(Natural News) Dealing with skin conditions can be a constant struggle, and eczema can be particularly troubling. Many sufferers end up with a medicine cabinet full of treatments that made big promises but ultimately failed to make a difference in this frustrating battle. However, there is one solution that has been giving some people relief, and you may already have it in your kitchen: olive oil.
Australian makeup artist Hannah Barnett said she tried every product imaginable for her debilitating dermatitis and eczema, which she says she’s suffered from all of her life. She said she used to feign illness to stay home from school when her flare-ups were bad because she was so embarrassed, and she’d hide her hands when she did go so people wouldn’t see them. It got so bad that she had to give up wearing makeup for a year, which is problematic when your job is to sell makeup.
After working her way through a host of unsuccessful antibiotics, medicated products, and steroid creams, she tried out olive-oil-based products at the suggestion of a friend. After just six weeks of using the olive oil products, she noticed a dramatic change in her skin. Not only had her eczema cleared up, but the rawness had also diminished. She now uses the olive oil hand cream eight times per day in conjunction with other olive oil products to keep the eczema at bay.
Australian dermatologist Dr. John Sullivan told the Daily Mail that while some eczema sufferers might find olive oil irritating, it is hypoallergenic. He said that moisturizing regularly is vital, and some people have gotten relief from colloidal oatmeal. He added that sunlight and salt water can be helpful to people with the condition, while wool clothing and bedding should be avoided.
More than 30 million Americans have eczema
Marked by red, itchy flare-ups that can occur anywhere on the body, eczema is extremely common, affecting more than 30 million Americans. The itching can be very intense, and the area can also be swollen. Oozing with crusting and even bleeding are not unusual after prolonged itching, and it can also cause some patches of skin to become darker, scaly, leathery or rough. It is not known what causes it, but genes and environmental triggers both play a role. Certain allergens can “switch on” the immune system and cause a flare-up.
It can take one of eight different forms, including atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, hand eczema, lichen simplex chronicus, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema and stasis dermatitis, according to the National Eczema Association.
Managing eczema involves changing your diet
While there is no cure, it can be managed if people find the right treatment. Each case is different, and what works for one person might not necessarily work for another person, although olive oil is one treatment that many people have reported as being beneficial.
Extra-virgin olive oil can strengthen the protective function of skin, while the squalene in olives can increase the skin’s hydration and help restore its flexibility. Olive blossom extracts, meanwhile, have been shown to help skin regenerate. The extract of olive leaf is rich in chlorophyll and flavonoids, making it a great antioxidant.
There is also a connection between eczema and gut health. Some people see improvements in their eczema when they consume fermented foods and probiotics regularly. A diet rich in foods like kimchi, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha can be a godsend for eczema sufferers.
It can also be useful to avoid processed foods and sugar and focus on antioxidant-rich vegetables and healthy fats like – you guessed it – olive oil!