Cheapest Natural Remedy for Eczema
I am going to be honest about what I think is (possibly) the cheapest natural remedy for eczema, in the name of epsom salt.
There is no medical or scientific proof that epsom salt is good for eczema, or any other common ailment we think it works for, such as muscle ache. Much of the evidence that swears by the effectiveness of epsom salt as a natural remedy for itchy skin is anecdotal, at best.
But I am not about to denounce this popular natural remedy for eczema. It just means there hasn't been a formal clinical study done on it. If you and I both know it to work, that's all that matters. I feel that the path of eczema treatment is all about trial and error, so I try to keep an open mind.
How I Found Epsom Salt
I am always on the lookout for cheap and easy natural treatments for eczema that are kind on both my wallet and my skin. I only knew of epsom salt because my husband used to have a horrible case of ingrown toenail and he had used it to treat his infection. So I trusted the method somewhat, despite the "folksy" or the "old wives' tale"-sounding nature of it.
But it never occurred to me to use epsom salt to treat my skin until I was looking at my childhood photos.
I used to go to the beach a lot. I think it's common knowledge that sea-bathing tends to improve skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. I never quite understood why, except knowing that salt in the seawater has an antiseptic quality. Since eczema skin is more prone to bacterial infections, it made sense that my skin would improve after my trip to the beach.
Since going to the beach all the time became impractical as I grew older, there had to be a way to duplicate the success of my numerous beach trips, at my own home. I had heard of the Dead Sea doing wonders for skin diseases, and since going all the way to Israel to soak in the Dead Sea was even more impractical, the next best thing was the commercially packaged Dead Sea salts.
Except...they were so darn expensive!
Enter epsom salt, which I dubbed as "A Poor Man's Dead Sea Salt."
According to Wikipedia, epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, can be absorbed into the skin, reducing inflammation.
Unfortunately, the gimmicky part is that epsom salt is basically being touted as a panacea for all kinds of muscle aches and major skin conditions. I figured there is no harm in trying, so I started using it in my regular baths.
I am not going to lie and say my eczema went away in an instant, or even after few baths, but I did notice that my skin felt a lot better, as in softer and less itchy. There could be two things at work here:
- Placebo effect - I am using epsom salt with the expectation that it would help my skin, therefore it seems like it works.
- Regular bathing is good for the skin anyway.
But I still like to use it, if anything, for the visibly coarse salt acting as a wonderful exfoliant against my skin. I think it's a good natural remedy for eczema, since epsom salt can be picked up at any drugstore for less than 5 dollars and it doesn't contain anything harmful.
I pour two cups of epsom salt into the tub filled with lukewarm water before my bath - nothing fancy. The water turns visibly soft after the salt is added. Then I just soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes and give myself a gentle exfoliation with my loofah sponge.
Caution: it might sting a bit if your skin is raw. My trips to the beach left me in tears because my skin stung so much. They gave a new meaning to "rubbing salt in your wounds" and "natural eczema cure" (as in "curing" my skin with salt).
I get tired of people telling me what's good for eczema, but sometimes a good natural remedy for eczema seems worth a try. I think the feeling of doing something positive for my skin is important.
There may be no medical basis for many so-called natural skincare tips, but there is a large community of people who have benefited from trying out different things, even if some of them sound a bit hokey. If it doesn't propose too much financial burden, I am always willing to try anything - sometimes the result can be surprisingly pleasant.
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