Essential Oils and Eczema: Usage and Benefits
By Dana Laskowski
Do you or someone you know have eczema? Eczema is a general term for dermatitis which simply means inflammation of the skin according to the national eczema association. Dictionary.com defines eczema as a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation, but more typically having no obvious cause.
I have had a lot of exposure to people who have eczema, and if you don’t know anything about eczema it can be very painful. My middle son, Devin, was diagnosed with severe eczema at around 2 months of age. We were in and out of doctor’s offices, we even went to specialist, dermatology specialist. They would all offer up their steroidal creams and things we should and shouldn’t do but at the end of the day I was still a mom with a baby that was hurting. This was in 1992 and essential oils were not being discussed then as much as they are now. We fast forward to 2018 and I now have a grandson with eczema, his is located primarily on his legs and more on his inner thighs. He has been in pain and has had severe itching especially during the night. So, I began to research what our other options were after typical pharmaceutical treatments did not provide relief.
Dr. Axe states on his website draxe.com that the medical community has yet to determine a definitive cause of eczema. He continues to say that for some it could be a nutritional deficiency while for others it may arise due to an allergen or other irritant. In addition to the intense itching, eczema commonly causes anxiety, depression, frustration and poor sleep. Lavender essential oil is an eczema treatment proven to help reduce these common symptoms.
Rebecca Park Totilo’s book Therapeutic Blending with Essential Oil list several oils that could be used for eczema. After reviewing her list of oils, I decided to take a closer look into three main essential oils.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia),
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), and
Sandalwood (Santalum album).
I went to my Aromatherapy Certification Level 1 book by Rebecca Park Totilo and I took a look at the datasheets for each of these oils. Lavender is noted for working well with all skin conditions including eczema, in addition to that it is calming, helps with inflammation and depression. Roman Chamomile is calming, soothing, and is noted to reduce inflammation of the skin. That leaves us with Sandalwood which is noted to be very calming to irritated, dry, scaly patches and is good for healing wounds and burns.
The only thing left was to decide on a carrier and due to the information, that I found on hemp seed oil I decided this would be the best choice since it is noted as being good for inflammation, and for dehydrated skin. It also adds a protective layer to the skin which I believe will be beneficial with the healing of eczema.
Based on the information I gathered I believe there is a wide variety of essential oils that would be beneficial in treating eczema. However, I felt confident in the oils I mentioned previously in treating my grandson. I sat down to finalize my blend, 1 oz of hemp seed oil as my carrier, 10 drops of Lavender, 5 drops of Roman Chamomile, and 3 drops of Sandalwood. This is a 3% dilution which is not normally recommended on children but due to the severity of his eczema I felt strongly about using a 3% dilution to get it under control quickly. We applied the blend 3 times a day until symptoms subsided and then 1 time a day thereafter.
I am attaching pictures of the results of the treatment. We began seeing improvement in 1 treatment, significant signs of improvement after 7 days, and after 3 weeks of treatment his eczema is almost completely cleared up and there is minimal scarring.
What my research led me to is nothing short of amazing in my opinion. I will continue researching oils that are beneficial in the treatment of eczema. Due to my research my grandson now sleeps through the night without a terrifying itch waking him up, he isn’t in pain from the inflammation, and he can enjoy playing outside without his eczema flaring up. I know that eczema is known to have repeat flare ups, so I expect that when he does have a flare up we will begin treatment again.
In summary, eczema is a skin condition that causes pain, itching, and inflammation of the skin. If you research online you can find a lot of recipes for eczema including ones that contain local honey, shea butter, and coconut oil that would be very beneficial as well. You will find multiple essential oils that can be beneficial for treatment, and different methods of treatment such as lotions, creams, bath salt blends, and massage oil blends. No matter what essential oils you choose, or method of application, I can’t stress this enough that essential oils work. This is proof that they work for the treatment of eczema. I recommend doing your research, and if your first attempt to treat eczema doesn’t work try another blend. Speak with a certified aromatherapist in your area or contact Rebecca Park Totilo for a consult. With proper treatment there is a way to enjoy life to the fullest without being in pain from eczema.
“Eczema.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/eczema.
“Eczema Symptoms & Causes.” National Eczema Association, nationaleczema.org/eczema/.
McCoy, Kathleen. “Eczema Treatment: 13 Home Remedies for Eczema.” Dr. Axe; Dr.Axe, 17 Oct. 2017, draxe.com/eczema-treatment/.
Totilo, Rebecca Park. Aromatherapy Certification Program Level 1. Rebecca At The Well Foundation, 2015.
Totilo, Rebecca Park. Therapeutic Blending with Essential Oil: Decoding the Healing Matrix of Aromatherapy. Rebecca at the Well Foundation, 2013.