Nestled between the borders of Jordan and Israel in the middle east lies the Dead Sea. This body of water is surrounded by miraculous facts and a mystery of legend. It is the lowest point on Earth, clocking in at 1412 feet below sea level. Perhaps the most compelling feature of the Dead Sea is its salt content. It has a salinity of 33.7% which is almost 10 times more than average ocean salt water. This makes swimming in the sea feel like weightlessness, as the human body’s water is much less salty and floats effortlessly.
The salt and mineral content also provide health benefits and are sometimes utilized to treat conditions like eczema.
Using Dead Sea Salt for Eczema
Dead sea salt is a mineral solution extracted from the Dead Sea that includes much more than just sodium. The compound is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sulfates. This unique mineral makeup makes using dead sea salt for eczema a promising treatment. Here are some health benefits of dead sea salt:
- Hydration. According to one 2005 study, bathing in dead sea salt improves skin hydration and the skin barrier function while reducing inflammation.
- Antibacterial properties. The sulfur in dead sea salt naturally cleans and disinfects skin. It can be used as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells as well.
Dead sea salt can be administered in your home’s bathtub for impressive results. If you have the means, however, bathing directly in the Dead Sea has a remarkable track record. In one study, 49 participants were studied across the course of 2009-2010 with different 4 week stays in the Dead Sea region.
In a tactic called climatotherapy, The subjects took daily baths in the sea followed by strategically increased sun exposure. Ninety-five percent of the people in the study saw their eczema clear by the end of the four weeks.
Home Remedies for Eczema
If a trip to the middle east isn’t feasible for you, there are other home remedies you can try. We have handpicked these for you.
Topical options to apply directly to the skin or the affected area:
Aloe vera gel. This wonder plant is a staple in skin cooling gels for a reason. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. It is also a great moisturizer.
Coconut oil. Apply after showering or bathing to moisturize and improve the skin’s natural barrier.
Manuka honey. This naturally antibacterial sweet treat helps heal wounds quicker while boosting the immune response.
Take a warm bath and add some of the following elements to find relief from itching and inflammation:
- Apple cider vinegar. Healthy skin contains a balanced level of acidity. In eczema burdened skin, apple cider vinegar could help restore the proper PH balance. You can add it to a bath or dilute with water and apply in a wrap.
- Bleach. This one might surprise you, but the science backs up the use of highly diluted bleach for eczema. In a 2015 review, patients reduced the need for topical steroid or antibiotic treatments by taking bleach baths. Use only 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, for an average of about half a cup in a full bathtub. Keep the water tepid and moisturize immediately afterward to avoid overdrying of skin. Only soak for 10-15 minutes and avoid completely if you have asthma.
- Colloidal oatmeal. Sprinkle powdered colloidal oatmeal into your tub to enjoy its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Additional tips for managing eczema:
- Avoid dry, hot environments. Excessive heat can pull moisture from the skin and make eczema worse. If you live in a climate that has desert weather, install a humidifier in your home to keep the air moist. If you have to spend time outside, limit exposure to the sun and take breaks in the air conditioning.
- Cover up in cold climates. Cold air, just like hot, is drying to the skin. If you must brave the outdoors, wear as much clothing as possible including gloves and hats.
Essential Oils for Eczema
Many sufferers of eczema have found relief in essential oils. They can be applied topically, orally (check labels for safety as not all are good for consumption), or dropped into bath water.
Tea Tree Oil. This is a staple every essential oil aficionado should have in their cabinet. It helps to relieve skin dryness, gently tone skin, and stop itching.
Peppermint. When diluted in a carrier oil and applied topically, peppermint can calm itching.
Foods that Help Eczema
Healing the skin can start from the inside out. Since eczema is an inflammatory condition, consuming anti-inflammatory foods can be supportive in healing the condition and minimizing outbreaks.
Add some of the following anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to support immune function:
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, herring)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
- Colorful berries (blueberries, blackberries, cherries)
- Green tea
- Red wine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dark chocolate
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts)
Drinking plenty of water is also essential to keeping skin hydrated and helping your body flush out toxins. H20 is an integral part of a functioning digestive system which is at the center of the immune and nervous symptoms. Drink at least 8 glasses (8 oz a piece) each day. Add more ounces if you are a larger person, exercise frequently, or are having a sweaty day.
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