The majority of redheads have very sensitive skin which can lead to itchy, uncomfortable, red skin typically known as eczema. “What is important to know is that the term eczema is actually an adjective not a medical diagnosis,” says Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a Board Certified dermatologist based in Sebastopol, CA.

“It describes a type of skin reaction that has different causes. There are other types of eczematous rashes such as facial dandruff and poison ivy/oak. It makes the topic confusing much like the term Kleenex being used to identify a facial tissue; people say eczema when they really mean atopic dermatitis.”

Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that is an inherited form of really sensitive skin. People with atopic dermatitis/eczema have a high risk of skin allergic reaction and skin irritation because of unique and fragile skin immune and structural factors that they inherited. It means that they have sensitive skin for life and need to take special care when picking skin care products.

Skincare products should be as natural as possible because chemical agents —  typically found in skincare products — can cause uncomfortable skin reactions.

We consulted with a few skin experts, including Dr. Bailey, and have found 10 ways to naturally heal and/or prevent eczema/dermatitis:

1. Mayonnaise: “Mayonnaise is a great natural remedy for eczema. ‘Best Foods’ is the best brand, as it does not have any added sweetener. The oil is a great moisturizer, while the egg whites break down the eczema. The blended mix of the two helps to really lock in the moisture. To apply, chill the mayo and then apply it to the affected area. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on overnight.”

2. Coconut Oil: Moisturize using coconut oil immediately after toweling your skin dry from bathing.

3. Get Rid of All Skin Allergens and Irritants In Your Skin Routine: “Avoid perfumed products, even natural scents can be allergens, and strong product preservatives. Use only gentle, hypoallergenic products and that includes your skin cleansers,” says Dr. Cynthia Bailey.

4. Humidifier: “One of the most important things with eczema is to not dry the skin out. So I recommend to my patients to use a humidifier during the winter months. This adds moisture to the skin,” explains Debra Jaliman MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology.

5. Limited Bathing and Showering: Debra Jaliman MD goes on to state, “The other important thing is to limit bathing and showering. Also the temperature of the water is very important with eczema. The water temperature used for a shower should be lukewarm as the hot water takes oil out of the skin. Taking a shorter shower can save your skin from dryness. It’s important to put on a moisturizer right after getting out of the bath when the skin is slightly moist to seal in the moisture.”

6. Manuka Honey: If an area of eczema gets infected you can use medical grade Manuka honey to treat eczema as it’s antibacterial.

7. Oatmeal in Bath: For the itching of eczema some of my patients have found that if they put 2 tablespoons of oatmeal into their bath that it calms the itching, so that is an effective treatment. Also, those with eczema should avoid itchy fabrics like wall and mohair and stick to soft natural fibers like cotton, cashmere and linen.

8. Neem Leaves & Raw Tumeric: Make a paste of some neem leaves and raw turmeric. Use it on affected parts of your body. This will give you some relief.

9. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is highly regarded as a natural cure for eczema, but even diluted varieties can inflame susceptible skin. Many lotions purport to feature a natural substance but are worthless because of the multiple other useless ingredients. Our clients have seen benefits from manuka honey; blends of olive and sunflower oil; and commercially available ointments that they add small amounts of lavender essential oil to. Each case is different and we usually have greater success starting with holistic ways to starve the source of the eczema with dietary changes, probiotics, supplements such as oregano oil, etc.

10. Sugaring: This all-natural method of removing hair and exfoliating the skin is totally safe for people with eczema. Adhering to only dead skin cells and hair, sugar paste has a small amount of naturally-occurring glycolic acid in it, which exfoliates without irritating. It smoothes and soothes itchy, flaky, always-dry-feeling areas using only edible ingredients. When paired with a diligent skin care routine and patience, sugaring can help clear even the most stubborn cases of eczema.

Rock it like a Redhead! 

Photo Credit: Maja Topcagic