Essential Oils for Eczema and Dermatitis
Millions of us have to deal with eczema and dermatitis on a daily basis. In fact, eczema affects about 10% to 20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. If you’re one of these sufferers, we want to share with you essential oils for eczema and dermatitis and instructions on how to use them. (If you’re a new essential oil user, please download your free copy of our ebook, “Listen” to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy.)
Eczema is a general term for any type of dermatitis (an itchy rash/inflammatory skin condition.) There are many types of dermatitis including atopic, contact, dyshidrotic, nummular and seborrheic. The symptoms for each type of dermatitis differ and can be both acute and/or chronic. However, they all, in varying degrees, include dry, red (swollen), itchy, thickened skin, with scaling and blisters that may ooze, bleed and crust over. For more detailed information on the different types of dermatitis you can visit The National Eczema Association website.
Causes of Eczema
Before we go into how to treat eczema, it can be helpful to gain insight into the causes. The cause of eczema is unknown, but most sources cite a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
Research is still being done, some suggest that eczema can be tied to an “overly clean” environment during early childhood. Studies on the “hygiene hypothesis” have shown that exposure to everyday bacteria and germs help to strengthen our immune system and decrease allergic reactions. Increasingly, there also appears to be a connection between celiac disease (severe allergic reaction to gluten) and eczema. Eczema occurs about three times more frequently in celiac disease patients and about two times more frequently in relatives of celiac patients. *
How to Reduce the Severity or Frequency of Eczema Flare Ups
- Protect your skin: Avoid those things that make your symptoms worse i.e. skin irritants (soaps, wool, synthetic fibers, perfumes, chlorine etc. )
- Reduce stress: Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema. So work on developing daily habits that help you unwind, such as meditation and using calming essential oils.
- Avoid hot baths & showers: Lukewarm water is best and an aromatherapy bath can be moisturizing and relaxing. If you live in a dry environment, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- Moisturize: Apply moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath to seal in skin moisture.
- Healthy diet: Reduce intake of refined foods and sugar; increase fresh vegetables, whole grains and essential fatty acids and drink plenty of water.
- Exercise: Any form of movement that your body enjoys will be helpful to keep your lymph moving. As lymph moves through our lymphatic system it helps to remove toxins, waste and other unwanted material from our bodies. Lymph will stagnate without physical movement, so dance, jump, walk, run and move on a regular basis.
Essential oils for eczema and dermatitis that calm and soothe skin
Essential oils that are anti-pruritic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and emollient can help to support skin health, while reducing the number or severity of flare ups.
NOTE: Avoid German and Roman Chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, asters, echinacea or feverfew.
Topical Application: Essential oils for eczema and dermatitis should be used in a 1-2% dilution (6-12 drops of essential oil per 1 oz of carrier oil); gently apply to area in need 2-3 x per day during acute phase and 1-2 x per day to maintain skin health.
Cool Compress: Use to help prevent sebum and crust from accumulating and to relieve inflammation. Fill a basin with cool water, add 1-3 drops of essential oil and stir. Lay in a washcloth, wring, and apply to the area in need. Dip, wring and apply 3 more times. Leave the last compress in place for 3 minutes.
Apply Moisturizing Lotion: Use lotion made from natural ingredients after-bath or shower moisturizer at the end of the day to relax! Simply apply to the entire body while the skin is still wet, then pat dry. You can also add the essential oils mentioned earlier to your fragrance-free lotion for an extra treat for your skin!
Many of our customers with eczema rely on e3’s Scents of Comfort massage lotion to keep their skin moisturized. Its gentle, skin-nourishing, antioxidant-rich, all-natural ingredients soothe chapped rough skin, eczema, and psoriasis. It’s 100% junk-free and is handmade in small batches. It contains gentle, skin-nourishing, antioxidant-rich ingredients and is free of petrochemicals, waxes, synthetics, emulsifiers, and parabens.
As a special offer, we’re providing a free 2 ounce size of e3’s Scents of Comfort massage lotion with the purchase of any other two e3 products. (Offer applies to all three options: Rest fragrance-free, Relax gentle aromatherapy, Relief restorative aromatherapy.) Simply add this in the Comments section in the shopping cart — FREE SAMPLE LOTION. This offer is limited to one-time per customer.
Essential oil suggestions to reduce stress
Reducing stress supports our body’s natural ability to move toward optimal health, balance and well-being. Choose an essential oil or blend which you love the aroma and one that gives you that “AHHH” feeling when you inhale its aroma.
Bath, Foot: Mix 1-3 drops of essential oil in 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. Set aside. Fill a tub (deep enough to cover your feet and ankles) with warm water. Add the essential oil mixture, stir well, and immerse your feet for 10-15 minutes.
Inhalation: During times of stress or anxiety place 1-3 drops of essential oil on a tissue and inhale aroma as desired; or open bottle and inhale directly from bottle. (Avoid touching your nose to the tissue or bottle.)
Diffusion: Follow diffuser manufacturer’s instructions. Diffuse in office or home.
Easy suggestions if you do not have a diffuser:
- Place 3-4 drops of essential oil on several cotton balls and place on your desk or in various parts of the room (It is best to place cotton balls on a jar lid, small piece of wax paper or tin foil, to avoid direct contact with finished surfaces of furniture, floors etc.; direct contact of essential oils with these surfaces may cause damage.)
- Add 3-5 drops to a cup or bowl of warm water and place on desk or table. (Be careful not to drink this)
- Add 5 drops to a pot of gently simmering water.
- Add 3-5 drops to a tissue and tuck in the air vent of your car or heater vent in your home or office. (Make sure to tuck the “dry” end (the area that does not have any essential oil) into the vent to avoid damaging the finish.)
- Spritzer: Add 20-25 drops of essential oil to a 1 oz. spritzer bottle and fill with water. Shake and mist the air as desired.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the special offer of a free 2 ounce size of e3’s Scents of Comfort massage lotion with the purchase of any other two e3 products. (Remember to add FREE SAMPLE LOTION in the Comments section in the shopping cart).
Please browse through our website for more information on skin care with essential oils. And visit us on Facebook for more essential oil tips, recipes and ideas. We’d love to hear what your favorite essential oils for eczema and dermatitis are.