Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by dry and irritated skin. According to Western medical practice, eczema flares have tended to be treated through various interventions, including topical steroids and bleach baths.
For many people, however, effective home remedies offer additional peace of mind when keeping your eczema in check, drawing on the nourishing health benefits of natural ingredients taken straight from Mother Nature herself.
Neem oil is a natural remedy used for hundreds of years as an ayurvedic medicine for treating skin ailments, including rashes, burns, dry skin, and wounds. Throughout this post, we'll explore everything you need to know about:
The skin health benefits of neem oil
How to use neem oil to treat eczema symptoms
Further natural treatment options for eczema flares
Keep reading to learn more about how the nourishing superpowers of organic, cold-pressed neem oil could help manage your eczema flares today.
What Is Neem Oil?
Neem seed oil is extracted from the small, yellow stone fruits that grow on neem trees (azadirachta indica) native to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Golden-brown in color with a garlic-like odor, neem oil is teeming with natural anti-inflammatory properties and vital antioxidants.
For the highest quality health benefits, it is best to purchase organic, cold-pressed neem oil, which hasn't been compromised by the damaging impacts of high temperatures in some manufacturing processes.
Neem Oil: Treating Eczema Symptoms
While each of these skin disorders tends to manifest in unique ways, there are some common symptoms to look out for:
Skin redness and hyperpigmentation
Skin flaking and scaling
Swelling and inflammation
For people with eczema, living with a weakened skin barrier means that the body is hypersensitive to environmental irritants and allergens, which trigger an inflammatory response.
Ruptures in the skin's barrier caused by excessive scratching and severe dryness can also exasperate the problem of moisture loss, leaving your skin feeling tight and raw.
If this sounds familiar, you must find gentle, safe ways to deeply nourish and moisturize your skin daily. Thankfully, neem oil might be the ticket!
Why Is Neem Oil Good for Eczema?
Studies have shown that applying neem oil to eczema patches can help soothe symptoms in three ways.
Neem oil contains naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce swelling, soothe redness, and combat itchy skin.
Nourishing Dry Skin
Neem extract is a natural emollient loaded with rich lipids and essential fatty acids (oleic and linoleic acid), helping quickly penetrate the outer layers of the skin, boost hydration, and keep the lining of the cells soft and supple.
Protection From Secondary Infections
Studies have shown that neem oil helps to fight secondary skin infections due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Neem extracts are also teeming with antioxidants, which help to reduce oxidative stress on the body, regulate the activity of enzymes involved in the body's inflammatory process, and may even slow the process of skin aging.
Are There Any Risks Or Side Effects?
While there are no known side effects to using neem oil for eczema, just because an ingredient is natural doesn't mean it comes without risks.
If you have eczema-prone skin, your skin barrier may be hypersensitive to new substances and products, with some people experiencing allergic reactions such as hives.
To be on the safe side, we recommend running a patch test to ensure that neem extracts don't trigger any swelling or rashes for you. You're good to go if you don't experience any adverse reactions within 24 hours after topical application!
How Do You Apply Neem Oil Safely?
If it is moisturization you're after, we'd recommend mixing neem seed oil with equal parts of another carrier oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, or vitamin E oil, before dabbing gently onto your skin with a cotton ball. You can apply the diluted neem oil daily to keep your skin moisturized.
You might be surprised to learn that neem oil smells much like garlic (!), so if you don't fancy the odor so much, we'd recommend adding a few drops of other oils, like lavender essential oil, to help diffuse the smell.
Alternatively, boil a few neem leaves in water to create a nourishing, anti-inflammatory toner to apply to your skin every night. It has been shown that the topical application of neem leaves may even help to prevent wrinkles.
Alternative Eczema Treatments
Alongside the superpowers of the fruits and seeds of the neem plant, there are many other steps and lifestyle changes that you can make to soothe sensitive skin and prevent eczema flares in the long run.
Create A Gentle Hygiene Routine
Many harsh chemicals in conventional soaps and body washes tend to dry out your skin even more. If you're living with eczema, finding gentle, moisturizing soap alternatives to prevent flaring your symptoms is essential.
We'd recommend the Emily Skin Soothers - Soap for Eczema, which is made with Chinese herbs for eczema that are rich and moisturizing and won't strip the skin of it's natural, protective oils.
Wear Breathable, Soft Clothing
There's nothing worse than wearing itchy, scratchy clothing in the middle of an eczema flare-up. To help give your body the best chance to heal, we'd recommend investing in some breathable, hypoallergenic clothing alternatives, especially when it comes to nightwear. Excessive itchiness at nighttime can disrupt sleep, impacting overall mental health.
Consult Your Doctor
If you or your loved one exhibits eczema symptoms, we urge you to consult your doctor or healthcare professional.
Especially if you've been trying out at-home remedies like neem oil and you're still not seeing any improvement, you may need further treatment.
Harness The Powers Of Neem Oil for Eczema Today
Follow these tips to help you discover how neem oil could help you manage your eczema symptoms today.