Eczema is a term for types of dermatitis, it is a name used for a number of different skin conditions, which inflame the epidermis. These skin conditions can be caused by persistent dryness, recurring rashes or allergy related reactions, which are known as ‘allergic contact eczemas’
Some symptoms of Eczema are redness, itching, dryness, cracking and flacking. In worse cases it can lead to blisters and weeping or bleeding sores.
One common type of eczema is Atopic eczema. It is believed to be a hereditary condition, often goes hand in hand with asthma and manifests itself as an itchy rash, especially prominent on the scalp, neck, elbows, behind the knees and the buttocks. This can be helped with soothing oils like Petitgrain, Lavender or Sandalwood which help ease the itch and allow the skin to heal, and anti-inflammatory oils such as German Chamomile or Teatree to help the rash go down. Lavender, Sandalwood and Teatree will also help with any infections that may have arisen due to broken skin from scratching. Adding a few drops of these oils to a lukewarm bath along with a spoon full of baking soda would be very beneficial, or putting a couple of drops into a carrier oil such as Jojoba and gently massaging over the affected area.
Another type of Eczema is Contact Dermatitis, caused by either an allergic reaction or an irritant coming into contact with the skin. This will also result in a sore or itchy rash and the same oils could be applied. It is important that essential oils are diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to painful, irritated skin. Another option would be to make a cold compress using floral water such as Rose, Chamomile or Lavender and adding one or two drops of additional essential oil for extra relief.
Xerotic Eczema, also sometimes called Winter Itch is caused when dry skin gets so bad it becomes Eczema. Usually the limbs and trunk of the body are most affected. The skin becomes very dry, cracked and flaky which is often sore and itchy. For this type of Eczema, in addition to the previous oils mentioned, essential oils with skin healing properties would be helpful. Benzoin oil added to a moisturiser will help to prevent cracking. Frankincense is an excellent oil for rejuvenating dry skin, reducing scarring and promoting healing and skin cell regeneration. Palmarosa is also a good choice of oil as it helps to moisturise the skin, stimulates cellular regeneration and regulates sebum production. These oils could be gently applied to the affected areas in a healing carrier oil such as Calendula infused oil which will soften and sooth dry areas, assist with any infected areas and reduce inflammation. Alternatively, a carrier oil such as Avocado oil would be a good option, as it is rich in vitamins and easily penetrates the skin, improving elastin.
To create an Eczema treatment you could begin by making 200ml of a moisturising lotion or blended base oil using Calendula and Avocado oils and adding a little Vitamin E. Then 100drops of essential oil:
30 drops Benzoin
30 drops Frankincense
15 drops Teatree
15 drops Palmarosa
10 drops Sandalwood