If you suffer from eczema, you will be familiar with the dry, scaly patches of skin that appear all so frequently all about your body, and that deep seated itchiness that no amount of scratching seems to help. Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions experienced by both the young and old all around the world, and can be extremely unpleasant to deal with. While most people who suffer from eczema when they are younger usually see their symptoms ease as they grow older, this is certainly not true for everyone. In fact, many continue to suffer from eczema throughout their entire lives. In Singapore, surveys have indicated that 21 per cent of children and 11 per cent of adults suffer from this skin condition, and that half of eczema sufferers experience it throughout their lives — a sizable and significant number indeed. Especially with the hot and humid weather here, having such a skin condition can be even more unbearable, as heat simply adds on to and exacerbates the itch. If you currently suffer from eczema, or have a loved one who is battling this condition, read on, as we will be sharing some natural ways you can try to overcome the itch.
What is eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that often presents itself as causing dry and itchy skin. Those suffering from severe eczema will often find flakey patches of red and irritated skin, and over time, the condition also results in your skin becoming weaker, thinner and more fragile. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, and is believed to be caused by immune dysregulation and environmental factors. Every patient’s eczema experience is different— some would go by with topical medications, while some might need to regularly take immunosuppressive medications to cope with their eczema. Eczema is a chronic disease, and hence, eczema sufferers find themselves on an ongoing battle with no end. It is a condition that has to be consistently managed and cared for throughout one’s life.
Using Natural Supplements to Manage Eczema
The potential long term side effects of prescription medications for eczema are still unknown, and given the chronic nature of this skin condition, patients will often have to be on these medications for prolonged periods of time to manage their eczema and continue with their daily lives. Hence, natural supplements are increasingly popular in the community of eczema sufferers. Natural supplements are, as its name suggests, derived from naturally occurring sources, so you know that they are safe for long term use and consumption. Hence, there has been growing interest in the use of these natural substances to manage eczema. If you are looking into using such supplements to manage your eczema, and do not know where to start, we will give you a review of the alternative natural options that have been gaining widespread interest and adoption in the eczema community.
1. Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal is made from oats that are ground into a fine powder. It is also available in the market in a cream form for easier use. Colloidal oatmeal can be used topically to ease the itchiness and dryness from eczema. To use it, you simply have to dissolve the powder in lukewarm water before soaking your problem areas with the mixture. Of course, if you get it in cream form, you just have to apply it directly on your skin, which is a much more convenient option.
2. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is an extract from the evening primrose plant. It can be used both topically by directly applying it to irritated skin, or can be consumed orally. Evening primrose oil claims to work as it contains both omega-6 fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid, which may help to reduce the levels of inflammation in the body and provide eczema sufferers with some relief. Evening primrose oil is commonly taken to improve overall skin health, and hence can be easily found as an oral supplement in pill form at major pharmacies or health supplement shops. However, the efficacy of evening primrose oil for patients suffering from eczema is mixed, and not everyone who tries it sees improvements in their skin condition. If it works for you, it is definitely worth sticking to, but for those who do not see improvements to their skin with the use of evening primrose oil, you really are not alone.
3. Vitamin D