Eczema is more common than you think. It affects roughly 30 percent of the American population! This inflammatory skin condition is also known as atopic dermatitis.1. Symptoms show up as dry, itchy rashes. They can develop anywhere on the body, including the face, behind the knees and inside the elbows. When scratched, the rash may release clear fluid. Eczema isn’t contagious, but it can make you vulnerable to skin infections. The treatment for this often include medicine, skin creams, and light therapy.2 But what if the best remedy is in your pantry?
Now enters the baking soda. It’s a simple household product, but it can transform your skin. Baking soda may soothe eczema when used correctly. Here’s how to do it.
Baking Soda Bath Soak
Scaling is a common symptom of eczema.3 If this sounds familiar, prep a baking soda bath. The water will remove scales and promote smoother skin.4 Meanwhile, the baking soda will prevent fungal5 and bacterial infections6, two common problems caused by eczema.
1. Fill a tub with lukewarm water. Make sure it is not too hot.
2. Add ½ to 1 cup of baking soda. Mix well.
3. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Rinse with normal water and pat your skin dry.
If your feet or hands the only parts affected, make a baking soda soak. Use a plastic bin or bucket with 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda. This will save tons of water. For extra relief, add a few drops of almond oil. It’ll moisturize and heal dry skin.7
Baking Soda Compress
A wet compress feels amazing on irritated skin. It’s even better on eczema! Using a wet cloth will remove damaged tissue and stop crusting.8 By adding baking soda to the water, you’ll get extra infection combating benefits.
1. Fill a clean bucket or bin with lukewarm water.
2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir well.
3. Soak a clean wet cloth. Wring out the excess and place on the infected area. If you have eczema in multiple spots, use additional wet cloths.
To prevent irritation, remove the wet compress after 30 minutes. Do not re-use the same cloth without washing it in hot water. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of infection. Add witch hazel to the soak. Obviously, it’d be too expensive to fill a bucket, so add a splash or two. Liquid witch hazel will stop clear liquid from oozing out.9
Baking Soda Paste
Eczema can cause blistering. In severe cases, the fluid and crusty skin may smell. Use baking soda to control the odor. It’s exactly why baking soda is used to deodorize the home. For odor-busting benefits, add activated charcoal. Together, this duo will relieve blistering and its side effects.10 Additionally, a base of almond oil will moisturize dry skin.11
1. Sprinkle baking soda into one tablespoon of almond oil. If you’d like, add a dash of activated charcoal.
2. Mix well.
3. With clean hands, apply the paste to the affected area.
4. After 10 minutes, rinse it off and pat dry.
Calendula, St. John’s Wort, and chickweed can calm inflammation. They’re also useful if your skin is red and swollen.12 Consider adding these dried herbs to your baking soda paste.
Baking soda won’t cure eczema. But it can keep it under control! You can also limit flare-ups by reducing stress, exercising, and avoiding foods that cause irritation.13
|↑1||Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.|
|↑3, ↑8, ↑9, ↑12, ↑13||Eczema. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑4||Milstone, Leonard M. “Scaly skin and bath pH: rediscovering baking soda.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 62, no. 5 (2010): 885-886.|
|↑5||Letscher-Bru, V., C. M. Obszynski, M. Samsoen, M. Sabou, J. Waller, and E. Candolfi. “Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections.” Mycopathologia 175, no. 1-2 (2013): 153-158.|
|↑6||Drake, D. “Antibacterial activity of baking soda.” Compendium of continuing education in dentistry.(Jamesburg, NJ: 1995). Supplement 17, no. 19 (1995): S17-21.|
|↑7, ↑11||Ahmad, Zeeshan. “The uses and properties of almond oil.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 16, no. 1 (2010): 10-12.|
|↑10||Chakravarthi, Arun, C. R. Srinivas, and Anil C. Mathew. “Activated charcoal and baking soda to reduce odor associated with extensive blistering disorders.” (2008).|