skin hydration.
How to Apply Essential Oils to a Rash
It is important to note that essential oils should only be applied directly on the skin when mixed with a carrier oil. You should not consume essential oils. Once you choose the proper essential oil, follow these steps for applying it:
- Mix the essential oil with a carrier oil to decrease potency.
- Apply a few drops to the irritated skin.
- Let the oil air dry.
- Reapply as needed, but avoid excessive application.
Essential oils are not only helpful in relieving eczema but also stress, which is a factor that can increase or worsen eczema outbreaks. An alternative way to use essential oils to improve eczema conditions is to diffuse it into the air. Simply place a few drops into an oil diffuser and inhale the air. Further, essential oils are frequently found in body washes or bath soaps, which can be used with caution to help sensitive skin.
Essential oils can serve as a natural, healing gateway to skin irritation relief. Before deciding to apply essential oils to the skin, however, it is critical for people to consult with their doctors first. Not only will medical professionals be able to advise the best essential oils for individual conditions, but they will also be able to provide alternative treatments as needed.
When using essential oils to treat skin conditions like eczema, it is also critical to consider the potency of each oil. As mentioned before, carrier oils like coconut oil should be used in conjunction with higher-potency oils, like tea tree oil.
Be sure to read each individual essential oil’s label and instructions for use before applying to skin. Although people can use essential oils to treat eczema, results may not be the same for everyone.