Q. Do you have any home remedies for eczema and seborrheic dermatitis? I can no longer afford the creams that my doctor has prescribed.

A. You may want to check for allergies. One reader shared her experience: “After seeing an allergist for a test that showed milk allergies, I was put on a dairy-free diet for life. My eczema cleared up within 2 weeks.”

One inexpensive option for seborrheic dermatitis (super dandruff that can also affect the face) is topical milk of magnesia. Here is a reader’s response: “I want to thank you so very much for delivering me from the scourge of seborrheic dermatitis, which I suffered for 30 years. Milk of magnesia was the cure!”

You will find more natural approaches for eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and dozens of other conditions in our new book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies.

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  1. CAR

    Re milk of magnesia. Not sure if a person drinks it or applies it to affected area.

  2. dla

    I have experienced all your symptoms to include around my mouth and nose. My lids are now very thin, but I hope its due to aging and can live with that too! I broke down and saw my dermatologist as my whole face stung. My ears have an occasional itch, but I think I am now keeping it all under control. I can offer what my doctor suggested. He gave me a sample of TERSI FOAM which has selenium sulfide @ 2.25% and lipids, telling me that it was seborrhic dermatitis. He also gave me a prescription for the TERSI, but it was so expensive that I decided NOT to have it filled.
    I was also to wash my hair with SELSUN BLUE one time a week. The active ingredient in SELSUN is also selenium sulfide, but 1%. I wash my hair and included my face, but twice a week and leave the foam on for the entire time of my shower. So far so good. Moisturize, moisturize. Am to try olive oil, but using PONDS now. I am now thinking that I might have a milk or a soy allergy and about to so without one of them for two weeks. As a dairy farmer’s granddaughter, please don’t let grandpa know…. Good luck. Have you tried Milk of Magnesia yet?

  3. wna

    For two years now I have been experiencing intense eyelid redness, itching, swelling and along with dry skin. The problem is only with the lids, creases, etc and not the lash area. I have taken steroids, tried about everything I know to get rid of this as it is very uncomfortable. My lids are now very thin and wrinkled I suspect from the steroids that I have taken. I can live with that!!!!! I just need relief from this extreme irritation. My whole face stings as well at times.
    My ears are now effected, scaly, itchy and red. Can you offer me any help? My family doctor is not an option. Been there tried that!! Dermatologist not an option, been there tried that. Any suggestions you may have will be much appreciated. Thank you in advance

  4. MK

    I have had trouble with eczema for many years. It would cause dry, itchy patches on my legs, and wet, blistered patches on my feet that would crack and bleed. The symptoms on my feet were worse in the summer, or anytime my feet would get overheated. I also have lots of problems with sinus infections and asthma. I finally consulted a naturopathic physician who felt my various symptoms are all linked, and were probably caused by a food allergy. She had me follow an ‘elimination diet’ to find out what foods I might be allergic to.
    The first part of the diet was to only eat ‘safe’ foods (unlikely to cause a reaction) for 3 weeks. My eczema symptoms cleared up, and my sinuses were much clearer. Then I could try a suspect food every three days to see what happened. It was very important to keep good notes on what was eaten, and what other factors could be present (weather, amount of stress,etc.). I find I have small reactions to many different types of food, and possibly a large reaction to soy. I say possible because the day I tried soy was also very hot, and the day was stressful. I am going to retest soy now that the weather has cooled.
    After I had been on the diet for about 2 months, I went on a family trip for 5 days. The days leading up to the trip were very busy, and adhering to the diet was a lot of work. During the vacation, I also took a vacation from the diet. By the end of the trip, my feet were itchy, cracked, and something of a mess. Back on the good food, they cleared up in a week.
    My doctor also had me send off some of my stool for testing. The testing found that I produced very little digestive enzymes, and had a low population of the ‘good’ bacteria of the gut. This meant I wasn’t digesting my food very well. I have since read that there is a correlation between poor digestion and food allergies. Now I am taking pancreatic enzymes and probiotics to see if they help with the foods that I have found to give me problems. It is very nice to not feel like I am going to have to rip my feet off to get rid of the itch!

  5. anastasya

    Eczema is an illness that can be prevented with simple precautions. To avoid great severity and to reduce the frequency of such conditions a patient should: lower stress level, keep the skin area moisturized at all times, to avoid foods (that can cause some kind of an outbreak), abrasive soaps or materials (wool), solvents or detergents, overheating or perspiration, abrupt alterations in humidity or temperature and environmental elements, like animal dander, molds, pollens or mites.
    In treatment of this disease the biggest importance holds the avoidance of scratching. Since the area that is affected by Eczema is generally itchy and dry, it is best to cover it with creams or lotions that are able to maintain the derma hydrated. These medical treatments are usually very efficient when they are employed immediately after taking a bath (during the first three minutes, if possible) to maintain the moisture that bathing grants.
    In order to relieve itching one should hold cold compresses onto the itchy derma. If the illness continues and maybe worsens or if it does not ameliorate adequately, the patient should consider another treatment, that may employ the use of corticosteroid creams or/and ointments that bring down the infection.

  6. JF

    I have been dealing with over 20 small patches of eczema for about 9 months, and last week I saw an add for a new Curel lotion called “Itch Defense”. I found almost immediate relief, and use it twice a day. My eczema has all but disappeared!

  7. G.M

    Hi I have an 8 year old daughter with severe eczema from head to toe and prednisone seems to the only medication that provides some sort of relief. I feel guilty because of the side effects. Help I don’t know what to do? Should I continue? She’s worse in the summer better in the fall worse in winter better in spring, it’s like a yoyo.

  8. cb

    I have very sever eczema and nothing has cleared it up. Went 2 derm. put under lights, no help, only on hands, feet, legs also could this be caused by mold in your home?

  9. susan g

    I need help with eczema. The itching is unbearable. nothing I try helps. I don’t want to take steroids again.

  10. Susan

    I have had Eczema all my life. Now it is worse than ever. I have been very sick being treated with prednisone, cyclosporin and cellcept. Please send me any infor that may help me. I scratch all the time till I bleed.

  11. peg H

    I have used steroids and became allergic to them and a friend of mine told me to use:
    “Carmol 10” and it has worked wonderfully for many years and costs $10 which lasts a long time.

  12. Judith R.

    You may recall that I called re: Vagisil contains resorcinol which was given to people suffering from eczema. Vagisil is an inexpensive topical treatment which may be effective in clearing up eczema. It worked on fever blisters and on my skin disease, granuloma annulera. Go to Mayo Clinic.com

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