Eczema, also known as Dermatitis, is one of the most commonly occurring chronic skin diseases. It includes symptoms like swelling, dryness, itching, flakiness, cracks, blisters or bleeding, etc. (1). Eczema can be a difficult condition to treat; however, essential oils provide an inexpensive and low-risk option for the treatment of this condition. Listed below are essential oils that not only specialize in reducing the symptoms of eczema but also are great for the skin.
1. Chamomile Oil
With the calming effects, chamomile oil is rich, sweet, and fruity. Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and fungicidal properties. This oil is particularly effective for eczema (2). It cures inflammation and provides a relief from the dry and flaky skin. Chamomile oil has applications for almost all the skin problems.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is one of the most valuable oils for skin care. This oil is antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, calming, and moisturizing in nature. It works great for treating eczema, wounds or acne and also smells great (3)! Apply it to the affected area for a few times daily until healed.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Melaleuca Alternifolia or tea tree oil has some outstanding properties like antibiotic, antiseptic, and antifungal. Tea tree oil, with its various uses, is very good for promoting healthy skin by reducing acne, itchiness, scars, and inflammation.
Tea tree oil should be applied in a limited quantity as high concentration may cause skin irritation, due to the presence of 1,8-cineole (4).
Note: This oil can make your skin dry, so make sure to dilute it with moisturizing oil.
4. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary is a perennial herb, which is widely used for its culinary and medicinal purposes. The oil not only helps relieve the stress but is also a good ingredient to help skin stimulation, and relieves the itch caused by eczema. Two to three drops of rosemary oil can be added to bath water to appease the stress.
- Or, dab cotton balls in the oil and apply them directly to the affected area to get rid of eczema and dermatitis (5).
5. Cedar Wood Oil
Cedar wood essential oil can cure the inflammation that leads to eczema. It reduces the peeling of skin, cures the infection, and balances the production of sebum. The antimicrobial activity of this oil is beneficial in treating dermatitis and other skin infections (6).
You can add cedar wood oil to your lotion or bath wash, or even put about 5 drops of this oil into your bath water.
6. Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil is an effective treatment for dry, weathered or dehydrated skin. Its skin care benefits also include the treatment of eczema. Apply the essential oil regularly to soothe the inflamed skin. Rose hip seed oil mixed with helichrysum serves well for treating skin ailments (7).
7. Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil has a warm, spicy, and energizing fragrance with its antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It creates a defense against pain, infection, and inflammation. A 3% solution of thyme essential oil cream is used to cure fungal infections and skin problems like eczema (8).
8. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Another essential oil is eucalyptus essential oil, which has powerful antibacterial qualities (9). It has fresh and earthy smell with many amazing benefits. This oil also stimulates blood circulation to the surface of the skin.
Add about 8 to 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the warm water and soak your affected skin area in it for 10 to 15 minutes for at least twice a week to help clear out this skin infection.
9. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is an active ingredient in cosmetics and has various benefits for skin conditions. This oil can help people suffering from eczema, as it has antibacterial and antiseptic nature. It is itch-relieving and heals skin infections. Lemon essential oil also soothes and tightens the skin.
- Or, you can add the oil to your bath.
1) This essential oil can show phototoxic effect (10).
2) Remember to dilute the lemon oil with carrier oil that suits your skin before application.
10. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil, pale yellow in color, is very rich in fatty acids, which drive the healing process and reduce the swelling caused due to eczema. This essential oil is considered very useful for eczema and wound healing (11). Primrose oil is usually found in a gel form which can be applied directly on the eczema-affected area.
11. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect and relieves the inflammation and pain while soothing the itchiness of the irritated skin. A study tested the effectiveness of essential oils in inhibiting bacteria, in which, peppermint essential oil was found to inhibit all the 22 bacteria (12). These antibacterial features are effective in curing acne and other serious skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
12. Melrose Essential Oil
Melrose essential oil is a blend of naouli, clove, tea tree, and rosemary essential oils. This effective combination relieves the inflammation and micro-organisms which may cause eczema. Moreover, its constituent oils like clove are antibacterial in nature (13). Melrose oil also helps regenerate the new skin cells and tissues.
13. Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot seed essential oil is derived from the rich seeds of the plant. This oil is wonderful for all the skin types. It heals & tones the skin tissues and calms inflamed skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. The essential oil promotes the production of new cells and acts as a skin rejuvenator (14).
14. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil is both citrus and floral in nature. It is excellent for treating skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and seborrhea of the skin and scalp (15).
15. Birch Essential Oil
Birch essential oil is cleansing and purifying oil for the skin. It’s anti-inflammatory in nature, which makes it an amazing remedy for agitated skin problems. In fact, the bark of the birch tree is also used for curing skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis (16).
16. Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is good for all skin types as it is antibacterial and maintains proper levels of sebum in the skin (17). This essential oil encourages fast healing of the skin and alleviates the pain and discomfort arising from eczema.
17. Mandarin Essential Oil
Mandarin essential oil is antimicrobial and inhibits the growth of the organisms that can aggravate the infection (18). It penetrates deep into the skin and enhances blood circulation. Along with this, it promotes the production of new cells on the skin surface.
18. Spikenard Essential Oil
Spikenard herb is often used for curing sick people (19). Spikenard essential oil is antifungal in nature that makes it a great skin care agent. Deformations occurring on the skin like patches, dermatitis, itching, and fungal infections can be cured by this oil. It not only cures but puts an end to the bacterial growth.
19. Tagetes Essential Oil
Tagetes essential oil is made from the beautiful flowers of the marigold plant. This oil is very warm and calming oil. The plant is used to cure various skin diseases (20). It relieves the pain and inflammation along with treating skin allergies.
20. Balsam Fir Essential Oil
Balsam fir essential oil is derived from balsam fir, a tree native to North America. A study has shown that the oil is antibacterial (21). It destroys the bacteria and soothes dry and chapped skin. The essential oil is a natural remedy for curing eczema. It reduces inflammation, boosts immunity, and soothes the dry skin.
21. Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black pepper may have an itchy or burning sensation when applied on the skin, but such is not the case with black pepper essential oil. Black pepper contains piperine, a compound that inhibits the molecules responsible for inflammation (22).
22. Turmeric Essential Oil
23. Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Rose geranium oil is used, owing to its soothing effects on the skin. It has a similar smell to the rose. Researches found that application of a small amount of this oil is beneficial in the reduction of swelling by 70%. The oil is considered to be a great antiseptic and wound-healer. It works great in the dermatological conditions like eczema or dermatitis (24).
24. Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel is a common ingredient found in the kitchen and is a great antioxidant (25). Its essential oil is of great value as it bears the ability to heal skin problems like eczema. The oil possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. COX-2 molecules that are responsible for inflammatory response are inhibited by this oil.
25. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Along with that, it is a great antioxidant and promotes cell growth. Its antimicrobial nature provides protection from infections. The oil helps heal wound and cuts rapidly along with the removal of scars. It is actively used in the products made for relieving eczema (26).
26. Frankincense Essential Oil
The anti-inflammatory qualities of the oil make it a good healer. This oil increases the healing capacity when blended with the other oils. It reduces scars and heals the wound. The oil is effective in relieving stretch marks, eczema, acne, and blemishes (27).
27. Apricot Kernel Essential Oil
Apricot essential oil has a similar chemical like almond oil. The oil is easily absorbed by the skin and alleviates the itching sensation, which is often experienced in eczema. It nourishes the skin and has a soothing effect. The presence of monounsaturated acids and polyunsaturated acids treats dry and irritated skin (28).
28. Hemp Seed Oil
Apart from the numerous health benefits offered by the oil, hemp seed essential oil has shown subtle improvements in skin conditions like eczema and acne (29). The oil is enriched with loads of fatty acids that provide a relief from the itchy condition, commonly experienced in eczema.
29. Borage Essential Oil
Borage essential oil is derived from the seeds of the plant. The oil is an excellent source of gamma-linolenic acid, a fatty acid that helps reduce symptoms of eczema (30). Along with omega-6, it contains GLA, a strong anti-inflammatory compound. In addition to this, the presence of prostaglandin E1 boosts circulation.
Note: It should not be used by breastfeeding and pregnant mothers.
30. Cumin Seed Essential Oil
Cumin is extensively used in cooking. The essential oil derived from the seeds is effective in treating eczema and soothes skin irritations. Cumin essential oil is anti-inflammatory; this makes it an efficient medicine to cure eczema (31).
31. Calendula Essential Oil
This oil is made by brewing the orange petals of the marigold flower in a vegetable oil. It is an antiseptic agent, used for wound healing, curing skin cuts, bruises, and eczema (32). This essential oil is effective in treating dry and chapped skin. Skin issues like dermatitis, athlete’s foot, and eczema are cured effectively by the application of this oil.
32. Kukui Nut Oil
This oil is also known as candlenut oil. It is used by Hawaiians to heal and protect the skin. The oil is readily absorbed by the skin and helps treat eczema. The high concentration of polyunsaturated acids boosts the skin healing process that benefits in the skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema (33).
33. Perilla Essential Oil
The oil is extracted from the seeds of Perilla. The deficiency of fatty acids develops inflammation on the skins (34). As it is a great source of unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins (35); it works great for skin disorders. Its antibacterial nature helps get rid of microorganisms and acne from the skin. This oil is mostly used in curing dry eczema.
34. Safflower Oil
The oil is odorless and lacks in flavor. It is primarily used for skin-softening and helps fight eczema and chapped skin (36). Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it also soothes the affected skin.
35. Peach Kernel Oil
Peach kernel oil is recommended for dry and sensitive skin and relieves itching. It is a mild oil and suitable for all skin types. The oil is packed with powerful antioxidants like vitamin A and E along with fatty acids like linoleic acid (37). It reduces wrinkles and treats inflamed skin. This oil is also beneficial in curing eczema, psoriasis or skin damage due to overexposure to the wind or the sun.
36. Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea buckthorn oil has been used by ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine system, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is prepared by infusing the berries in a vegetable oil. Sea buckthorn oil is rich in essential fatty acids and heals skin against diseases like eczema and the damage done by radiations (38).
37. Tamanu Oil
Tamanu is basically a tree, and each tree is capable of delivering 4-5 liters of oil in a year. The oil is expensive, but is fully worth it. Tamanu oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory qualities and helps treat other problems related to hair, scalp, and skin including eczema, acne, scars, insect bites, and burns (39).
38. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is packed with vitamin A, E, B, and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. It has an amazing fragrance and is used in the preparations of shampoo, sunscreens, and soaps. This oil carries skin-softening properties and helps get rid of dry eczema by counteracting bacterial infections. The oil has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin and supply the nutrients along with aiding in blood circulation. It heals chronic wounds and skin ulcers (40).
39. Wheatgerm Oil
The oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the oil from getting dull quickly. Other plant oils contain 250-660 ppm of vitamin E, whereas, wheatgerm oil possesses 3,500 ppm of it. The presence of antioxidants makes it beneficial in treating the signs of aging that appear on the skin (41). It softens the skin and helps regenerate cells. These qualities of this oil make it good for treating dry eczema.
40. Walnut Oil
Walnuts strengthen the brain and have an amazing taste. The oil extracted from them is golden-brown in color and is commonly used in cooking. The walnut oil finds its use in hair and skin products. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory, soothes the skin, and cures eczema (42). It helps get rid of fungal infections and signs of aging.
41. Patchouli Essential Oil
Patchouli essential oil relieves the skin from pimples and cellulite. It has a long association with medicines. The oil is used for fixing various skin and hair problems like dandruff, oily scalp, acne, dermatitis, and eczema (43). It is effective in healing wounds and reducing scars too. A small amount of this oil is dabbed on the skin to heal cuts, sores, and burns.
42. Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil is used in treating a variety of skin conditions. It removes the excess of oil from the skin and keeps it nourished. The oil is antiseptic & anti-inflammatory and also possesses astringent properties. The presence of tannins in the oil imparts a sweet fragrance to it (44).
43. Yarrow Essential Oil
Yarrow essential oil is mostly used in soothing wounds, burns, scars, and rashes in eczema. This herb consists of anti-inflammatory and astringent features (45). The oil eliminates toxins from the body, reducing chances of skin infections.
Note: Do not use it for longer periods continuously as that might result in skin irritations and headache.
44. Juniper Essential Oil
Juniper essential oil is derived from the berries and needles of the plant. It is great in decreasing the pain, inflammation, and swelling that arise in eczema. The oil is a potent detoxifier and the berries make it rich in flavonoids and polyphenol antioxidants that save the body from the destruction done to the skin by free radicals (46).
45. Marjoram Essential Oil
Marjoram essential oil is used to treat cuts, rashes, and insect bites. The oil helps relieve inflammation and irritation. It is fungicidal, thus, inhibits the growth of fungal infections. In addition to this, it kills bacteria, protecting the body from skin diseases. The oil also has analgesic properties that relieve the pain in muscles (47).
46. Neroli Essential Oil
The essential oil is made from the small white flowers of the tree. It carries a sweet smell and is used for healing inflamed skin, rashes, and aging (48). Neroli essential oil promotes skin regeneration and maintains its elasticity. The nice smell enables it to be an active ingredient in making deodorants.
47. Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh oil consists of terpenoids, compounds, that are great antioxidants and have an anti–inflammatory effect (49). The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for curing many skin problems like eczema and fungal infections. It is good for dry, itchy, and chapped-off skin. This oil is an active ingredient in the creams that are meant for curing eczema, ringworms, athlete’s foot, and boils. Along with curing skin infections, it boosts the immune system to guard you against any such infection.
48. St. John’s Wort Oil
St. Johns wort consists of anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of hypericin. Eczema may occur due to stress and emotional disturbance. The oil being a natural anti-depressant keeps a check on eczema flare-ups. According to a study, people suffering from eczema saw improvement when they used this herb (50).
- Keep in mind that if you want to experiment with any of these oils, please always do a skin patch-test first.
- You could be allergic to nuts or seeds or certain oils, which can cause allergic reactions.
- Before application of any of the above-mentioned oil, mix them with carrier oil. The best carrier oils for eczema are coconut oil, vitamin E oil, avocado oil, shea butter oil, and olive oil.
- Breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women must consult a doctor before using any of the essential oils.