Eczema may respond positively to essential oils, which can provide the best nutrients the earth has to offer. The active compounds in essential oils can combat stress that can trigger eczema, they can offer relief from pain, and can improve the appearance of eczema outbreaks, in some cases addressing rare causes of the skin disorder.
Essential oils are also packed with nutrients that can help ease chronic inflammation. They can provide long-lasting moisture and can support the skin’s natural ability to repair itself.
Because eczema has been linked to a lack of key nutrients, essential oils may provide what you skin needs for not only easing topical symptoms, but going beneath the skin’s surface to provide long-lasting relief.
Some essential oils that may provide relief include:
Lavender - Lavender is a favourite for good reason. It not only relieves stress, but it also acts as a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, making it an excellent essential oil to help ease eczema symptoms.
Lavender is high in linalool, a moisturising compound that can offer welcome hydration to dry, flaking skin, creating an environment for healing.
A 2003 study from Iranian researchers that was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology determined that lavender contained both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Lavender is gentle enough to be applied to skin, and in this study, when used topically, it helped reduce the redness associated with inflammation.
Chamomile - Chamomile essential oil, both the Roman and German varieties, contains two important anti-inflammatory compounds, alpha-bisabolol and chamazulene, which make it an especially beneficial essential oil for treating symptoms of eczema. Chamomile is gentle enough for children’s skin, and it also offers moisturising properties that are, according to researchers, as effective as a hydrocortisone cream at easing the itching and accompanying redness of eczema.
One clinical trial from 2000 conducted by German researchers and published in the European Journal of Medical Research found that a chamomile-based cream was more effective at easing eczema symptoms than a hydrocortisone cream as well as a placebo.
Frankincense - Frankincense essential oil has been shown to help ease inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema. A 2017 study from Utah-based researchers that appeared in the journal Biochimie Open, a French journal, found that frankincense helped control the dermal fibroblasts associated with inflammation, perhaps due to the oil’s high levels of boswellic acid.
Essential oil blends. A 2000 study from researchers at the School of Applied Science at London’s South Bank University tested a blend of essential oils including frankincense, lavender and chamomile as a treatment option to help address eczema outbreaks in children. Parents massaged the oil on their children’s skin daily as part of the study, although the control group used massage only. The study was small, and both groups showed marked improvement. While the essential oils likely were beneficial, the stress reduction caused by the daily massage may have also played a role in reducing eczema symptoms in the children who were part of the control group. The study appeared in the journal Phytotherapy Research.