Aloe Vera and Eczema
Eczema, a type of skin inflammation, is a common problem. It is believed to be a defect of the skin related to an abnormality in the immune system or in the skin’s ability to act as a protective barrier. The skin disease causes red, dry and itchy skin and affects all ages, races and genders. Eczema is marked by intense itching, which left untreated, may cause more serious skin lesions and blisters.
The topical inflammation may cause chronic discomfort all over the body and is prevalent on the forehead, forearms, scalp and neck. Also known as dermatitis, eczema may be triggered by stress, change in temperature or skin contact, with products like detergent, sweat, jewelry or cosmetics. It is possible to alleviate symptoms through a variety of methods.
Prescription treatments and medications may vary from corticosteroid creams to ultra-violet light therapy. But some of these options carry bad side effects when used over a prolonged period of time. Many doctors agree that a good skin-care regimen, with an emphasis on moisturizing the infected areas, is the most important lifestyle change for sufferers with eczema.
For a natural treatment that does not require a prescription, many patients turn to nature’s wound healing ointment—aloe vera. Believed to be an inherited condition, eczema is most common in infants, with 85% of patients under the age of five. In these cases that deal with the most delicate skin, an all-natural option like aloe vera, which is devoid of harsh chemicals, is a good alternative.
There are two ways to treat eczema with aloe. First, drinking the gel1 of the plant promotes health and wellness from the inside out. Aloe vera is a recognized anti-inflammatory and immune booster.
In an article by author Evelyn Lim on Naturalhealthweb.com, the details of Dr. Peter Atherton’s, a leading advocate for the use and benefits of aloe vera in the United Kingdom, study on aloe vera is outlined. Dr. Atherton stated that aloe vera works in two ways—to boost the immune system and repair the epithelial tissue. The skin is the largest organ in the body, as well as makes up the largest portion of epithelial tissue. This explains why aloe has been proven effective to heal wounds and burns. In order to reap the full benefits of aloe vera for eczema, drink two to four ounces of the juice1 with water or fruit juice and always consult with a physician or healthcare provider.
The second way to treat eczema with aloe vera is through topical application of the gel. It may be applied directly on the dermatitis twice a day. Aloe vera hydrates the skin and helps moisturize the dry, scaly skin characteristic of eczema.
1 “Juice” actually refers to the liquid from the outer leaf and juices made from it. However, the aloe vera “gel” from the inner leaf is the “juice” referred to in this article.