Eczema is a very common skin condition, which causes itchy, red, dry sore and cracked skin. The condition is usually long term, but symptoms can be reduced with certain treatments. The most common treatments include medicated creams and ointments, but the effectiveness of these differs from person to person. More and more people are turning to natural remedies to treat eczema, one of which is turmeric.
According to health foods store Holland & Barrett, several studies have shown a “significant” improvement of the effects of skin disease in people treated with turmeric.
One study in particular from Pakistan in 2015 found topical formulations containing turmeric eased itchiness, swelling and redness in eczema patients.
“Turmeric is an herbal Ayurvedic remedy that has been proven to lessen eczema symptoms,” said Holland & Barrett.
Turmeric can be taken in powder, capsule or tablet forms, and added to tea and food.
“Daily doses of 3g to 4g have been used in eczema research studies, with positive results,” said Holland & Barrett.
The health foods store also recommends soothing dry skin by making a topical formula out of turmeric and milk.
“If your skin is dry, parched and in need of a boost of moisture, turmeric and milk could help,” said Holland & Barrett.
Mix one teaspoon of turmeric with two teaspoons of dairy, almond or coconut milk to form a paste and smooth it on to dry skin.
Leave for 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water and follow with moisturiser. Do this once or twice a week for “softer, more hydrated skin”.
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties, which is how it eases inflammation associated with conditions like eczema.
The spice has also been found to reduce inflammation related to joint conditions such as arthritis.
According to Holland & Barrett, turmeric is also used in some beauty treatments.
“You’re probably familiar with this spice as an ingredient in your favourite curry, but turmeric has been used in beauty treatments for centuries and contains anti-inflammatory properties,” said the health foods store.
If you are unsure if you have eczema, see a GP and they will be able to diagnose.
Common treatments recommended by doctors include emollients and topical corticosteroids – such as hydrocortisone.
Some of these medicated treatments can be purchased over-the-counter, but others will need a doctor’s prescription.