Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes skin inflammation, itching, and scaly rashes. It’s typically treated with ointments and lifestyle adjustments, like avoiding specific triggers.
If you’ve tried these things and are looking for more ways to manage your symptoms, you might consider natural remedies like black seed oil.
When used topically (on the skin), black seed oil may help ease inflammation and irritation caused by eczema. It might also improve eczema complications, including bacterial skin infections.
To learn about the black seed oil benefits for eczema, read on. This article will explain how to use the remedy, along with potential side effects and alternatives.
Black seed oil comes from the seeds of Nigella sativa, a flowering plant that grows in Western Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. The plant is also known as black seed or black cumin.
The Nigella sativa seeds are dark black, which is why the oil is called black seed oil.
Black seed oil is thought to contain anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to thymoquinone, the main compound in Nigella sativa.
Thymoquinone has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to a 2020 review article.
As a result, black seed oil has been studied for its effects on eczema, a condition that causes skin inflammation.
Overview of the available data
Some clinical evidence supports the use of black seed oil for eczema.
The researchers found that black seed ointment can reduce the severity of hand eczema. In fact, its effects were comparable to those of betamethasone and better than those of Eucerin.
A 2018 animal study also found that topical thymoquinone reduced eczema-related inflammation in mice.
Black seed oil may help with some of the complications of eczema, too.
According to a 2019 lab study, Nigella sativa contains lauric acid, which may prevent bacterial skin infections. This is helpful because eczema can cause your skin to crack and open, increasing your chances of skin infections.
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These studies suggest that black seed oil may have a therapeutic effect on eczema. However, more human research is necessary to fully understand its benefits.
Before using black seed oil for eczema, it’s a good idea to do a patch test first.
To do this, place a small amount of oil on your skin, then wait 24 hours. If you develop irritation, avoid using the oil. If you develop no symptoms, you can continue using it.
Here’s one popular method for using black seed oil for eczema:
- Wash your hands and pat them dry.
- Place two or three drops of black seed oil onto the palm of your hand. Rub your palms together to warm up the oil.
- Pat the oil onto the affected skin. Avoid rubbing it in, as this may cause irritation.
- Apply once a day, to start. Increase to two or three applications per day if your skin responds well to the oil.
If you develop a rash or irritation, stop using the oil immediately.
As with all topical remedies, black seed oil can potentially cause side effects.
According to the study, the people developed a range of severe symptoms, including blisters and pustules.
It’s worth noting that eczema can make your skin extra sensitive to different substances. Talk with a healthcare professional before adding any natural remedies, including black seed oil, to your treatment plan.
Black seed oil is just one possible natural remedy for eczema. You can also try:
- Colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal, which is made of finely ground oats, may soothe irritated and inflamed skin. It’s often used in a bath.
- Coconut oil. Coconut oil is extremely moisturizing, which may reduce dry skin. Its antibacterial effects can also prevent skin infections.
- Witch hazel. Though research is limited, people claim witch hazel can relieve inflamed and itchy skin.
- Evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil may ease skin inflammation. People apply it to their skin to reduce eczema symptoms.
- Acupressure. During acupressure, a professional uses their hands and fingers to place pressure on certain points of your body. This is thought to reduce itchiness.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture, which involves placing needles in certain points of the body, may also reduce eczema symptoms.
Black seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help soothe eczema symptoms. The oil could also support wound healing and minimize bacterial skin infections, a potential complication of eczema.
Despite these benefits, black seed oil may cause allergic reactions in some people. Always do a patch test first to confirm that it’s safe for you. It’s also best to check with a healthcare professional before adding black seed oil to your treatment plan.
If you develop skin irritation after using black seed oil, stop using it immediately. Consider trying other natural remedies like colloidal oatmeal, coconut oil, and evening primrose oil.