Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that typically presents dry, itchy patches on the skin. The inflammation, itchiness, and redness can lead to cracked or swollen skin, or even blisters. Dermatologists typically prescribe steroid creams to help control the condition, but you can go a more natural route. Homemade eczema creams harness the power of natural ingredients to moisturize the skin and calm inflammation.
Believe it or not, homemade creams can be very effective at reducing eczema symptoms. The reason for this is because they contain nourishing, moisturizing ingredients that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Some of these ingredients include shea butter, coconut oil, oatmeal, and aloe vera, all of which help relieve itching and promote healing. In fact, research shows that shea butter contains beneficial compounds that exhibit potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
Please note that if eczema symptoms are severe or persistent, you may require over-the-counter or prescription-strength creams/ointments. Those products often contain active ingredients like immunomodulators or corticosteroids, which work to control symptoms and reduce inflammation. If you want to go the more natural route before resorting to those treatments, the following creams may provide relief.
Baby Butter Balm
A baby’s skin is very sensitive, so prioritizing gentle and safe ingredients for eczema treatment is paramount. When using the following cream on a baby’s skin, make sure to do a small patch test before applying to the affected area.
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground oatmeal
- In a small heat-safe bowl, melt the shea butter and coconut oil in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler. You can also make your own version of a double boiler and melt those ingredients that way.
- Once the shea butter and coconut oil are fully melted, remove from the heat source and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
- Add the ground oatmeal to the melted mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to a clean, airtight container and allow it to solidify at room temperature. Use when ready.
Soothing Oatmeal Cream
Known for its soothing properties, oatmeal has been used for centuries to remedy skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. Oats contain compounds, such as beta-glucans, that work to reduce itching, calm inflammation, and relieve dry or irritated skin.
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons raw organic honey
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- For the oats, you can either use regular rolled oats or you can add them to a food processor and blend them into a powder. The choice is yours.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut oil, and honey, mixing until thoroughly combined. Add the lavender essential oil (if using) and mix again.
- Apply a small amount of the cream to the affected areas and gently massage into the skin. Leave the cream on for a few minutes so that the ingredients can penetrate the skin.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Store the remaining cream in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Aloe Vera & Olive Oil Eczema Balm
Olive oil is a natural moisturizer that works to hydrate the skin and enhance skin barrier function. The antioxidants and healthy fats in olive oil work to nourish and soothe dry, itchy skin. Aloe vera exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and itching, all the while providing a cooling sensation. A six-week study compared the effectiveness of Olivederma (a combination of olive oil and aloe vera) and betamethasone (a corticosteroid) for eczema treatment. The study found that both the Olivederma and betamethasone reduced eczema severity, but Olivederma showed greater improvement.
- 1 tablespoon cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 10 drops rosehip oil (optional)
- Add the cocoa butter to the top of a double boiler over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until melted.
- Once the cocoa butter is melted, pour in the olive oil and remove from heat. Pour the aloe vera gel into the mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the rosehip oil (if desired) and then transfer the mixture to a clean, airtight container. Allow it to cool completely before you use it. Store in a cool, dark place.