“Eczema has been my lifelong struggle. I had it all over as a child but outgrew it for a short time, then it reappeared on my hands in my 20s. Dermatologist after dermatologist prescribed steroid creams which I used rarely, however I saw one in 2012 that put me on Clebetasol…the strongest. Of course it cleared up my eczema….until I stopped using it, and it would pop right back up. So I used this cream about once-twice a week since then, having no idea how strong this cream really was and what it was doing to my skin.Do you have any other suggestions for me?​ ​Sorry for the long rant, but I’m feeling desperate for relief.”- AC

What is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is when the skin becomes inflamed, red and irritated. It often looks like a rash and can show up anywhere on the body. Eczema is most often found on the face, back of knees, wrists, hands and feet.

This condition is extremely common, and can be caused or made worse by allergies, asthma, certain fabrics, stress or illness. Staying moisturized and avoiding irritants can help calm eczema.

Essential oils can also treat symptoms of eczema. Roman Chamomile1 and diluted Peppermint2 act as antihistamines to treat eczema caused by allergies. Lemongrass,3 Lavender,4 and Ginger5  can act as anti-inflamatories. Meleluca6 oil is especially good at healing skin. Frankincense and Thyme have also been shown to help.7

Causes of Eczema

Contributing factors to eczema include:

    • Allergies
    • Asthma
    • Hay fever
    • Skin irritation such as wearing rough
    • Being too hot or too cold
    • Exposure to household cleaning products
    • Animal dander
    • Respiratory Infections
    • Cold
    • Stress

Symptoms of Eczema

The most common symptoms of eczema include:

    • Rash
    • Itching
    • Dry skin
    • Scaly patches
    • Oozing
    • Swelling
    • Dark patches of skin

Prevention of Eczema

Eczema can typically be avoided through dietary and lifestyle changes in the following ways:

    • Keep skin moisturized
    • Don’t get overheated or sweat
    • Avoid stress
    • Don’t wear scratchy clothes such as wool
    • Avoid soaps and detergents that are irritating
    • Avoid sudden temperature changes

Beneficial Essential Oils for Eczema

    • Aromatic Use: Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Thyme
    • Topical Use: Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile,  Thyme, Topical Blend*
    • Internal Use: Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile,  Thyme, Topical Blend*

There are many different ways to use essential oils for eczema. Here are some suggested ways:

  • Add 2 drops lavender to 10-20 drops of fractionated coconut oil, massaging on​to site of rash 4x daily, avoiding the use of lavender if there are any open pustules for a mild rash.
  • For recurring rashes, fungal rash or more severe rash, blend 2 drops of lavender with 2 drops melaleuca with 10-20 drops of fractionated coconut oil and apply topically, hourly.
  • For severe rash or rashes that will not go away, apply 3-4 drops each of lavender, melaleuca and calming essential oil blend*, with 10-20 drops of fractionated coconut oil every 1/2 hour until rash improves drastically or disappears.

See Protocol related to this eczema.

*HD Clear Topical Blend

References

  1. Kobayashi, Y., Takahashi, R., & Ogino, F. (2005). Antipruritic effect of the single oral administration of German chamomile flower extract and its combined effect with antiallergic agents in ddY mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 101(1-3), 308-312.
  2. Lysenko, L. V. Syla, V. I. (1972). [Antiallergic action of peppermint oil azulene]. Farm Zh, 27(6), 65-8.
  3. Boukhatem, M. N. Ferhat, M. A. Kameli, A. Saidi, F. Kebir, H. T. (2014). Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. Libyan Journal of Medicine, 9, 25431-25431.
  4. Huang, M., Liao, M., Wang, Y., Huang, Y., & Wen, H. (2012). Effect of Lavender Essential Oil on LPS-Stimulated Inflammation. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 40(4), 845-859.
  5. Jeena, K. Liju, V. B. Kuttan, R. (2013). Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from ginger. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 57(1), 51-62.
  6. Pazyar, N., Yaghoobi, R., Bagherani, N., & Kazerouni, A. (2013). A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology, 784-790.
  7. Anderson, C., Lis-Balchin, M., & Kirk-Smith, M. (2000). Evaluation of massage with essential oils on childhood atopic eczema. Phytotherapy Research, 452-456.

Other References

  • Eczema. (2013, August 15). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from http://nationaleczema.org/eczema/
  • Mayo Clinic. (2014, July 26). Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eczema/basics/definition/con-20032073
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