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Remèdes naturels contre l'eczéma.

Honey, poultices, oats... natural remedies against eczema.

Eczema is a skin condition that can cause itching, redness, and irritation. Fortunately, medical treatments are available to alleviate these symptoms and provide relief for those who suffer from it. In addition, some people like to use natural remedies. Let's explore them in this article.

Published September 22, 2023, updated on June 28, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Remedy No.1: Aromatherapy to combat eczema.

Several studies have focused on alternative and complementary medicines (CAM) to alleviate the symptoms of eczema and, although further research is still needed, some have shown that the use of aromatherapy can help. This method relies on the use of essential oils extracted from aromatic plants that possess therapeutic properties and provide benefits to physical and emotional health. They can be used through inhalation, ingestion, or applied to the skin, either pure or diluted.

When it comes to eczema, the most favored essential oils and hydrosols for topical application to soothe itching are tea tree essential oil (INCI: Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil), true lavender essential oil (INCI: Lavendula Angustifolia Oil), and Roman chamomile hydrosol (INCI: Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water). These three ingredients are renowned for their soothing properties.

It should be noted that coconut vegetable oil (INCI: Cocos Nucifera Oil) has also been the subject of research that has shown that its daily application on eczema lesions can reduce the SCORAD, that is, the severity score of atopic dermatitis, taking into account various criteria such as the redness of the lesions, their extent, their appearance, and the itching they cause.

Remedy #2: Clay or aloe vera poultices to alleviate eczema.

Among the natural ingredients used to alleviate eczema, we also find green clay and aloe vera gel. These two compounds have anti-inflammatory and healing properties, allowing them to act on the redness and itching caused by eczema. As for the clay, which comes in powder form, it is often mixed with mineral water to create a smooth paste. The paste is then left to rest before being gently applied to itchy areas for about thirty minutes. It should be noted that while the properties of green clay have been demonstrated in studies, the effect of this type of poultice on eczema has not been scientifically proven.

The aloe vera gel can also be used to soothe eczema and is indeed considered a natural dressing. Applying pure aloe vera gel to lesions can accelerate healing while moisturizing the skin. Its healing properties are largely due to the acemannan it contains, a polysaccharide that stimulates angiogenesis as well as the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Aloe vera gel is also capable of inhibiting the production of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus reducing redness and itching.

Remedy No. 3: Honey to alleviate eczema.

Beyond its gustatory properties, honey is an excellent anti-inflammatory and healing agent. Studies have highlighted its benefits on eczema lesions and have shown that the application of honey helps to reduce them and decrease itching sensations. Researchers found that after two weeks of daily application, the SCORAD had decreased by 80%.

From a mechanistic perspective, honey stimulates the production of B and T lymphocytes, enabling the release of antibodies. Furthermore, the phenolic compounds and flavonoids contained in honey lead to the suppression of pro-inflammatory activities of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). These molecules are notably involved in the production of prostaglandins, neurotransmitters that contribute to the dilation of blood vessels and sensitivity to pain.

Remedy No. 4: Oatmeal to soothe eczema.

Oats are another natural ingredient often used to soothe sensitive, irritated, or eczema-affected skin. Several studies have confirmed its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, notably derived from beta-glucan, one of its key components. This molecule works by inhibiting the activity of several inflammation markers, such as interleukins 1, 6, 10, and 12 (IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-12), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), and cyclooxygenase (COX).

The effects of oatmeal on eczema were investigated in a recent study where about thirty people applied a cream containing 1% oatmeal for fourteen days, while another thirty people applied a standard cream without oatmeal. At the end of the experiment, the scientists observed a 51% decrease in the severity score of atopic dermatitis in those who applied the oatmeal-based cream. They also noted an improvement in overall skin hydration and its barrier function.

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  • AL-WAILI N. & al. Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study. Complementary Therapies in medicine (2003).

  • BEASLEY R. & al. A randomised controlled trial of topical Kanuka honey for the treatment of eczema. JRSM Open (2014).

  • ASHACK K. & al. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments for common skin diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAAD International (2020).

  • TIERNEY N. & al. Effects of colloidal oatmeal topical atopic dermatitis cream on skin microbiome and skin barrier properties. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (2020).


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