You've tried everything, but that dry skin is as persistent as it is annoying. You're tempted to try those over-the-counter remedies available at your local pharmacy, but you don't want to shell out the cash just yet. If you're looking for a treatment for eczema that really works, but doesn't deflate your wallet, then here are some home treatments you need to try.
An oldie but a goodie, this thick emollient can soothe even the most wrecked skin. For maximum effectiveness, try applying more than you think you need (your skin will absorb it) right after you get out of the shower--even before drying off. Any emollient will do, but petroleum jelly tends to be readily accessible and really quite cheap.
Not only will this help heal your skin, but it will stop you from toweling off, which can be abrasive to your sensitive skin. Allow yourself to air dry, while the petroleum jelly works its way into your skin.
This well-known cure-all can be used for anything, from cooking to homemade soap, but it works wonders on eczema. Applying a medium-thick layer to the affected part of the skin will help to soothe the itching associated with eczema, and also help absorb moisture into your skin, which will prevent cracking.
Be careful with this remedy--if you're allergic to coconut, it'll hurt you more than it'll help. If you're not sure if you have an allergy or not, try testing it on a small patch of skin and waiting for a day or two. If you don't react, feel free to go crazy.
If you can't do coconut oil and aren't a fan of petroleum jelly, then feel free to make your own salve that will help moisturize your skin without making you break out--or making an attack worse. There are recipes all over, from health food stores to the internet, but most have the same basic ingredients:
- Some type of oil. Almond and olive oil tend to work the best, but you could work with whatever you have handy. You'll need around 2 cups of oil.
- Leaves. Most people tend to use a combination of rosemary leaf, comfrey leaf, and plantain leaf, but if you have a favorite other than these, feel free to use it. For each leaf, you'll need about a tablespoon.
- Beeswax. This is what will make up the creamy portion of your salve, so you'll need anywhere from a fourth to a half of a cup.
- Vitamin E. Not only is it fantastic for your skin (and for the rest of you), it'll help preserve your salve. You'll need around a teaspoon of this lovely liquid.
You'll want to infuse the oil with the leaves, so put them together and let them sit for a couple weeks. Then strain the herbs out of the oil and discard them. Combine the infused oil with the rest of the ingredients over medium heat, and when combined, cool and keep in an airtight container. This salve can be applied whenever you're feeling dry.
If these home remedies don't work as well as you'd like, make sure that you see a professional like those at Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center PS.