Treating Eczema with an Epsom Salt Bath

eczemaEczema is a skin condition that can be triggered by many factors. From soaps to shampoos and animal dander, the irritants are many and differ from one to another. The condition is characterized by scaly itching and inflammation that can often become infected. No matter the age, any person can suffer from this skin condition. Infants can suffer from baby eczema which they outgrow in many cases. It is worth noting that some causes are unknown or idiopathic. In this regard, treating and managing this condition becomes pivotal. Eczema salt baths have become very popular. In fact, balneotherapy is not new at all. This is the treatment of conditions through bathing. Epsom salt has been used for centuries for a number of applications with good success.

What is Epsom salt?

This is a salt or compound composed of magnesium and sulfate. These are naturally occurring minerals that have a myriad of health benefits. When it comes to eczema, the Epsom bath can soothe the skin and reduce itching. To this end, this will reduce inflammation. Some people say that the salt treats the condition effectively. You can take advantage of these beneficial properties to find relief from eczema.

Epsom salt is widely available at grocery stores and other health stores. Using it is also simple. Dissolve the recommended amount in warm water and soak in the bath for some time. Avoid rubbing the skin while in the bath. In addition to treating eczema, you can use it for sunburn, mosquito bites and even for poison oak exposure. Studies have shown the effectiveness of magnesium when it comes to tackling inflammation. Epsom is approved by the FDA as a mild laxative when used orally.

Epsom saltWhen taking this bath, it is critical to use only warm water. Hot water will further dehydrate skin and this is counterproductive when suffering with eczema. Also, avoid conditioners and shampoos. Even mild versions should be avoided by a person or child suffering from this skin condition. Any simple irritant can do great harm for those who are sensitive. After taking the Epsom bath, look for a good moisturizer. Natural oils that are hydrating are better options. Coconut oil and Shea butter have been seen to work better for eczema. Essential oils are also recommended.

Using petroleum jelly will not do a good job of moisturizing the area. Instead, it will block the pores and retain the moisture. Use a moisturizer that feeds the skin with moisture to get better results. Keep in mind that salt baths are just one aspect of treating your skin condition. Other things to do include wearing lose fitting clothing, eating a balanced diet and avoiding known triggers. In severe cases, seek medical attention and have medications prescribed for the condition.

With proper management, you can reduce inflammation and lead a normal life. Otherwise, the dryness, itching and discomfort of sensitive skin can greatly affect your quality of life. If you choose to use natural methods like Epsom, you will be avoiding side effects that can be brought by conventional medications for eczema like skin thinning.

3 New Treatments for Eczema

There are ongoing and proactive efforts among various stakeholders in finding effective treatments for atopic dermatitis, also commonly known as eczema. Here is a brief review of some of 3 new treatments for eczema that you may like to know.

  1. Wet Wrap Therapy

Wet Wrap Therapy EczemaThe National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIIAID) as well as other institutions is currently researching the ‘wet wrap’ therapy for eczema. This particular treatment is usually intended to assist patients suffering from the severe variety of this chronic inflammatory skin condition. Essentially, it entails the patients taking 3 lukewarm baths on a daily basis. These baths are then followed up by the application of topical eczema medication and moisturizer, which is then sealed in wraps of wet gauze. These wraps greatly assist in keeping the patient’s skin moist and also enhance the effectiveness of topical medication. They have an anti itch effect as well.

  1. Dupixent

Dupixent is an eczema injection that has been made for adult patients who suffer from a moderate or even severe form of this skin condition. This is particularly the case for those who have failed to obtain any relief from topical remedies. On the 28th of March 2017, the FDA released a press release announcing it had approved this atopic dermatitis therapy. Generally speaking, it is administered via an intravenous injection and its active ingredient is a type of antibody that is referred to as dupilimab. This antibody carries out its function by binding itself to the protein IL – 4 that triggers inflammation.

When this binding takes place, the inflammatory response, which plays a key role in the development of eczema, is inhibited. It is important to take note of the fact that the efficacy along with safety of Dupixent was clearly proved in 3 different placebo oriented clinical trials. With most of the 2,119 participants attaining better responses and significant reduction in itching after only sixteen weeks of undergoing treatment.

  1. Bacteria treatment for eczema

Dermatologists from the University of California at San Diego very recently developed an innovative microbial therapy for atopic dermatitis. Bacteria treatment for eczemaThese dermatologists led by Dr. Richard Gallo discovered that 2 harmless bacteria present on the skin possess an uncanny ability of killing one of the bacteria, which is known to play a key role in eczema. The harmless bacteria are staphylococcus hominis together with staphylococcus epidermis. While the detrimental one is known as staphylococcus aureus.

The researchers first swabbed off the first 2 from the skins of volunteers suffering from the condition. They then grew them in the laboratory before integrating them into an easy to apply lotion, which they ultimately supplied the volunteers with. When used on the forearms, this lotion dramatically increased the levels of the 2 friendly bacteria. This in turn led them to virtually get rid of staphylococcus aureus in just 24 hours after application.

According to Elizabeth Grice, a University of Pennsylvania research dermatologist and microbiologist, this was the very first time anything of this kind had been demonstrated. She added, it remained to be witnessed if this treatment could help minimize the severity of atopic dermatitis in the long term.

Why essential oils are your best bet against Eczema

In the spirit of finding an affordable yet effective remedy, we shall be looking at essential oils as an alternative treatment solution to mainstream prescription medicine. Can they really aid in the fight against Eczema? Let’s find out:

Scientific backing

COX-2

COX-2

Eczema is basically caused by inflammations arising from the body fighting healthy cells along the surface of the skin. It is widely believed that one enzyme, in particular, has such an effect on the body: cyclooxygenase otherwise known as COX-2.

According to a 2009 study conducted by scientists of Japan’s Nara women’s university, essential oils work to limit production of the hormone that triggers inflammation and thereby Eczema. The research went on to stipulate that certain essential oils offer faster means of relief than their counterparts i.e. some are more effective than others.

All these sentiments were compounded by findings of reputable scientific entities such as the University of Minnesota and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

Eczema crops up as a result of a conducive setting brought about by a variety of factors ranging from genes to environmental aspects. Each essential oil not only works to alleviate these favorable conditions but also mitigate some of the side effects that accompany Eczema. Here are some of the best essential oils Mother Nature has to offer with regards to Eczema treatment:

1) Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus’ effectiveness in Eczema treatment is largely attributed to a compound called cineole. Its prowess lies in its anti-inflammatory capabilities alongside its ability to curb itching, a common Eczema side effect. Eucalyptol is the component responsible for easing such sensations.

2) Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has long been hailed for its ability to strengthen the body’s immune system. Also, it takes up a secondary role as an anti-inflammatory agent that is adept at eliminating scars and other skin marks. Word of caution however as this oil is of the drying variety so your best bet is to accompany it with a moisturizer of sorts.

3) Thyme oil
Carvacrol in thyme helps achieve a number of objectives which include relieving pain and swelling and fighting infections. Thyme oil is thought to be the pick of the litter with figures indicating that the compound curbs production of COX-2 by an astonishing 65%! It is arguably the most effective of them all.

4) Lavender oil
More popularly known for its captivating fragrance, lavender oil has been shown to fight Eczema on two fronts. First, it creates a hostile environment that kills fungi that cause inflammation then it accelerates seamless healing in the affected region.

5) Bergamot oil
Research has it that Bergamot inhibits release of COX-2 by a commendable 22%. It is a proven performer with the oil famous in Italy over the centuries due to its ability to get rid of Eczema and a host of skin diseases like acne and even ulcers. It works wonders for the scalp and skin at large.

Final Verdict

essential oils eczemaSo can essential oils help against Eczema? Yes, science definitely seems to thinks so. However, before you embark down this path, be sure to consult your doctor to find out whether to use a particular essential oil. Usage can be detrimental during pregnancy and when on certain medication so seek help first. Otherwise, essential oils appear the perfect remedy for Eczema; they are not only cost-effective but free of the harmful side effects synonymous with more conventional treatment options like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.