Is your skin dry and itchy? Here’s how coconut oil can help

Eczema can be caused by dry skin, rough clothing, sweating, allergic reactions to laundry detergent or fabric softeners, or even stress. The dry, red, and inflamed skin is not only annoying, but it can also put a damper on your makeup routine. However, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent and treat eczema—without a visit to the doctor.

Moisturize your skin in the affected areas at least twice per day. Use laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and lotions that are gentle and free of any dyes or perfumes that can irritate the skin. Wear comfortable, non-abrasive garments, and practice deep breathing when feeling stressed. Start taking an allergy medication regularly, such as Zyrtec, Allegra, or Benadryl. Try to avoid scratching the problem areas so that they can heal faster. Lifestyle changes like these can go a long way toward preventing eczema outbreaks. Episodes can be inevitable, though, so try these seven remedies for treatment when it’s needed.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is packed full of antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal agents and is rich in antioxidants. When applied to the skin as a substitute for lotions or creams, coconut oil helps to lock in moisture and reduce inflammation.

Vegetable Shortening

If the outbreak you’re experiencing is severe, a thick, protective coat or dressing may be needed to allow the under-moisturized skin a chance to regenerate and heal. After applying a plentiful layer of vegetable shortening to the trouble spots, insulate the area by applying Saran Wrap and medical tape.

Turmeric

A teaspoon of turmeric a day will keep eczema away. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and is also rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals. Eating foods spiced with turmeric will help reduce skin inflammation and speed up the healing process.

Chamomile

Brew an extra-strong cup of chamomile tea, and allow it to steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Apply the tea to the affected areas with a cotton ball. Chamomile can also be applied topically in the form of creams, which you can find at your local health food store. According to studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic, chamomile acts as a soothing agent that provides temporary relief, similar to the effect of hydrocortisone creams.

Cucumber

Cut an organic cucumber into thin slices, apply directly to the eczema spots, and leave the slices there for an hour or two once a day. You can also switch out the slices for cool, refrigerated ones throughout the process for a nice, soothing touch. Cucumber will help restore moisture to the dry, irritated skin while pulling out toxins and reducing inflammation.

Flaxseed

Perhaps the most beneficial thing you can do to get rid of eczema and keep it from coming back, again and again, is to eat a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds are one of the only ways to get in your omega-3s if you are a vegetarian, but even carnivores will benefit from the nutrients in flaxseed oil or raw flaxseeds. That’s because unlike fish oil, flaxseed is high in ALA fatty acids, which attack inflammation on the epidermis.

Fish Oil

Omega 3’s are so good for your skin that you should make sure you’re getting plenty of fish oil as well as flaxseeds in your diet. You can get fish oil in supplement form, or you could eat salmon a few times per week. The omega-3s found in fish oil are mostly DHAs and EPAs, which you will not get from flaxseed.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help with eczema. Avoid stress, eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. It takes time to get rid of eczema once you have it, but keeping it under control is manageable with these easy solutions.

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