Concurring with Mark Twain, "the finest clothing made is a person's own skin". But for many who suffer from conspicuous and irritating skin conditions, like eczema, this sentiment can be hard to embody. Eczema refers to many chronic, inflammatory skin conditions that affect about 334 million people globally. Generally characterized by dry, itchy, and red skin patches that lead to crusting, eczema's root cause remains elusive. Some medical experts believe there is a strong allergen component related to eczema, be it food or environmental. Beyond environmental factors, it's also believed to be partly genetic. Others suggest that eczema is the result of an autoimmune reaction triggered by things like stress, poor nutrition, and underlying bacterial infections.
Currently, Western medicine struggles to treat this common condition. Many dermatologists prescribe corticosteroid creams and lotions that while effective for some, do little for others. When approached from a holistic perspective, eczema can be treated once we make the connection between healing from the inside out. If allergy testing and/or partial elimination of known trigger foods, like dairy and gluten are an option, by all means try and see. If not, botanical aids can be just as effective.
In conjunction with becoming mindful about how nutrition affects the skin, aromatherapy and plant medicine can help treat eczema and reduce topical inflammation. A word on safety—I advise patch testing any essential oil before using topically. Don't let your skin condition continue to isolate you from enjoying life to the fullest. If you've been in and out of the doctor's offices and still find yourself dissatisfied, try your hand at these five easy remedies to tackle even the most stubborn eczema.