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Quick Answer: Best Essential Oils for Eczema

  1. Bergamot Essential Oil
  2. Helichrysum Essential Oil
  3. Melissa Essential Oil
  4. Geranium Essential Oil
  5. Carrot Seed Oil
  6. Cedar Wood Atlas Essential Oil
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Eczema is a non-contagious condition where oozing tiny blisters forms [1]. The skin gets dry-scaly and red rashes occur.[2] Itching leads to inflammation.

The word ‘ekzein’ comes from Greek origin meaning ‘to boil’. [3]

The causes are Heredity, animal dander, soaps, and environmental pollutants.

Atopic dermatitis is most common [4] and has a prevalence of 2.1% to 4.9% in adults across countries. The prevalence is higher among women than men. [5]

Medications containing Cyclosporine and Hydrocortisone have known side effects like nausea [6] and burning sensation. [7]

FDA has warned about the possible cancer risk of Elidel and Protopic. [8]

Eczema can be naturally treated by essential oils. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and nourish the skin and reduce redness.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural plant products made from leaves, bark, roots, seeds, flower, and rinds.

They are mixtures of volatile compounds containing hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ethers, ketones, phenols, and terpenes. [9]

They are extracted by distillation and cold pressing. [10]

There therapeutic use includes aromatherapy (vapor inhalation, diffusion or bath), topical use on skin as ointments, creams. [11]

They can be orally taken using gelatin capsules or honey.

Use of Essential Oils in Eczema

Essential oils have numerous health benefits for eczema-like they are anti-inflammatory as they are rich in the chemical composition of esters.

Esters are known to reduce inflammation and redness of the skin.

They soothe and calm skin from burns and rashes. Essential oil carries anti-allergic properties. They are hence beneficial for atopic dermatitis (atopic means allergy).

Eucalyptus oil boosts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the body. [12]

Studies have shown90 essential oils in 1500 combinations as useful for the dermatological purpose. [13]

Essential oil is proven to treat the inflammatory condition such as eczema. [14]

They are effective Skin Moisturizer and detoxifying agents: Lemon essential oil is great detoxifying agents [15].

Its oil rejuvenates brightens skin. In cosmetic aromatherapy, essential oils moisturize skin thoroughly. Carrot seed oil locks moisture in skin well.

Anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties: Essential oils are great sources of esters that have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce skin irritations.

Cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon bark oil has shown anti-inflammatory reactions by different signaling pathways [16] and thus can be effectively used in skin conditions

Anti-allergic: Cordia Verbenaceae (Boraginaceae) essential oil has shown anti-allergic properties and can be effectively used for skin disease having an allergy as there root cause.[17]

Cell repair and wound healing: lavender oil is proven to reduce redness and wound healing in a study of 120 primiparous women. [18]

Best Essential Oils to Use in Eczema

Essential oils treat dry, irritated and scaly skin in a very effective manner. Sweet almond oil when used as a base reduces rash and redness caused by itching and is recommended. [19] [20]

Avocado pear oil hydrates and soothes skin. Borage seed oil and Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid that aids in treating eczema. [21] [22] [23]

Bergamot Essential Oil

The oil is obtained from the rind of small, round yellow fruit. It is the sweet and citrus aroma. The oil has carminative skin benefits.

It’s disinfectant properties help aid in healing inflammations due to eczema. It contains 30-60% lynalyl acetate, an ester effective on inflammations and skin irritations.

It has antiseptic and healing properties.

Studies showed anti-inflammatory activity to be 0.10- 0.079 ml/kg dosage in carrageenan-induced rat paw edema test. [24]

The study reported 63.39% reduced inflammation. [25]

Limonene constitutes 40% in bergamot oil and has shown anti-inflammatory properties at 14.68mmol/L concentration. [26]

Best way to use: Aromatherapy as low diluted bergamot oil is added to bath and used as a local wash. This is also used orally as an ingredient in earl grey tea.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

The oil is extracted from Flowers and flower tops that are pale yellow and reddish in color. It has a honey-like aroma.

It has anti-inflammatory [27] properties and is a good emollient. It also carries antimicrobial properties. [28]

It contains 75% esters of neryl acetate having excellent anti-inflammatory properties and effective on skin irritations.

It heals and rejuvenates skin.

Best way to use: Topical application, aromatherapy

Melissa Essential Oil

This oil is extracted from leaves, herb, and flowers.

It has green leaves, white or pink flowers, and a rich, floral spicy odor.

It has anti-oxidantproperties and contains esters to combat inflammation.

They produce a carminative effect on rashes. One should use less than 1% of this oil.

Best way to use: Topically used in creams and ointments, baths

Geranium Essential Oil

The oil is extracted from leaves, stalks, and flowers. It has a sweet and minty aroma.

It contains 15% esters like citronellyl formates and propionates and geranyl formates and propionates which are best used as anti-inflammatory components [29].

It is a mild skin tonic, optimum for dry scaly skin in eczema. Studies show at 10% it is safe to use on humans.

Studies on mice show the suppression of inflammation by the cutaneous application of geranium oil. [30]

Best way to use: Topically on the skin, baths in aromatherapy

Carrot Seed Oil

The carrot seed oil has a warm earthy sweet aroma. It has skin repairing properties. It is anti-inflammatory in nature [31].

It soothes skin, uses on dry skin. It heals dry, chapped and cracked skin.

Best way to use: Direct inhalation, topically on the skin

Cedar Wood Atlas Essential Oil

Cedarwood essential oil is obtained from wood sawdust and twigs of this evergreen tree. It has a warm, camphorous and woody aroma.

It is very useful in dandruff, dermatitis, and eczema. It is known to relieve itching. It contains cedrol (alcohol) which has anti-infectious properties.

Best way to use: Inhalations and aromatherapy

Best Carrier Oils to Use

Various carrier oils like Jojoba oil is a useful base oil for eczema, coconut oil has disinfecting properties and soothing properties, sweet almond oil moisturizes, conditions itchy skin and useful in eczema, apricot kernel oil and olive oil soothes inflammation.

Shea butter soothes eczema.

Peppermint oil soothes itchy skin. Avocado pear oil protects dehydrated and dry skin like in eczema, sesame and wheat germ oil are also advisable to use in eczema.

Precautions While Using Essential Oils

Essential oils must be diluted in carrier oils before use. Avoid using them near eyes, genitals and mucous membranes as they become irritated. [32]

Essential oils are not recommended for children under the age of 5 and in pregnancy especially for the first trimester as an essential oil can lead to abortions (ketones).

Limit sun exposure as it increases skin sensitivity. Bergamot oil and citrus oils increase skin pigmentation.

Lemongrass oil causes skin irritation.

Oral: Diluted generously and the amount of ingestion must be taken care of.

Topical: Bergamot oil contains ‘Bergapten’ that can lead to burning, photosensitivity and skin irritations. Cedarwood oil must not be used topically by pregnant women.

Aromatherapy: Bergamot oil may irritate sensitive skin and hence be properly diluted.

Final Words

Eczema is a skin condition caused by heredity and environmental factors and leads to skin rashes, flare-ups, dry scaly skin.

Medications lower urge to scratch and heals the skin but are not the ultimate solution.

Here, Essential oils come to rescue! They are natural, long-lasting and can be used in steam baths to oral consumption.

They reduce inflammations, calm itch, and redness. They control allergies, histamine reactions.

They are proven to cause no harm when all precautions are taken, hence is one shop stop for treating and curing eczema.

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