How Can I Soothe Eczema Without Using a Steroid Cream?
Topical steroid creams rank among the most common ways to soothe eczema. Many people with eczema turn to hydrocortisone or triamcinolone for relief from flare-ups. And it works . . . for a quick fix.
But as many people have learned, steroid creams are not a lasting solution. Not to mention, these topical formulas can sometimes cause side effects. Worst of all, they often make the next flare-up even worse.
Whether you’ve had a bad experience with steroid creams or you’re just looking for a more natural solution for eczema, we can help. This guide walks you through safer, more effective solution options and lifestyle adjustments.
First, let’s take a look at what happens when you use a steroid cream to soothe eczema.
What’s Wrong with Using a Steroid Cream As A Solution For Eczema?
Each case of eczema is unique, just as each person’s body and physiology are unique. So, we wouldn’t say outright that steroid cream is a universally bad solution option. Rather, the issue is that it’s often not the best way to soothe eczema.
One major problem with topical steroids is that they tend to make atopic dermatitis worse in the long term. Dermatologists warn against overuse of this solution option, and “overuse” generally means applying more than 30 grams in 30 days.
That’s about how long you can expect steroid cream to be effective: one month.
After that, eczema flare-ups return . . . and they’re often worse than before. Your skin gets used to the solution, rendering the topical steroid less effective than it was. This is called “tachyphylaxis.”
Another possible consequence is that your skin may learn to depend on steroid creams. Again, this causes worse flare-ups when your bottle runs out.
Suddenly, you’re locked into a catch-22. The regular dose of topical steroids isn’t getting the same results anymore. But you can’t use more of it, because that will make your skin more dependent and make your eczema worse.
That doesn’t even factor in the side effects of steroid creams. Individuals who use topical steroids to treat eczema may struggle with:
- Thinning skin
- Stretch marks
- Enlarged blood vessels
So, what should you use instead? Here are some suggestions.
Treat Eczema with a Natural, Hydrating Skin Oil
First, we recommend finding a natural formula that penetrates deep to hydrate the skin.
We’re not talking about ultra-thick moisturizers. Soothing eczema flare-ups is not just about piling on emollients. You need to actually nourish and hydrate the deeper layers of your skin . . . ideally using natural ingredients.
Most people with eczema benefit from twice-a-day use for 2-3 weeks to address flares. It is recommended to use Delfina Dry Skin Oil 2-3 times a week to prevent flares.
Consider Taking Probiotics
Believe it or not, research shows there is a connection between gut health and skin health.
It seems that when you increase the microbial diversity in your gut (i.e., ingest more of that good bacteria), you see a decrease in inflammation and eczema flares.
If you’re not already on probiotics, ask your doctor if it’s time to start taking them.
Avoid Triggers and Allergens
When you look for ways to treat eczema, it pays to consider the steps you can take to prevent flare-ups in the first place.
If you have dealt with eczema for a while, you probably already know many of your own triggers. If you’re new to this skin condition, try minimizing your exposure to some of the most common triggers and see what works. Avoid:
- Extreme hot or cold temperatures
- Synthetic materials
- Artificial fragrances
- Harsh cleansers and chemicals (Laundry detergent is a common offender)
- Allergens such as pollen, dandruff, mold, pets, and dust mites
You may also experience flare-ups from using alcohol-based sanitizers or from frequent hand washing. These may be unavoidable practices when it comes to guarding your overall health.
However, we do have guides for preventing dryness, irritation, and itch when using sanitizers and hand washing.
The more you are able to prevent or minimize flare-ups, the less extreme you’ll have to be in your efforts to treat eczema.
Use Oatmeal to Treat Eczema
Oatmeal is a great resource for soothing dry, itchy skin. It’s also an incredibly easy solution.
Use a food processor to grind uncooked whole oats into a fine powder. Add the powder to a bath and soak for 10-15 minutes.
You can also create an oatmeal paste to relieve eczema symptoms in a specific area. Take the same powder you made for your bath and add water to make a paste. Spread the mixture onto the affected area like a mask. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
Skin hydration is key if you want to treat eczema. You can make this method even more effective by applying moisture strategically.
One of the best times to moisturize is when you get out of the shower. (Ideally, you took a warm or lukewarm shower and used gentle cleansers.) Apply your chosen moisturizer while your skin is still damp. This helps lock in moisture.
Revise Your Diet
Finally, what you put into your body has a real influence on your overall skin health. Certain foods can kick your atopic dermatitis into high gear. Of course, the list of possible dietary triggers can be long and varies from person to person. However, there are some ingredients that cause problems for almost everyone.
If you want to treat eczema by eliminating triggering foods from your diet, start with:
- Cloves or cinnamon
You may also find that increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids helps. You can get omega-3 from fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, soybean oil, chia seeds, and omega-3 fortified foods.
There are many ways to treat eczema. Steroid creams are not your only option. Lifestyle and dietary changes can help significantly, especially once you learn your individual triggers.
Don’t forget to check out Delfina. While essential lifestyle changes take time, most eczema sufferers see results with Delfina in 5 days to 1 month. It’s safe, it’s fast, and it’s proof that healthy, beautiful skin is possible for anyone.