Q. Do you know of any home remedies for help in relieving symptoms of eczema? When humidity is low, my skin condition is aggravated something awful. It gets dry, itchy, red and ugly where it cracks and peels.

A. This time of year is exceptionally rough on skin conditions such as eczema or dry skin. There are many remedies that may work together to ease symptoms.

One reader had success by putting Pepto-Bismol on the itchy patches. Others report that old-fashioned Noxzema skin cream can ease symptoms. Another moisturizer, CeraVe, also has supporters.

We have summarized these and many other options in our Guide to Skin Care & Treatment. Some readers also find oral supplements helpful. Old-fashioned additions such as cod liver oil and brewers yeast have provided some with good results; others use probiotics as well as fatty acid supplements such as borage oil or hemp seed oil. Oolong tea has been tested scientifically and found helpful (Archives of Dermatology, Jan., 2001).

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  1. BG
    Chicago suburb

    When my eczema was really flared, I stumbled onto to this trick. After washing some white cotton T-shirts, I put one on, straight out of the dryer… I could not believe the calming wave that rose from my chest to my neck. I now keep a hot air hair dryer next to my bed. after lying down and into a comfy position…I run the hair dryer at my chest and pointed at my neck. while the rush of relief flows to my neck. the intense itching in my feet and legs seems cut off! I count to 30. then click off the dryer. And I am able to fall asleep.

  2. CatherinaLucy

    I want to know more preventative measures for eczema to apply at home.

  3. ladybug

    Every winter, I get a spot on my upper back that itches very badly. I went to the doctor a few winters ago and she gave me some cream. However I had a problem using it as my husband was gone by the time I got out of the shower in the morning and I can’t reach it. I also have a very dry and itchy scalp in the winter. I started using T-Gel for my scalp about a week ago and it has helped a great deal. Earlier this week I decided to try the T-Gel on my back, applying it with a back brush and lo and behold, after two uses, I no longer have the itchy area!

  4. S

    I had eczema this winter the worst I’ve ever had it. For me, it comes from having too many covers on at night, and then sweating because of it. I tried wearing a capilene t-shirt and pants. Problem solved. The capilene wicks away sweat; it’s made for winter sports, and you can get it at sporting goods stores. I also used olive oil to hydrate my skin when it was at its worst, just before I tried the capilene.

  5. Brent B.

    I’ve also heard that chamomile tea / tea bags can help, and don’t forget the healing powers of sunshine. The remedy that has really helped for any of my skin rashes is pine tar bar soap (Grandpa’s is the brand I’ve used). The soap doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, plus the bar and lather are dark, but you will be amazed at what a great job it does in clearing up almost any skin problem. Also, this time of year your skin tends to get extra dry, so try an aloe / glycerin soap like Clearly Natural. And for itching, oatmeal soap (like Yardley) is a good one to use. But don’t forget the pine tar soap when you really need relief!

  6. elvira

    pure unrefined shea butter works wonders–quickly cleared up a chronic dry heel/feet problem for me in a matter of a couple of days. This was too impressive to keep to myself.

  7. NJO

    Take cod liver oil. If you take it every day your eczema will leave. Try it.

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