Eczema is an inflammation of the skin, which can be extremely itchy and sometimes has a sticky discharge. It often develops into blisters that weep and form crusty scabs. There are two main types of eczema. Contact eczema and atopic eczema.

Contact eczema, occurs as an almost instant reaction to contact on the skin from a substance which causes the skin to react. The trigger can be completely individual and varied. Contact with substances, such as household and industrial chemicals, cosmetics, nickel or other metals, often results in a local reaction.

Atopic eczema, a chronic condition, is more difficult to deal with as it can be hard to pinpoint what it is that is actually causing the problem. There may be a family history of the problem, or asthma, hay fever or migraine. Food allergies are also often implicated. It is also thought that extreme unhappiness or stress can prompt outbreaks of eczema. Young children who have the condition will often outgrow it, but it can take quite a long time to discover the cause in adults.

Eczema can be aggravated by stress. In some cases oils and ointments can aggravate it as well as they might cause the skin to overheat. The area may also be more itchy directly after bathing.

Lukewarm or cold compresses, can be helpful. Add one to two drops of essential oil or essential oil blend. Consider patchouli, juniper or sandalwood for weeping eczema; rose for scaly eczema; chamomile or yarrow for inflamed eczema or lavender for infected eczema. Topically one could also consider applying a gel, which has an essential oil or essential oil blend added to it, or use an infused oil of calendula as a base — 1 teaspoon (5ml) calendula to which is added 1 — 2 drops of essential oil. Baths are another way in which the essential oils can be used. Remember that essential oils do not dissolve in water so add an equal number of drops of emulsifier, or if you don’t have an emulsifier add an equal number of drops of liquid soap to disperse the essential oil droplets through the water.  One can also add a handful of baking soda to the water to help reduce the itching. If stress is a factor massage with essential oils can be given but one would only be able to massage those areas where the skin was clear.

Essential oils found to be helpful with eczema include: carrot seed, cedarwood, German and Roman chamomile, juniper berry (weeping eczema), geranium, helichrysum, lavender, myrrh, patchouli (weeping), rose otto, sandalwood (weeping), violet leaf and yarrow.

Carrier oils found to be helpful with eczema include: sweet almond, apricot, avocardo, black cumin, borage, evening primrose, jojoba, kukui nut, olive, rosehip seed, sesame seed, tamanu and walnut.

Lifestyle and diet should also be reviewed.

Fiona Rattray & Linda Ludwig, Clinical Massage Therapy, Understanding, Assessing and Treating over 70 Conditions , Talus Incorporated, 2000.
Rosemary Caddy, The Essential Blending Guide, Amberwood Publishing Ltd, 2000.

Eczema Blends

Blend 1 Blend 2 Blend 3 Blend 4
1 drop of Yarrow 1 drop of Juniper 1 drop of Yarrow 2 drops of Roman Chamomile
3 drops of Lavender 1 drop of Rose 1 drop of German Chamomile 1 drop of German Chamomile
1 drop of Geranium 2 drops of Sandalwood 1 drop of Rose

Back to the Article Archives Index for more articles like this.