For a little over two months, I have been struggling with itchy, flaky, and rash-like patches on my arms, legs, neck, and stomach. It has been a frustrating and embarrassing journey, and after a couple of visits to the doctor, I was finally presented with my fate: atopic dermatitis.
Also known more commonly as eczema.
Shortly after my doctor’s appointment, I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Desperate for a solution, I happily paid $25 for a three-ounce tube of prescription-strength eczema cream and went about my day.
However, when I got my eczema under control, I realized that I cannot afford to purchase this cream every single time I have a flare. Winter is just getting started, and I expect to wage my battle against dry skin for at least two or three more months.
So obviously, I figured I had to find some do-it-yourself method on the internet to solve my problem.
I started researching natural products and methods to alleviate eczema symptoms. Many of the recipes I found were either too expensive, too complicated, or too time-consuming. I wanted a solution I could make with ease and without breaking the bank with expensive oils or butters.
I decided to create an eczema cream using raw shea butter, tea tree oil, and oats. The total cost for the shea butter and tea tree oil–I already had oats in my pantry–was about $16, and I have enough to make multiple batches.
A shea butter-based eczema cream was important to me because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and its ability to reduce the appearance of scars—really important if you have ugly rashes from eczema. Tea tree oil has a strong track record for alleviating any type of skin inflammation, and oats—especially colloidal oats have exceptional moisturizing properties and the ability to restore the skin barrier, reduce itching, and regulate inflammation.
This eczema cream has soothed my itching, reduced the redness of the rashes, and has reduced the scarring my rashes may have left behind. Of course, depending on the severity and sensitivity of individual skin-types, this salve may not work exactly the same for everyone. Feel free to adapt this basic recipe with other oils like lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, myrrh, or chamomile.
Eczema can be a frustrating condition to live with but with a few natural ingredients and 15-minutes, you can be on your way to a winter full of moisturized and soothed skin.
DIY Eczema Cream
- 8 oz. Raw Shea Butter
- 10 Drops Pure Tea Tree Oil
- 1/3 Cup Oats
- Place the shea butter in a double boiler and melt for 15 minutes, until a yellowish, thin liquid has formed.
- Add the oats to a food processor or blender and process into a fine powder.
- Pour the ground oats into the desired container for your salve.
- Pour the shea butter over the oats, add the tea tree oil, and mix gently.
- Let cool completely on the counter or in the refrigerator. The oats should settle to the bottom of the container once solidified.
- Store at room temperature.
What are your favorite winter skin care products?
Also by Olivia: Savory Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Palmiers
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Photo: Concha Rodrigo via Unsplash, Olivia Parr