Aromatherapy for Eczema

Posted on: November 4th, 2013 by
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Evening Primrose is a good carrier base for eczema: Photo credit, epantha, ISP

Evening Primrose is a good carrier base for eczema: Photo credit, epantha, ISP

Eczema is a common skin complaint which may be helped with the use of essential oils. Eczema can cause discomfort, itchiness and disruption to your life. Learn which essential oils might help this particular skin condition – and remember to consult a certified aromatherapist before using them, if you are unfamiliar with the use of essential oils.

About Eczema

Eczema is caused by a number of potential factors, such as stress, environmental issues and allergies, so it is not easy to come up with a perfect aromatherapy solution immediately; it may take a few attempts to “get it right” for you. Eczema causes red, irritated skin that becomes inflamed and sore; patches may appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the hands and feet. The immediate response to relive the itching caused by eczema is to scratch, – but this can cause nasty-looking, fluid-filled bumps, and worsen the situation.

Essential Oils for Eczema

There are are various essential oils that are suitable for using with eczema. However, if you suffer from eczema, it may also mean that you have sensitive skin. Do a “patch test” on a small area of your skin first, before applying the blend over the whole affected area. In some circumstances, certain essential oils may worsen the condition.

Use essential oils that have calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties; it might also be beneficial to use essential oils that are detoxifying, such as juniper (Juniperus communis) essential oil. Other essential oils to try include:

  • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

  • German chamomile (Matricaria recutica)

  • Maroc chamomile (Ormenis multicaulis)

  • geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

  • lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

How to Use Essential Oils for Eczema

Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil or lotion base. An unscented white lotion base usually works best for eczema, to relieve the “oily” feeling of a carrier oil base. However, you can also add in carrier oils such as sweet almond (Prunis dulcis), apricot (Prunus armeniaca) and evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) to the white lotion base. Use 9 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil or white lotion base.

Cautions for Using Essential Oils

Always consult a certified aromatherapist for further guidance when blending essential oils for a specific purpose – if you are unfamiliar with the use of essential oils. There are various other cautions and contra-indications for using essential oils (and each essential oil may carry its own specific cautions for use too) but remember:

  • always dilute the essential oils in a carrier lotion or oil base

  • reduce quantities used for children

  • be aware of any contra-indicators for use with children and adults

  • be aware of any contra-indicators for use in pregnancy or health conditions such as high blood pressure or epilepsy

  • individual circumstances may dictate against usage

  • some prescribed medications may interact with certain essential oils

  • consult a qualified health practitioner for specific advice for your problem

  • know your essential oil; learn as much as you can about the oil that you intend to use before using it.

Learn More About Essential Oils

If you are interested in learning how to use essential oils safely and effectively, consider one of the courses in the Sedona Aromatherapie Aromatherapy Home Study Program. All courses contain high quality information, are economically priced – and are offered with the personal guidance of Sharon Falsetto, UK certified aromatherapist and published author of Authentic Aromatherapy. To learn more, visit the aromatherapy courses home page.

References:

  • Davis, Patricia,1999, Aromatherapy: An A-Z, UK: Vermillion

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead

  • Price, Shirley, Price, Len,2002, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, UK: Churchill Livingstone

  • Penny Price Academy of Aromatherapy, UK

  • Mayo Clinic website, Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), accessed November 4. 2013

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