Natural Habits That Heal Dry Skin

Six Easy Ways to Relieve Eczema

Daily cleansing and moisturizing is an essential part of caring for your skin. But for those who suffer from extremely dry skin or eczema, a relaxing bath or a soothing, warm shower can turn into a dry and itchy affair.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition marked by itching, redness, and scaly patches. It is very common in babies, usually appearing on the face, chest, back, arms, or legs during the first six months of life, and can last throughout childhood.

Unfortunately, many children outgrow eczema only to have it reappear in adulthood. The condition can be difficult to deal with, but there are many treatment options. Just by making a few simple lifestyle changes, you can get back on the path to baby-soft skin.

Check your water
Bathing in chlorinated tap water strips the skin of its natural oils and can cause itching and scaling—not what you want when you’re already battling dry skin. Using a shower filter to remove chlorine can be helpful in preventing further irritation.

Beat the heat
Keep your thermostat on the cool side, which will save energy as well as your skin. High indoor heat saps moisture from the air. Also, lower the temperature of your bath water. Eczema has a tendency to flare up as the temperature rises.

Choose gentle cleansers
Harsh cleansers strip skin of its natural oils, leaving it unprotected from the elements and more susceptible to irritants and dryness. Instead, soap up with a non-sulfate cleanser, preferably one made without allergy-triggering synthetic fragrances.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
When your child steps out of the shower or tub, don’t towel off those magical, moisturizing water droplets. Trap them next to the skin with lotion, a super-rich cream, or high-oleic vegetable oil.

Watch what you eat
Since eczema is caused by a reaction in the immune system, certain foods—especially tropical fruits such as mangos and pineapples—can cause flare-ups. Check with your doctor or dermatologist first and then try an elimination diet to pinpoint the culprit.

Know the secret ingredient
Calendula! This wonder flower is helpful in treating a whole host of skin issues, including eczema, rosacea, sunburn, and just plain old dry skin. Try growing this easy annual plant in your garden and using the flowers to make a homemade tea for the bath. Put five or six flower tops in a muslin tea bag and drop into a teacup. Fill the cup with hot water and let steep for 20 minutes. Then simply pour the tea into a temperate bath.

Score: Mother Nature: 1, Hydrocortisone: 0!

Jessica Iclisoy is the founder of California Baby, a natural skincare line for babies, kids, and sensitive adults. Visit her website at