Using Oils to Treat and Prevent Eczema

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A few weeks ago I wrote about how we manage our son’s eczema and I received quite a few comments about using oils so I’ve rounded them up here. I like the idea of using an oil instead of a thick cream, paste or ointment because it’s lighter but still has moisturizing properties. I’ve been using Argan oil on my hair with great results, so I’m optimistic and look forward to trying this on my son’s skin.

Although my son has been doing pretty well this summer, once the air begins to dry out again in the fall/winter, I anticipate his eczema will flare again. This year, I am determined to pre-treat it before it becomes a problem.

oils to treat eczema

Disclaimer: the notes I’ve included here are culled from reader comments, product descriptions and recommendations from friends. I have not tried any of these myself yet, but I plan to try some of them this fall. As always, carefully check the ingredients of anything you put on your skin or child’s skin, especially in the case of an allergy.

Bio-Oil: This compound is mainly marketed as a scar and stretch mark remedy, but it’s product description says it can also help with uneven skin tone and dehydrated skin. The ingredient list seems to be a mix of natural items (mineral oil, sunflower oil, lavender) and chemical compounds. Allergy alert- soybean oil and fragrance are also included, so be aware if those items are issues for you.

Rosemary oil: according to various sources, rosemary oil can be used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and analgesic, properties which sound like they would be beneficial to eczema. One site suggested using rosemary oil along with coconut oil. Personally, I love the smell of rosemary, so I will definitely try this one out.

Almond oil: High in vitamin D, almond oil can (allegedly) help reduce inflammation, hydrate skin and improve circulation. This is one we will not be trying due to the tree nut allergy, but if that’s not an issue for you, let me know how it works.

Coconut oil: A friend keeps her son’s eczema skin hydrated with coconut oil by adding a couple of tablespoons to the bath. Another friend uses coconut oil on her body, but only once or twice a month.

Boots Botanics Facial Oil: recommended by a friend, the product description claims to soften and smooth dry skin which leads me to believe it might be a good preventative measure. This is widely available and affordable, and the ingredient list appears to include all naturally occurring items.

A few cautions- make sure you read all of the ingredients to be sure you’re not using something that you or your child are allergic to, especially in these compounded formulas. Cosmetics have different labeling requirements than food, so it’s important to know what you’re using. Heather recently wrote about moisturizers causing triggering food allergies.

I’d love to know your experiences with using oils to treat eczema, or other tricks you’re using to prevent or treat flareups.

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9 Comments to Using Oils to Treat and Prevent Eczema

  1. Liz

    We’ve had success with coconut oil, both in the bath and directly on his skin. We haven’t been able to get on top of the eczema this summer, it’s been particularly bad, so I welcome any other suggestions and will happily try some of these options! We’ve also used lavender oil directly in his bath. That’s supposed to help as well, but we haven’t seen any better results with one product over another. Thanks for the info!

    • Kate

      Thanks, Liz. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I hope when the weather cools a bit, so does the flare.

  2. Maddie

    I had a really bad eczema flare up while I was pregnant and used coconut oil which helped a bit. I still use it to take off my eye make up at night and moisturize my face. I’ve most recently been using tea tree oil with lavender on a few bad spots on my hands and it did help a little, but the only thing that finally healed the cracks was a prescription.

    • Kate

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Maddie

  3. Leigh

    I need to try coconut oil for me and my son. We have plenty in the house, don’t know why we haven’t tried it before. I want to look into some of the other oils too. My sons skin has been so bad this summer. I can’t keep him rash free. I’ve kept him inside a lot due to pollen counts since that also triggers a flare up for him. I’m super cautious with oils and creams because of food allergies but also because he had a severe reaction to CeraVe – allergist recommended lotion! And he had a bad reaction to some toothpaste.

    • Kate

      Keep trying, mama! You’ll get there.

  4. Kerry

    We’ve had excellent luck with ShiKai’s borage oil lotion for kids — it’s the only thing that got my son’s lifelong eczema down to just a few patches, rather than spread all over.

    • Kate

      I’ll have to check that out, thanks for the suggestion.

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