Natural Treatments For Dry Skin and Eczema

Here are some great knowledge pearls from the Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology meeting in Vermont this fall to help you and your children stay comfortable and natural..  Thank you to Peter Lio, M.D., Dermatology Professor at Northwestern University for these evidence based recommendations.

Sunflower oil is a great natural moisturizer and works much better than olive oil, even in patients with  eczema.  In fact in India, using sunflower oil on premature infants reduced risk of infection and improved survival.  

Massaging children with severe eczema (use sunflower oil!) for 20 minutes per day reduces itch and anxiety.  It is a great way to combine emollients and nurturing to improve the skin in patients with very dry, itchy skin.

Cold pressed coconut oil (not other forms) acts as a body moisturizer but also has antibacterial qualities.  Colorless and odorless, it is solid at room temp but a liquid when slightly warmed in the hands or a very short (a few seconds) microwave.  It improved skin barrier and decreased staph bacteria in the skin when used in 4 weeks and was superior to mineral or olive oil.  Avoid for acne prone skin as it can clog pores and cause breakouts.

 

Massaging the acupressure point Ll11 may also reduce itch in patients with chronic eczema or other pruritic skin conditions.  3 minutes of gentle but firm massage to this “Large Intestine Meridien” point instead of scratching can improve symptoms in some patients.


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