The cause of eczema is still unknown, but there are indications that it could be linked to an overactive immune system. It is also commonly found in families with a history of allergies or asthma. So it is possible that the body is sensitive to allergens in the air or on the skin and the immune system then overreacts to these allergens and causes an inflamed and irritated skin.
Also, there is a form that is simply reacting to an irritant on the skin and not related to allergies. My husband has this type. All he has to do is avoid the irritant and the eczema is kept under control. It is only on his head and was caused by an ingredient in the shampoo he was using.
Atopic dermatitis -- This occurs due to allergies and is usually found in families with a history of asthma or hay fever. It usually begins in infancy and may vary in severity during childhood and adolescence. It often becomes less bothersome in adulthood unless the person is exposed to allergens or irritants. It is not know the exact cause of this kind of eczema or dermatitis but is most likely due to a malfunction in the body's immune system. Stress is a factor in worsening atopic dermatitis but is not the cause
Contact dermatitis -- Caused by direct contact with an irritant or allergen. The irritants can include bath soap, laundry soap, household cleaning products and detergents. The allergens can include weeds, jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, neomycin (an ingredient in antibiotic creams), etc.
Seborrheic dermatitis -- This is a red rash with a yellowish oily scale. It is common in people with oily skin or hair and may come or go depending on the time of year, during times of physical stress or in people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease. It is known as cradle cap when found on babies.
Stasis dermatitis -- This can occur when fluid accumulates in the tissues just beneath your skin and usually is found on the lower leg. Because of the extra fluid it inhibates your blood's ability to nourish the skin and puts pressure on the skin from beneath.
Neurodermatitis -- Usually this type occurs in areas where your clothing rubs or scratches your skin. You then further irritate the skin by rubbing or scratching your skin as well.
Perioral dermatitis -- This type is a form of the skin disorder rosacea, adult acne or seborrheic dermatitis which involves the skin about the nose and mouth. Again, the exact cause is not known, but it is likely that cosmetics, face creams, etc. may be the culprit.
Avoid sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate found in many soaps, toothpastes, shampoos, etc. These are a major factor in worsening eczema for a lot of people. The use of natural products will help but you should still read the labels as they will sometimes have these chemicals as well. Also, avoid using perfumes, deodorants and cosmetics that are not natural. The chemicals in these also trigger a reaction.
Use natural laundry products that are free of dyes and perfumes and avoid fabric softeners. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener. Use 1/2 cup in the wash cycle. (But don't use bleach at the same time—mixing vinegar and bleach may create toxic fumes.) Absolutely don't use dryer sheets. Read the article below to find out why.
The Internet is loaded with alternatives to dryer sheets.
You should stop eating foods you are allergic to and stop eating any processed or packaged foods as they are loaded with artificial flavors and colors and other chemicals that also cause eczema to worsen. It has also been discovered that many grain products are a problem, such as pasta, breads, cereals and grain based energy bars.
As different synthetic fabrics can be a problem wear all-cotton clothing as much as possible.
Boost Your Immune System to Cure Ezcema
It might seem crazy to boost your immune system if the cause of eczema is an overreaction of the immune system. However, people with allergies, asthma, eczema and other immune disorders usually have a weakened immune system. Visit my Web page on boosting your immune system.
Vitamin B12 -- It has recently been discovered that eczema tends to occur in people with a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil -- You can apply it right on your skin. In just a couple of minutes it is completely absorbed. You can also eat coconut oil. It helps with weight loss and is also great for improving your skin from the inside. It is an anti-fungal and is used to help with candida albicans overgrowth.
Neem -- The broad range of beneficial effects neem has on skin makes it one of the better treatments. It moisturizes and protects the skin while it helps heal the lesions, scaling and irritation. In India, leaves from the neem tree are traditionally used to treat eczema and a range of other inflammatory skin conditions. Neem can be in a cream to put directly on your skin or it can be taken internally.
Apple Cider Vinegar -- Take one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and honey (if sugar isn't a problem) in a glass full of water three times a day. Use raw honey if possible. You can also apply it to your skin several times daily by mixing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into half a cup of water. If you want, you can put the mixture into a spray bottle and just spray it on your skin. There is usually a potassium deficiency in people suffering from eczema and apple cider vinegar has some potassium as well.
Yellow Dock -- Yellow dock in particular is an excellent herb for chronic skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. The blood cleansing effect of this root make it a very good remedy in diseases associated with impurities of the blood. Because of this it is very valuable in skin problems, eczema, boils, pimples, rheumatic conditions and lymph gland enlargement. It is rich in organic iron which improves the quality of the blood.
Zinc -- Chronic inflammation can place demands on the body's zinc load that may be more than what is available. A zinc deficiency can occur and may then cause inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema. A zinc deficiency can also impair the body's ability to heal efficiently.
Fish Oil -- Fish oil can lesson the inflammatory symptoms that are associated with allergies such as hay fever, asthma, eczema and other skin conditions. The fatty acids that are in fish oil are part of the Omega 3 group of fatty acids. They can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.
Below is an article about coconut oil and skin health.