Eczema is a skin condition that causes itchy, dry, and scaly skin. In more severe cases, the skin can look leathery, dry, and scarred (lichenification). Eczema can also be uncomfortable and there are several different types.
While there’s no cure for this condition, there are treatments available to reduce symptoms and to soften scar tissue.
Treating eczema scars ranges in difficulty, depending on the severity. The key is to return moisture to prevent itching, lichenification, and cracking on your skin. There are a number of treatments available to improve symptoms and prevent scarring. In some cases, treatment can also help to reduce scarring.
Before pursuing alternative treatment, discuss the pros and cons with your doctor. While homeopathic remedies can help reduce symptoms, more severe cases of eczema may require traditional medical treatment.
1. Don’t scratch!
Though a simple recommendation, not scratching is essential to preventing the formation of scar tissue. Eczema irritates your skin and can cause it to crack. This irritation can intensify the itchiness of your condition.
Scratching can not only damage your skin, but can also increase lichenification.
Moisturizing your skin and avoiding triggers can reduce itchiness from eczema and prevent further scarring.
2. Oatmeal bath
Oatmeal can also be used as an exfoliant to return moisture to the skin, remove dead skin cells, and reduce scarring. To treat eczema scarring, soak your body in an oatmeal bath for about 3o minutes daily. You can also apply an oatmeal-based lotion to your skin.
Honey is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and healing properties. But not all types of honey have the same qualities. Manuka honey is a more concentrated form of honey with an extra boost of antibacterial components. Studies have recognized Manuka honey for its wound healing properties, and tout its uses as a topical treatment for wound infections.
To reduce eczema scarring, you can apply Manuka honey directly to your rashes. You can also mix it with sugar to make a daily sugar scrub. Repeat for better results. If your symptoms worsen, talk to your doctor about alternative treatment.
4. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins and nutrients needed to regenerate skin cells. ACV is known for its antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It’s also used as an exfoliant, as it helps to remove dead skin and stimulate healthy skin growth.
For eczema scarring, dilute a small amount of ACV with water. Apply the solution to your skin and let it sit for a few minutes. Wash the ACV mix off with water and repeat this treatment daily for faster results.
You can also add apple cider vinegar to your bath water to exfoliate your skin and soothe eczema symptoms. Before using this product, be sure to properly dilute it to prevent skin irritation.
5. Hemp seed oil
Hempseed oil has anti-inflammatory properties and also promotes skin health. It contains essential fatty acids needed to build healthy skin cells and reduce scar marks. It can also help to relieve itching and irritation.
Studies have recognized hempseed oil as an effective treatment for skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. According to the research, hempseed oil can strengthen your skin to withstand various infections and improve elasticity.
For eczema treatment, apply hempseed oil diluted with a carrier oil, directly to the affected area. For deeper penetration, massage the oil into your skin.
Chamomile is another medicinally-recognized plant. Chamomile is known specifically for its antioxidant properties. These same qualities can help to fight scarring from skin conditions.
Chamomile promotes skin health by tightening the skin and improving complexion. A controlled study revealed that chamomile cream was equally effective in treating eczema as a prescribed hydrocortisone cream.
To treat eczema scars, rub over-the-counter (OTC) chamomile cream into your scars daily. You can also brew chamomile tea and massage the tea leaves into your skin.
7. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory that can reduce skin irritation and improve scar appearance. According to research from 2008, aloe vera increases collagen content and can change collagen composition of wounds.
To treat eczema, you can extract fresh aloe from the plant leaves and apply it to your skin. Leave the oil or gel on your skin overnight, but rinse it off in the morning.
Lavender oil contains antiseptic and antibacterial components. It’s also used as an essential oil to soothe and reduce stress. As a skin treatment, lavender has been shown to speed wound healing.
In a 2016 study, researchers applied lavender oil to circular wound areas on rats for alternating days. Results showed that the lavender oil not only increased wound recovery, but also decreased the wound area compared to the control subjects.
To reduce scarring from eczema, apply or massage lavender oil to the affected area. Be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil first, as the pure essential oil is too strong for your skin. You can also drink it as a tea.
9. Shea butter
Shea butter contains hydrating properties that can help to soften and reduce scarring. It can increase skin moisture to treat drying effects from eczema. Shea butter is rich in vitamins and has been recognized as an effective remedy for skin disorders, specifically for keloid treatment.
To treat eczema scars, apply raw shea butter to your skin. Repeat daily use for faster results. If your skin becomes irritated after use, consider an alternative treatment and discuss your options with your doctor.
Turmeric is an herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound rich in antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2015 study revealed that turmeric cream could speed wound healing and reduce scarring for Cesarean wounds.
To treat eczema scars, apply a mix of honey and turmeric to the affected area. Let the mask sit for 10-20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. You can also drink a turmeric tea.