A DIY Eczema Cream May Offer Relief from Itchy, Irritated Skin
Eczema can be horrible. At best, it is uncomfortable and irritating. At its worst, it can become infected, weepy and sore.
Commercial eczema lotions can help, but they can also come with their own array of problems. Some contain allergens like lanolin (which comes from wool), and they can also contain highly flammable paraffin. Some steroid creams for eczema are also not suitable for long-term use. It can be hard to know what exactly is in commercial products, which is why DIY eczema cream can be a good alternative.
But where do you start? There are a few things to consider before you start making your own cream:
- Never use ingredients you are allergic to. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to get a bit over-enthusiastic and forget!
- Make sure you have all of the ingredients before you start. It’s very frustrating to have to stop halfway through making something because you don’t have a specific ingredient.
- If your eczema is worsening or not responding, seek medical attention immediately.
There are a few basic ingredients you will need for a DIY eczema cream. They always need to have something to retain moisture in the skin and something to soothe it as well.
Some excellent natural moisturizers for eczema include coconut oil, shea butter and sunflower oil or olive oil.
Coconut oil is very popular, and we love it. It can be great for eczema. It contains lauric acid, which helps stop bacterial and fungal growth, preventing eczema from becoming infected.
Coconut oil contains salicylates, which some people with eczema can be allergic to. If you find your eczema is worse when you use it, stop!
Coconut oil is not one of the most moisturizing ingredients out there. It is absorbed into the skin quickly and provides little protection. It is okay to use if you’re not allergic to it and your eczema isn’t too bad. Plus, it smells lovely.
Shea butter comes from the nuts of the shea tree. It contains vitamin A, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also helps to stop the overgrowth of skin cells (the thicker skin that comes along with eczema). Shea butter is easily available, but you need to be sure that it is a good quality butter and doesn’t have any additives.
Sunflower Oil and Olive Oil
Sunflower oil is easily absorbed and helps to reduce inflammation in the skin. It helps the skin’s natural protective barrier, which locks in moisture. The main downside is that it’s very runny!
Olive oil has similar benefits and disadvantages to sunflower oil. However, there are concerns that it may cause damage to the skin 0n very young babies, so it is best used only on children and adults.
Skin Conditioners and Soothers
To help keep your eczema from flaring up, some natural ingredients contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Lavender, tea tree, thyme, rose and eucalyptus oils all have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which will soothe the skin and reduce infections. They also smell great, which will make you always want to use them.
Many store-bought eczema products do not smell as nice. However, you shouldn’t put any essential oils directly onto the skin.
The humble oat. You can whizz them in a blender until they turn into a powder, then mix them with a little water to make a paste that can be applied to your skin. Oats hydrate, cleanse and reduce inflammation.
There is a small amount of evidence that oats shouldn’t be used on small babies with broken skin due to potential allergic reactions. On unbroken skin and older babies, children and adults, oats are generally tolerated very well.
Honey has amazing antimicrobial properties. It has been used for centuries to cure and alleviate many health issues. Manuka honey seems to have the best antibiotic effect but is more expensive than other kinds of honey. If manuka honey is not an option, other honey will also be beneficial.
Sample DIY Eczema Cream Recipe
- ¼ cup of coconut oil.
- ¾ cup of shea butter.
- ⅛ cup of oats (ground and mixed into a paste with water).
- Two teaspoons of honey.
- A few drops of rose essential oil.
If the coconut oil is hard, soften it in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Mix all ingredients together. The oats will sink, so stir them in as they set. But don’t worry too much; it won’t damage the cream if they are at the bottom!
Now you have a toolkit to make up your DIY eczema cream. Be sure to keep the following tips in mind when making your own.
- At least ¾ of the cream should be from the moisturizing group.
- Using more of the solid moisturizers will give a more solid cream, and using more liquid moisturizers will make a more runny cream.
- Only use a few drops of essential oils, a spoon or two of honey and a few tablespoons of the oat mixture.
- Coconut oil and shea butter are solid at room temperature (unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere very hot). They melt quickly in a bowl of hot water.
Don't Be Afraid to Experiment When Making a DIY Eczema Cream
Try mixing shea butter with coconut oil and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Then, add a few drops of tea tree and lavender oils. Or, use shea butter with a tablespoon of sunflower oil, mix in a couple of spoons of honey and half a cup of the oat mixture.
If you don’t make too much, it isn’t a problem if you don’t like it. There won’t be a lot of waste, and you can experiment with new ingredients and mixtures.
It’s a lovely feeling to know why your cream is good for you or your loved one and know the ingredients and where they came from.