Last Modified on Apr 25, 2016
What Is Eczema?
Eczema, or dermatitis, is an irritation of the skin and is associated with a number of unpleasant symptoms such as redness, swelling, itching, dryness, crusting, and flaking; and in severe cases there can be blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding skin. Eczema is a very common condition, occuring in about 1-2% of adults and as much as 20% of children! Being very itchy, this skin condition can be distracting physically as well as causing embarrassment if the skin blemishes are visible, or even leave scars from excessive scratching.
It is currently unknown what causes eczema, but there is a hypothesis (the hygiene hypothesis1) that exposure to bacteria is important during developing childhood years, and keeping children in overly sterile environments could increase the risk of allergies, asthma, and eczema. There is also a high rate of eczema seen in celiac sufferers vs. people without celiac disease, suggesting there is a genetic link for eczema. Additionally, stress and environmental factors are currently being explored as possible causes of eczema. Currently, a cure for eczema has not been recognized by modern medicine.
Natural Cures for Eczema!
Here at Earth Clinic, our readers have reported successful results with many natural remedies for eczema. Our most popular natural cure for eczema is apple cider vinegar, but great results have also been reported from the use of coconut oil, honey, and the 3 day apple fast. Below are some of the best home remedies to cure eczema and contact dermatitis. No remedy is successful with everyone, so please let us know if you have had any luck curing your eczema with natural home remedies!
2Novel Antibacterial and Emollient Effects of Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils in Adult Atopic Dermatitis
Remedies for Eczema
The Popularity of Eczema Remedies - Full List
I have occasional flare ups with eczema, mostly because I eat and drink too much of stuff I shouldn't and because of the weather (usually really hot or cold). I have found for me that the one thing that really helps me calm these breakouts down is 10% sulfur soap and sulfur ointment, both of which can be found on the internet. As you could imagine it smells a little bit, but I've never had anybody say anything to me about it and my wife says she can only smell it if she gets really close to me.
I don't know if you should use it if you ever get to the open sore phase, but ever since I started using it when I noticed the beginning of break outs I've never got to the open sore phase again. I also use ACV, coconut oil, and turmeric and that seems to help as well. Hope this info helps. I thought I should post about it since I didn't see it as one of the many potential remedies.
-Eczema sufferer since 2012
Replied by Mari
La Libertad, El Salvador
Posted by Jeff (Detroit Metro, Michigan Usa) on 10/09/2011
I have been taking Acidophilus with Bifidum wafers for one week now and it has provided me with relief from my eczema. I now feel like myself again, and can actually sleep without Tylenol PM. Don't forget to moisturize problematic areas after showering.
Posted by B (Attica, IN) on 12/10/2006
After being diagnosed with IBS and perioral dermatitis I knew I had to make a change. I did my research and talked to a few people at the health food stores and then added probiotic acidophilus to my diet. The first week I took 2 times the recommended amount, the second week I cut it down the recommended amount and then have stayed on that amount rather well the past 10 years. It has fixed all the problems with my skin as well as my digestinal tract. All the diseases of the body start in the stomach and colon, the acidophilus either in capsule form or yogurt help correct this imbalance. By fixing the imbalance, everything else falls in line. My skin is beautiful now. I would recommend this to any one suffering from any skin lesions and digestive problems.
Posted by Forloveford (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada) on 02/27/2013
I have suffered from eczema for 14 years, this past year it has gotten out of control due to high stress and anxiety. Recently my Husband had an abscessed tooth and I looked on here for some remedies when I came across the activated charcoal, it draws out toxins so he used it and it drew out the abscess (in the bone) in two days, he is now pain free.
Anyways, I have been unable to sleep through the night or even function normally for months, I got another rash on my hand and decided to take some of the poultice I made for my Husbands tooth and put it on my new rash. I left it on for a few minutes and washed it off, which proved to be the most frustrating part of this cure!
A few days later (which brings me to today) I ended up itching severely on my lowers legs, this has been my area of most irritation, I popped open two capsules and mixed them with organic coconut oil and applied it to the most painful areas. WARNING; this stuff will stain everything: skin, clothes, tubs I mean EVERYTHING! I ran a bath as I allowed to stuff to sink in, grabbed a book (after washing my hands a million times) and got into the tub. I stayed in for about 20-30 minutes after which I proceeded to wash my skin over and over and over with an organic all natural bar of soap and a clean washcloth (I wash all my laundry with a solution of borax, grated and diluted organic lavender bar-soap and a few drops of lemongrass essential oil, this has helped allot with my skin irritation and allergies) My skin was a dingy grey after wards and so I drained my black rimmed tub and showered, again washing my skin thoroughly but not too much as to irritate my skin again, then I washed out my tub, dried off with a fresh towel and relaxed for a few minutes (this I found to be highly important in stress management, which contributes to eczema).
My skin never felt better and I actually had some energy. I still have black lines and dingy skin but I really don't care, it will wash off the next shower I have. I have also decided to take one charcoal tablet a day to help with the IBS I frequently experience and know that it contributes to low immune function and the plethora of health issues I have faced since I was about 10.
Anyone with severe skin issues I highly recommend a healthy non-gmo diet, elimination of industrial chemicals in household products, elimination of fluoride and as odd as it seems placed in this list: Inner Child therapy (I find the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh the best, he treats the body, mind and world as a whole) Most of these immune issues stem from severe stress and trauma experienced during childhood, things we didn't and still have not faced that resurface as health problems.
Recipe for skin poultice:
- 2 caps activated charcoal Aprox. 1 Tbls
- equal amount of Organic Coconut Oil
- Mix together and apply for at least 30 minutes.
Like others have stated you may experience a urine-like smell and this indicates that it is working (not sure why, will have to look into that) First time I did this I smelled urine, very strongly in the tub until I washed the charcoal from myself and the tub, its gross and quite pungent, perhaps this is the toxins that are drawn out? If anyone has information on this mechanism please reply with your info!
An FYI in case anyone is interested, I have tried the prescription meds since I was very young, every other home remedy on this site as well as other but nothing has provided the immediate relief I experienced from the charcoal poultice. The itching, burning, swelling, redness, and small pimple-like lesions have disappeared all that is left of it is the scabs where I have scratched so much I opened the lesions.
Please drink plenty of fluoride free (if possible) water after ingesting or applying charcoal as it dehydrates the body.
Replied by Julie
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posted by Susan (Dania, FL U.S.) on 11/14/2008
I have a skin allergy,that a dermatologist identified as being eczema, It appears between my knee and ankle on my left leg. over the past 40 years it started about the size of a quarter and for the past 10 or 15 years had grown to cover and area of 4in.by 4 in.....I started taking the charcoal capsules twice a day, each capsule aprox 280 milligrams..the lesion has shrunk to about the size of a quarter..no more itching and burning etc,also whenever i feel an sinus allergy attack i take the charcoal..i reduce the amount that I take when the symptoms reduce.
Posted by Claire (Montreal, Quebec) on 05/29/2015
Since my delivery last December, I got a severe eczema on the top of my right hand... since, I am trying to get rid of it.
Apple cider vinegar and Extra Virgin Oil help me to stop itching and having a soft skin. during the time olive oil was on I felt great BUT it didn't cure me cause every time I stopped putting it on my hand I got rash, itch and very dry skin =(
My husband asked me to stop putting them on my hand and to cure it like a burn and he was right cause since 1 month ..I am getting better every day and I have hope to see it disappear one day.
It seems our brain doesn't know when the skin has to be cure or not, you have to send a message to it in order to get a cure.
So by a very simple acupuncture process on my hand (the palm of my hand), my brain was able to understand that this part of my body needs to be cure. I did that 3 days and I noticed a difference!!
In addition, I stopped moisturizing my hand cause if I continued to moisturizing it , the skin will never moisturizing by herself again, so I forced my skin to do the job herself (it s not easy because you hand is very dry, you got cracks and it s painful, you itch too cause of that but if you have enough motivation and you keep in mind to stop itching it will be a success)
After that, I wet roll towel sheets with warm water and a put it on my hand with a medical tape wrap bandage. I kept this bandage all day long and I was vigilant to keep it wet. this! Help me a lot, my skin was soft, no itching , no rash etc...so feel great and you even forget about it. During the night I take it off and forced my skin to cure, so you have again a dry skin and a lot of dead skin to take off and you do that until you are skin is getting better.
Be careful about the soap you use, try to buy one very moisturizing and use always the same one. (Dove brand shea butter one helps me)
The sun will help you too, keep you hand under sun and avoid wind cause you ll get a very dry skin after (we dont want that)
Try to eat omega 3 and 6, since I started cooking cereal bars by myself, I digest well and at the end I am balancing my body will all it needs to be better and in the same time I cure my skin
As I am nursing my baby so I cant clean my intestine, (the goal it to clean all the toxins you have) usually you have eczema cause your intestines dont know how to deal with too much toxins so usually the skin is the second one to take charge of, that ' why we have eczema...
Now I can say that my hand is practically cure, I do not wear any bandage anymore.
You can do it every time you need until you get rid of it.
Posted by Amelie (Paris, France) on 03/27/2011
Eczema remedy: 1/2 cup of organic pure aloe vera juice when you wake up and the same before going to bed. You should start seeing a difference within 3-4 weeks.
Posted by Terri (Moab, Utah) on 03/14/2015
I have eczema. I have had it for 15 plus years at various degrees. I have tried all I could to treat it myself. I did have success a few years ago after being on the GAPS diet for over a year and a half. The eczema went away for about a year. I was in heaven, but then it returned with a vengeance. It is on my face, neck and arms. I itch and scratch all the time. I finally went to our family functional doctor in January. He is treating me for candida. Although he is trying to do the best he can, I did not like the protocol. I don't think it will work because I have used it before. I found your book and bought it. Since January 22, 2015 I have been on your protocol including turpentine and anti-candida diet. There has been no change but in some ways worse. I am so discouraged.
I have a wedding for my daughter in a month and I don't know what I am going to wear. I am consumed with fighting this and it really is tiresome. Summer is coming on and long sleeves and turtle necks will not work. I am tired of a very limited diet. I know you were on this protocol for a year before your symptoms went away. I am willing to go that long if it is candida I have. I am starting to think I do not have it. I have been on anti-candida diets for several years. Since I was 16 I have been aware of healthy diets and have eaten very well. I quit eating sugar when I was 16, this is how aware I was, and I have kept this up all these years. I am 54, female.
This is where my thinking is directing me now--I believe my eczema is stress related. If this is the case....I have no idea how to overcome this. I cannot walk away from the life I have. I have done as much as I can to reduce my stress, I have anxiety which I take supplements for and they are working. They even say having eczema can cause stress. What do I do? I feel I am beaten.
Replied by Bill
San Fernando, Philippines
Apple vinegar is Earth Clinic's most popular natural remedy for eczema. Dozens of our readers have found relief from eczema with this simple and inexpensive remedy. Some of our readers have been shocked to find this cure after dealing with eczema for years, often with much expense at doctor's offices and on medications, only to find that the cure was in the cupboard all along!
Posted by Sidra (Salem, Oregon) on 07/16/2011
Better But With Side Effects:
Hi - First what a great resource this site is! Thank you so much! I have a question: I've been following EarthClinic for some months now and have found that the cure for candida has worked a near miracle. I had been suffering from it longer than I realized and only discovered how pervasive it was when I developed a persistent rash and eczema that nothing could cure. After 3months on the AVC/BS my eczema is gone, but I've had a troubling side effect from the beginning. My stools have gone from being normal and well-formed to extremely loose, basically passing water. At first I thought it was just part of the detox process, but it persisted. I started with 2 TBS ACV and 1/2 tsp BS in a full gals of water on an empty stomach once a day for 5 days on and 2 days off. I've gradually reduced the formula to 3 tsps. ACV and 1/8 tsp. BS thinking I might be taking too much. Still no change. I should mention I am a small, petite woman 98 - 100 lbs, so I generally reduce dosages recommended to compensate for my smaller size. Any suggestions?
Thanks so much!
Posted by Sandra (St Philip, Barbados) on 07/06/2010
This is my story so far: I am 51 years old, born in London of black Barbadian parents. I relocated to Barbados in 2005. Up to that time I had a minor problem with ezcema, a few dark patches which did not occur until I reached 40 or thereabouts. I didn't worry about them but treated them with the ointment prescribed by the doctor. I noticed soon after living in Barbados that the patches of ezcema were increasing, becoming raised & itching like you wouldn't believe. I am now covered from head to toe, including palms & soles of my feet with these patches. I've tried the traditional route with the dermatologist, a herbal practioner & even acupunture with no real improvement.
I decided to do some internet investigation & read elsewhere that blackseed & coconut oil had helped others with skin problems. I have been using both oils as soon as I come out of the shower & during the day when my skin starts to dry out & tighten up in the office air conditioning. I saw signs of improvement & was encourages to do more research.
I found your site on 16th June 2010, bought the apple cider vinegar on 18th, along with the bicarbonate of soda & followed Ted's advice.
I have been using the 2 tblsps of acv & 1/2 tsp of bicarb each morning or evening. (because I get an immediate reaction of having to rush to the toilet I don't drink this on the mornings I have to go to work) I also apply the acv directly to my skin by way of a spray bottle plus my oil moisturizers as many times as I need. The acv burns but not enough to put me off. I also try to drink each morning lemon juice in a glass of hot water. I have to sweeten this as I find it impossible to drink otherwise.
At first my skin became very flaky, even drier & grey looking, which was alarming but I persevered, encouraged by my husband. I still itched badly too. But within a week the flakiness eased off & the greyness went away.
Nearly 3 weeks later I am very encouraged to see the change in my skin. The raised, thickened patches have flattened out & do not look so angry. The degree of itching has lessened somewhat but I am still itching, especially my palms. I am still covered from head to toe but I am optimistic & encouraged to continue my regime & see what happens.
I have to say BIG THANKS for earthclinic.com & the contributing stories & testimonials.
I will post another update in a couple of weeks.Replied by Bajan Sands
Union Hall, St Philip, Barbados
Posted by Suzan (Hollywood, Fl) on 08/14/2009
Hi, I am 46 year old. I have born with eczema and allergy and ashma. long story, short I have tried everything out there, only hydrocortison cream and pills do little help. It is been two weeks that I have started 2 tbspoon apple cider vinager with 1/2 tspoon baking soda. The result is very itchy, red, swollen, painful skin. I also am taking acidophilus and flax seed oil. I have allergy to every thing and asthma. Please help I am very desperate. Thank you in advance.Replied by Tavora
Posted by Ryan (Chicago, Illinois) on 10/03/2007
I have had EXCELLENT success with ACV (2tbs) and Baking Soda (1/4 tsp or so) in a glass of water three times per day especially upon waking. I also mix a small thermos with another two doses and sip it during the afternoon. I definitely find it energizing and the psoriasis/eczema (whatever it is -- apples/oranges) I've had on my elbows ever since an extended fast is clearing up PRONTO. I'm very excited. I think I'll be a lifelong devotee. Ted -- you're awesome. I'm also taking a bit of borax occasionally and experimenting with the sodium thiowhateveritis. Best of luck to everyone.
Posted by Ed Davis (Wenatchee WA, USA) on 06/03/2007
Skin Care - Dry Scaly Patches: I had some dry scaly skin on my nose and about for an inch or so on either side of my nose. I have been using a mixture of ACV, Baking Soda, and Water for a about a week and a half. I use about 1/4 tablespoon of BS and ACV till the bubbling stops. then I add just enough water to complete filling a small cup About 3 inches high, 1/2 full. I wash my face with this and leave it on for about a minute and then rinse it off. My skin on my nose and by my nose is now very soft and is no longer dry. I also found that when shaving with a razor that this mixture lubricated my skin and I did not get any cuts. I pieced this mixture together from reading about several items from this site. I love earthclinic.com
Posted by Saphi (Toronto, Ontario Canada) on 10/25/2009
I was reading everyone's testimonials and it gave me hope that ACV would clear my eczema that I've had for so long (since when I was 14, I'm now 21)and was irritated that my doctor couldn't help clear it and all he ever gave me was steroids to slow it down...What I did was pour of ACV on a cotton ball (soak it) and rubbed it on the places where the eczema was. Because it stings so bad I had a bottle of Sweet Almond Oil and rubbed it on the same spot where the eczema was to immediately stop the stinging and help with the healing of the skin. You can get a small bottle health food stores for around $6, I know it's expensive but it's worth it. I did this for about a week and it cleared up my eczema. I also drink 2 tbsp. of ACV in bottle water daily (tastes bad but bear with it!) to kill the eczema bacteria inside my body.
Posted by Dw (Australia, Melbourne) on 04/26/2014
I developed seborrheic eczema for 2 years. It started back in 2010 July as a very small on my left cheek and soon developed to a huge red patch. I quickly went to the pharmacy to find out what it was and they said it was fungal since it was inflamed and oozed with yellow liquid. I was scared so I listened to the lady when she recommended me to use clotrimazole (fungal cream). It was going great, the patch was gone within 3 days. However it kept coming back and worse as before. I then went to see a dermatologist and he said it is definitely eczema. He prescribed me the usual 1% hydrocortisone. I used this very thinly for a few weeks and it did the temporary trick, however it keeps coming back and the condition worsened. At this point, I had no more faith in creams. I was depressed everyday looking at myself in the mirror, my skin has been destroyed with this huge patch of red, dry and flaky skin. End of 2010, I went to America for holiday. My aunt is a pharmacist and she took me to a skin specialist. The doctor asked me to wash my face with Head and shoulder shampoo and go on a course of cortisone pills for 7 days. This method did the trick for controlling the eczema for only 3 weeks. After that, it came back in vengeance. Start of 2011, I gave up in finding a doctor or taking pills and using these chemical creams. I started experimenting with natural products. For 1 and a half years I changed my diet by eating super clean (Though my diet was very healthy already before this eczema developed, maybe it was due to stress as I was still studying in university).
Second step is, I started washing my face with apple cider + water and apply coconut oil on the eczema patch. I tried this a few weeks, it did not help.
I then tried juicing raw potato, drink it and also put it on my patch, this also did not work.
Here are a list of things that I also tried (ingesting and/or applying topically) but failed:
- Aloe vera + slippery elm + probiotics
- green barley grass+ green juice + spirulina
- coconut oil (ingest and topically)
- Apple cider vinegar (ingest and topically)
- Hemp, fish, flax seed oil
- Zinc, magnesium, Vit B complex, Vit A.
- Tumeric (make it into paste as face mask and also ingest)
- There are still many other things that I've experimented but with no desired outcome.
Here comes the answers to my prayers. The ONLY things that made my eczema gone was APPLE CIDER VINEGAR + COCONUT + NATURAL BENTONITE CLAY.
I would mix them all into a paste just enough to put all over my face. I leave this on OVERNIGHT and EVERY NIGHT for 4 weeks. The first few days, my face would sting after using the mask over night. it made my skin red (my eczema looked especially angry with drier patch), however this pass in an hr and your skin goes back normal. The most amazing thing is I saw results just after 1 and a half weeks of using these ingredients religiously every night to sleep. I just kept doing it and in the 4th week the eczema DISAPPEARED. You guys have no idea how HAPPPYYYYYYY I was! To maintain this (because I was so traumatize that the eczema might reappear again) I would apply this paste every 2nd night for the next 6 months. After that, I never applied them again. It's nearly 1.5 years ever since I had eczema and it never came back (:
You can buy ANY natural bentonite clay online (I bought mine on ebay) and mix it into a paste with a few drops of apple cider vinegar + coconut oil just so your face won't be too dry. This worked amazingly with quick and fast results! I hope this works for everyone but I know we're all different. Anyone who are struggling with eczema, please please pleaseee give this a try and see how you go! At least give it ONE whole month EVERY NIGHT to see results. Do not worry if the first week makes your skin worse, 2nd week should be ok!
Good luck everybody!