Eczema is a long-term condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked, according to the NHS. It most often appears in children before their first birthday, but could also develop in later life. Symptoms vary between small patches of dry skin, and large areas of red and inflammation skin all over the body. You could relieve signs of eczema at home by using sunflower oil, it’s been claimed.
Sunflower oil is a natural treatment for the condition – which is also known as atopic dermatitis – that shows some promise, according to the National Eczema Association’s Dr Peter Lio.
The oil can stimulate the production of ceramides, which act as a natural skin barrier.
It even works as an anti-inflammatory, which could contribute to eczema symptoms, he said.
“Ceramides are skin barrier bolstering fats that are naturally produced in our bodies,” said Lio.
“Sunflower seed oil can stimulate our bodies’ natural ceramide production internally, which, in turn, can help improve the skin barrier.
“The natural oil also serves as an anti-inflammatory, which can be beneficial for patients suffering from the inflammation of eczema.
“As a result, I’ve incorporated the use of sunflower seed oil into some of my patients’ skin care regimens.
“I recommend that patients apply the lightweight oil when the skin is still wet.”
You could also try using jojoba oil to relieve your symptoms of eczema, it’s been claimed.
Jojoba oil is a liquid plant wax that acts in a similar way to sebum – the skin’s natural moisturiser.
Alternatively, you could simply try drinking chamomile tea. It reduces inflammation and itchiness, a nutritionist revealed.
There’s currently no cure for eczema, and treatments aim to reduce symptoms.
Some emollients and creams could be used to treat dry skin. A doctor may prescribe a topical corticosteroid cream to reduce swelling.
It’s crucial that patients avoid scratching, as it could damage the skin and make symptoms worse.
Keeping nails short and wearing light clothing over affected areas could help to reduce damage from habitual scratching.
Speak to a pharmacist if you’re worried about the signs of eczema, or for advice on the best over-the-counter treatments.