Category Archives for "Skin Home Remedies"

Essential Oils: My Newest Obsession

Aromatherapy by Floracopeia
Ever since my entire family got sick right after Christmas, I’ve been using essential oils every day. I’ve been obssessed with essential oils — how to use them, where they’re from, what they can do, what research says about them.

Since receiving a box of samples from Floracopeia, I’ve had many opportunities to try and test essential oils. I’d like to share two essential oil recipes with you in my next few posts.

Essential Oils for Eczema

A couple of weeks ago, the 6-year-old munchkin boy had a viral infection. Nothing too awful, just a fever and runny nose. The thing is, this viral infection made him go into another eczema flare-up. Aside from the usual places, he also had itchy patches on his back, stomach, thighs, chest, and neck.

I hurriedly brought him to our naturopathic doctor, who recommended echinacea and probiotics to help re-balance his immune system. We also had to go back to his allergen-free diet, even though before this incident, he had been back eating wheat for months.

At the same time, I replaced the Aveeno eczema cream for a combination of oils. The Aveeno cream was the topical treatment that had worked the best for my son. But since he had a flareup while using it every day, I figured it was probably time to rotate it with something else (I suspect our bodies get used to stuff we use after a while and that’s why they stop working so well).

Here’s the recipe I used, which was inspired by one from the Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood:

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Treating Eczema Naturally — Again

After drastically reducing the foods my son is sensitive to, we all enjoyed him having clear skin — for all of one month.

Early July, we went on a trip and his allergen-free diet was thrown out the window. How do you keep your child from enjoying what everyone else is eating when you’re on vacation? And even if you could, how do you pack enough “safe” foods for him to last four days? Tell me that!

Hello Again, Eczema!

So because of that brief lapse, his eczema flared up again. At least this time, he didn’t get rashes on his arms but only at the back of his knees. They looked like water blisters this time. And, like before, he ended up scratching himself raw while sleeping.

We’ve gone back to his allergen-free diet the past three weeks, but still he scratches. He doesn’t get new rashes anymore, but his skin doesn’t heal because he keeps scratching them at night. I’m worried the open rashes will get infected and he’ll get deep scars because they’re not healing.

This means hellish nights for DH and me, as we take turns sleeping beside DS to keep him from scratching. We apply an all-natural cream, put cold compresses and — if all else fails — we hold his hands.

The All-Natural Eczema Treatment

Fortunately, DS had a scheduled appointment with our naturopathic doctor on Monday. She said at this point, we need to do two things:

  • build up DS’s immune system
  • reduce the amount of histamines circulating in his body

For the first, our naturopath an herbal immune system booster. The main ingredient is astragalus. For the latter, she prescribed an herbal remedy for allergies. The ingredients include, among others, butterbur extract, quercetin and rosemary extract.

(Note: I asked the naturopath about using Buro-Sol to curb the itch and she says she’s concerned about the aluminum in it.)

Unfortunately, both these herbal remedies taste terrible. The allergy remedy is in a capsule form, for adults. I’m supposed to open it up and mix the contents with a drink or food for DS to take.

It’s been a real challenge getting him to take these remedies. I mix them with maple syrup. I’ve even added vanilla extract. To no avail. So if you happen to walk by our house one morning and hear DS screaming, “I don’t like it! I don’t like it!” Don’t think I’m subjecting him to abuse. He’s only taking his herbal remedies to control his eczema.

Light At The End of the Tunnel

We’ve been doing this regimen (on top of DS’s existing supplements) for about four days now. He’s been scratching at lot less at night. DH and I have been sleeping better, now waking up only once a night instead of five.

Except for the morning crying ritual because of the herbal remedies, DS seems to be in a better mood, too. He’s less “irritated.”

I hope DS is on the mend so he can play in his sandbox without wearing pajamas.

Natural Treatment for Eczema

And maybe we can all sleep through the night again.

PS: The purpose of this post is to share my personal experience with you, not to give medical advice. If you want to explore natural ways to treat eczema, consult a naturopathic doctor or other alternative health practitioner.

Stop a Sunburn From Peeling and Itching… Naturally

A sunburn can be a nasty experience. A bad one can give you chills and a fever, not to mention terrible pain. A mild sunburn can still result in blistering, itching and peeling.

If you’ve accidentally stayed out in the sun too long, there are some things you can do that can help reduce itching and peeling. Most of these treatments are inexpensive and all of them are natural – you may even have some of them in your kitchen cabinets or pantry.

First, be careful with that burned skin – don’t use soap, washcloths, or do any scrubbing in the shower. Wash your hair upside-down under the bath faucet to avoid shampoo running over your sunburn. And when you get out of the shower or bath, pat your skin dry with a soft towel – don’t rub.

* Tea

Tea, green or black, has skin-soothing properties and has been known to stop relieve sunburn itch and prevent peeling. Black tea seems to work the best, or you could use a combination of green and black. Brew a quart or so of strong tea, pour it into a lukewarm bath, and soak.

* Baking Soda Bath

Baking soda can be very helpful in treating sunburn. Mix a cupful of baking soda into a lukewarm bath and let it soak your burned skin. Gently rinse the baking soda off with lukewarm water when you get out of the tub – baking soda residue can be itchy.

* Apple Cider Vinegar Bath

Smelly but effective, apple cider vinegar can work wonders for sunburned skin. You can soak in a lukewarm bath to which a cup or so of apple cider vinegar has been added. Or, you can mix vinegar and water into a spray bottle (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) and spritz it onto your skin. Let your vinegar-treated skin air dry.

* Natural Oils: Coconut, Almond, Olive

When you get out of your bath, natural oils are a good choice for replacing your skin’s lost moisture. Pure coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but melts quickly in the hands and on the skin. Almond oil is said to be the closest to natural skin oil – sweet almond oil is considered the best. Olive oil is an ancient remedy against sun-dried skin, and is used extensively to moisten skin in the desert regions of the Middle East.

* Aloe Vera

Pure Aloe vera gel can be obtained directly from an Aloe plant. Simply slit a thick Aloe leaf lengthwise down the middle and scoop out the gel. You can use a knife to scrape the inside of the leaf in order to get all the gel out. Many stores sell Aloe vera gel, but make sure it’s pure gel – Aloe vera juice or lotions and skin products containing Aloe are not the same. Apply this ancient burn remedy liberally to sunburned skin that is clean and dry.

How to Detox and Heal Eczema

If you’re one of the three percent of adults that has to deal with eczema, you know what frustration feels like. You’ve probably tried all kinds of pills, creams, and seemingly ridiculous regimens with very little luck. Well, all these chemicals you’re adding may just be part of the cause of your problem.

As we go through our day, toxic chemicals are continually entering our body; they’re in the food we eat, the chemicals we put on our skin, and even in the air we breathe. While a little bit of these chemicals is fine, after a few years, they build up in our bodies, slow us down and can even lead to negative health effects. Eczema is one of the negative effects many people believe is caused by these chemicals.

The good news? This means that if you periodically flush these chemicals out of your body through detox, you may see your symptoms decrease almost immediately. Plus, you’ll probably feel better and lose some weight, too.

So, you know why to detox and what to detox – the next step is the how. The truth is, there’s no one way that has been proven best for detoxing. A juice fast is often recommended, but a cleanse that can work great for eczema is an apple diet. Simply eat fresh, organic apples for several days. Any variety works, in fact, you’ll probably prefer getting a few different kinds to liven it up a bit.

There are also various fruit and vegetable juice cleanses you can try. Just remember to use freshly squeezed juice and not bottled to ensure you get all the vitamins and active enzymes.

There are many companies that will sell herbal complexes you can take to help cleanse your system. While this is a great way to detox, always take great care when using these products. You always want to research what products you try and consult an expert and a doctor before taking anything, as many herbs can have interactions and side effects. Also, there is no regulating body like the FDA to regulate what goes into these products.

Once you’ve detoxed your body and seem symptoms improve, don’t stop there. While periodically detoxifying your system will flush the chemicals out of your body, it’s best if they never get there in the first place. Try eating less processed and more fresh organic food and using natural skin, hair, and other personal products. Many people have benefitted from increasing their fatty acid intake as well. This will keep you looking and feeling better between cleansings.

If you try a detox and see results, but they immediately return when you return to a normal diet, your symptoms may be from a food allergy. Try recording what foods you eat with symptoms. Review your records every so often to see if a specific food is triggering your symptoms. You may need to avoid certain types of food like dairy or gluten.

For many people, a detox diet alone is still not enough. For full treatment, you will likely need to use the topical treatments provided to you by your doctor. You should also let them know of any herbs or special diets you use in case it interacts with your other medication.

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