7 Best Essential Oils for Eczema

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essential oils eczema

Eczema is one of the most common forms of skin conditions that plagues almost every human on earth. And while there are gazillions of products and procedures that all claim 100 percent treatment of this particular skin problem, these are often expensive, has a lot of side effects, or, worst, can bring about other skin problems. That’s why it is always a lot better to turn to what Mother Nature has. And when it comes to natural remedies for eczema and other skin conditions, essential oils are at the top of the chain.

Skin, Beauty, and Self-Esteem

There is a certain degree of truth to the saying that beauty is just skin-deep. There’s a lot of products out there that are designed to “bring out” the beauty in you. And, guess what? Many of these products are geared for the skin. This has led a lot of people to believe that having a great-looking skin is essential to becoming beautiful. Now, imagine if the skin is plagued with a variety of problems such as scarring, redness, blotchy appearance, and irregular discoloration. Would you still consider it beautiful?

The skin serves a lot of purpose in our lives. It protects us from the elements. It’s our first line of defense against microbial and viral infections, that is, if we are able to maintain its integrity. It is also helpful in the conversion of sunlight into Vitamin D which is needed by our bones. Yes, sunlight does not contain Vitamin D. It just activates some of the precursor molecules that will turn into Vitamin D. Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize these functions simply because we are too engrossed in the idea that the skin is our natural and most important body organ that conveys how beautiful we are.

So, you can just imagine the horror of discovering that you have eczema or any other skin condition. That would really be distressing, wouldn’t it? That’s why the skin care industry is actually a multi-billion dollar industry simply because women – and men – have grown to value skin care and beautification products as very essential to maintaining their self-confidence and boosting their self-esteem.

Let’s Take a Look at What Eczema Is

Eczema is just the more common way of calling what healthcare experts know as dermatitis. Translated literally, it simply means inflammation of the skin. That’s why the skin is often seen as reddish, quite itchy, and swollen. In some cases, fluid may form in the skin lesions. Over time, this can thicken.

When tissues get injured, they release pro-inflammatory substances that initiate a series of inflammatory responses. First, blood is drawn to the injured area to bring in tissue-repairing cells which also help fight any foreign microorganism or substance that may be present at the site of tissue injury. This is why we see redness as well as localized warmth. Over time, the different cells in the blood try to wall-off the injured site so that they can start repairing it. This leads to a significant increase in the cells surrounding the site, clumping together. At the same time, the walls of the blood vessels stretch thin because of the increase in blood volume to the area. This allows fluid to leak outside of these blood vessels and into the surrounding tissues. This leads to swelling which can exert undue pressure on the nerve endings that are present in the area. That is why there can also be pain or minor discomfort. The different immune system cells try to destroy the different pro-inflammatory substances but, in doing so, release certain chemicals that make us feel very itchy.

In a gist, the dermatitis or eczema that we know is actually an inflammatory response. That being said, if we can exert some control in the inflammatory process without necessarily affecting our body’s ability to repair the tissue injury, then eczema can be easily managed. This is actually the principle behind the treatment of such skin conditions. The topical ointments we use are filled with anti-inflammatory chemicals to help reduce the effects of inflammation.

Unfortunately, there are many types of eczema and some may not actually respond to anti-inflammatory substances alone. There are those that are caused by allergic reactions, poor venous blood flow, and even minor irritations. It can be brought by the following:

  • Insect bites and stings
  • Contact with harsh chemicals and substances
  • Contact with allergens and other substances that can elicit an allergic response
  • Consumption of allergenic food and beverages
  • Exposure to certain microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Extreme weather conditions including hot weather and extremes in humidity

Regrettably, if we scratch our skin because it’s itchy, we tend to cut it or break its integrity. And this can complicate the issue as on the surface of our skin are microorganisms that can lead to infection if they get inside the skin.

Treatment therefore, can include antibiotics if the skin is already infected and antihistamines if the itchiness is already unbearable that it disrupts our sleep. These are, of course, in addition to anti-inflammatory drugs as well as steroids. Sadly, you know these are not really the safest substances you can use even if we say they are topical.

And this is where essential oils can help.

7 Best Essential Oils for Eczema

1Lavender Essential Oil 

One of the most famous essential oils is lavender. It is primarily known for its ability calm nerves and relieve pain. More importantly, it has been shown to be very effective as a disinfectant primarily in the management of acne. Its antibacterial and analgesic properties make it one of the best essential oils for treating a variety of inflammatory skin conditions including eczema, acne, and psoriasis. It also helps promote the growth of newer and healthier skin cells for superb healing from eczematous conditions.

2Geranium Essential Oil 

The astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cicatrisant, and cytophylactic properties of geranium essential oil makes it one of the most ideal solutions to many skin problems including eczema. It helps tighten then pores of the skin to help prevent the entry of microorganisms while at the same time inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria which may be present on the skin. It also helps reduce the effects of inflammation to help mitigate swelling, itching, and redness. Geranium also helps promote the faster healing and regeneration of damaged skin cells.

3Rosemary Essential Oil 

Aside from the fact that rosemary is an excellent herb in cuisines all over the world, its essential oil has also been proven to be effective in the management of dermatitis or eczema, acne, as well as oily skin. Although known primarily for its use on hair care, rosemary essential oil is nonetheless powered by its antibacterial and antiseptic properties to help in the treatment of eczema. It also helps boost the immune system so our bodies are able to better control the different pro-inflammatory substances present in the eczematous skin.

4Chamomile Essential Oil 

Chamomile is one of the most versatile essential oils when it comes to the management of a variety of skin conditions. It comes as no surprise if we have included it in our list as its anti-inflammatory effects can really help tame the itching, blotching, swelling, and other signs and symptoms associated with eczema. It is particularly effective in soothing and softening flaky and dry skin.

5Evening Primrose Essential Oil 

For eczema that is too dry and flaky, you will need the superb fatty acid profile of evening primrose essential oil. These fatty acids help soften and hydrate dry skin to allow it to heal a lot faster. It is also effective in the reduction of swelling and is particularly effective among individuals with blisters or bumps on their skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties are well-regarded and as such deserve to be included in our list.

6Frankincense Essential Oil 

The disinfectant, antiseptic, astringent, cytophylactic, and cicatrisant properties of frankincense essential oil make it one of the favorites when it comes to the treatment of a variety of skin conditions. In eczema, it helps by clearing the skin of harmful microorganisms which might infect the eczematous skin especially if scratching cannot be avoided. It also helps hasten the speed of skin cell recovery and regeneration so your skin will be looking as healthy as ever.

7Tea Tree Essential Oil 

If you want an essential oil that you can use as a standalone eczema treatment, meaning you can apply it directly over your eczematous skin, then you need to get a tea tree essential oil. It has excellent antibacterial and cicatrisant properties that help fight potential skin infections which can exacerbate the eczema. It also helps promote healthier regeneration of damaged or injured skin cells.

Some Recipes You Might Want to Try to Manage Your Eczematous Skin Problems

Before you try out our recipes we strongly recommend consulting with your primary care physician first especially if you have certain medical conditions that may be affected. Like all substances, the active ingredients of essential oils can inadvertently produce other effects other than the one that you desire. In some cases, if you are taking certain drugs for a particular health condition, it may affect the effectiveness of these essential oils, and vice versa. For that, we really want you to check with your doctor first.

Additionally, if you have very sensitive skin, we suggest doing a trial application of these recipes first. Or, you can dilute the essential oils a lot further from its standard dilution of 3 drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil. You can either reduce the amount of essential oil to 1 drop or increase the amount of carrier oil to 2 teaspoons or even a tablespoon. Otherwise, it would be generally safe to use these recipes.

1. Recipe for Eczema Compress 

If you need quick and instant relief especially if your skin is really itching, you may need to make your very own eczema compress. This soothes the itchiness and can help reduce the swelling as well.

What you’ll need: 

  • 2 cups of cold water; if you can tolerate ice-cold water, that would be even better
  • 2 drops of rosemary essential oil; you can replace with myrrh if you like
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil; you can substitute geranium if you like
  • 1 drop of chamomile essential oil

Next steps:

  • Combine all the essential oils in a non-reactive bowl.
  • Add the cold water and stir well.

How to use: 

  • Soak a piece of clean cloth into the mixture until it is fully saturated with the solution.
  • Wring the soaked cloth just enough to prevent the cloth from falling.
  • Apply the cold compress on your eczema at least twice a day.
2. Recipe for Eczema Lotion

Cold compresses may be effective for short-term relief of itching and inflammation. However, for a more prolonged effect, you may need a more powerful blend that can be applied directly onto the affected part of the skin. This is where our eczema lotion can work its many wonders.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 ounces of your favorite Vitamin E cream
  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops of evening primrose essential oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of frankincense essential oil

Next steps:

  • Place your Vitamin E cream in a non-reactive bowl.
  • Add the essential oils and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour onto a clean and empty squeeze bottle then store until ready to use.

How to use:

  • Shake the blend real well to make sure that the different components are well-blended.
  • Apply generous amounts of the essential oil-vitamin E lotion onto affected parts of your skin.
  • You can apply this lotion 2 to 3 times daily.
3. Recipe for Dry Eczema 

If your eczema is of the dry type, meaning it forms crusts or flakes, then you will need something to moisten it while at the same time help improve the healing and regeneration of underlying skin cells. While our eczema lotion may also work in this case, we would strongly recommend making this special concoction if your main problem is very dry eczema.

What you’ll need: 

  • 10 drops of evening primrose essential oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree essential oil; you can replace this with frankincense essential oil
  • 10 drops of chamomile essential oil
  • 8 teaspoons of your favorite carrier oil; we strongly recommend using grape seed oil, hemp seed oil, or even sweet almond oil

Next steps:

  • Pour the carrier oil into a 60 mL glass bottle with dropper.
  • Add the different essential oils one at a time.
  • Roll the bottle between your hands to mix the different oils.
  • Store until you are ready to use.

How to use:

  • Shake well before each application.
  • Use the dropper to draw some of the mixture and apply it over the dry eczema.
  • Use your fingertips to gently rub it over the eczematous skin.

Individuals with dry eczema often have deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids. As such, it is highly recommended that supplementation may be necessary. Cod liver oil and hemp seed oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. If you can get your hands on high quality krill oil, then that would really be better.

Additionally, you might want to always take warm showers briefly before ending it with a cold shower.

4. Recipe for Weeping Eczema

Inflammation is the body’s natural means of protecting itself. Unfortunately, with tissue damage comes the risk of infection especially if we are not careful not to scratch our eczematous skin. When this happens, fluid from the blisters of the eczematous skin can leak out and bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus can enter the skin. That is why many experts believe that weeping eczema is already a sign of a possible bacterial infection. If such is the case, don’t reach for that antibiotic yet because we have a special natural remedy for that.

What you’ll need: 

  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 15 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 10 drops of chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 60 mL or ¼ cup of shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite Vitamin E cream

Next steps:

  • Place a medium-sized nonreactive bowl over a larger pot of simmering, not briskly boiling, water. You can also heat the bowl over a Bunsen burner if you have one.
  • Place the shea butter in the heated bowl and make sure to turn it into liquid form.
  • Add the vitamin E cream and blend.
  • Add the different essential oils and fold each one into the mixture. Mix very well.
  • Pour the mixture into a clean, preferably sterilized, double-walled jar. You can make use of a 2 ounce jar for this or even larger. Be careful when pouring the mixture into the jar as it can be very hot.
  • Let the mixture cool before covering and tightly sealing it.
  • Store in a cool dry place until you are ready to use.

How to use:

  • Wash your hands very well. It makes no sense to be applying a particular treatment if your hands are also filled with microorganisms that can further aggravate the already-infected skin.
  • Get a small portion of the cream using your fingertips.
  • Apply the cream onto the weeping eczema.
  • You can apply this 2 to 3 times a day until improvements are noticeable.
5. Recipe for All-Purpose Eczema Cream

If you need a more all-purpose eczema cream, you can make this particular recipe. This is good for about 25 uses so you can double the portions to get twice the use.

What you’ll need:

  • 30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 85 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • ½ cup or 120 mL of shea butter
  • ½ cup or 120 mL of coconut oil; you can replace this with ¼ cup or 60 mL of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of local honey

Next steps:

  • Melt the shea butter using the method we described in our weeping eczema cream. Or you can use a double boiler for this.
  • Add the coconut oil and mix well.
  • Add the local honey and make sure to blend very well.
  • Add the essential oils one at a time, making sure the mixture is properly blended before adding the next essential oil.
  • Let the mixture cool. However, be careful it won’t turn into a solid block.
  • Get a hand mixer or even a stand mixer and blend the mixture until it becomes frothy. This should take about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a mason jar and cover it tightly.
  • Store in a cool dry place. You can put it in the ref but it’s a lot easier to apply when stored at room temperature.

How to use:

  • Wash your hands before digging into the cream.
  • Apply generous amounts onto your eczematous skin 2 to 3 times every day.
6. Recipe for Eczema Oatmeal Bath 

One of the best ways to really manage your eczema, especially if it is all over your body, is by soaking in a bath tub infused with oatmeal and essential oils. This should help relieve the itching and minimize the inflammation. You will definitely feel fresher afterwards.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 4 drops of essential oil
  • 4 drops of chamomile essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of plain oatmeal

Next steps:

  • Mix the essential oils with the oatmeal to form a paste.
  • Place the oatmeal-essential oil paste in the center of a muslin bag or even a cheesecloth. If you have to use a cheesecloth, make sure to create more than one layer so the paste won’t fall off.
  • Collect the edges of the cheesecloth and secure it with a string. Make sure it’s tight to form a bag, much like a teabag.

How to use:

  • Fill your bath tub with water and add 2 to 4 drops of your favorite essential oil. We do recommend lavender essential oil for this purpose. Make sure to disperse the oil in your bathtub water.
  • Tie the essential oil-oatmeal bag on the bathtub faucet. Make sure the bag is fully immersed in the water.
  • Get in the tub and enjoy yourself. Occasionally rub the oatmeal bag on your skin especially those areas with eczema.

Hopefully with these recipes you will feel much more comfortable managing your eczema. Otherwise, you can always seek professional medical help.

References

1. Bruggink, S.C., Gussekloo, J., de Koning, M.N., et al (2013). HPV type in plantar warts influences natural course and treatment responses: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Virology. 57(3):227-32.
2. Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., and R. Gimenez (2006). Beneficial effects of green tea – a review. Journal of the American College of Nutritionists. 25(2):79-99.
3. Das, M., Sur, P., Gomes, A., Vedasiromoni, J. R., and D. K. Ganguly (2002). Inhibition of tumor growth and inflammation by consumption of tea. Phytotherapy Research. 16 Suppl 1:S40-4.
4. Schnittzler, P., schumacher, A., Astani, A., and J. Reichling (2008). Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses. Phytomedicine. 15(9): 734-740.
5. Scnitzler, P., Schon, K., and J. Reichling (2001). Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture. Pharmazie. 56(4):343-7.

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