teapot with two small cups

Eczema, also termed atopic dermatitis, can be very persistent. Dermatologists often prescribe strong steroid creams, and that usually eases the symptoms for a while. But once the cream or lotion is no longer being used, the itching and redness often return. That is why we appreciate learning about alternative treatments for eczema.

Oolong Tea for Eczema:

Q. During a discussion of possible remedies for eczema on your public radio program, someone mentioned that drinking oolong tea reduced his symptoms. I suffered for years with a spot of eczema on my ankle about the size of a softball. At times it was raw and at other times it was a little better, but it was a constant presence for years.

I had tried every over-the-counter treatment with no luck and had completely given up hope that it would ever go away. I had no expectation that oolong tea would work, but I started drinking it a couple of times a day for about a month. The eczema disappeared.

That was over a year ago. I stopped drinking the oolong tea long ago, and the eczema has not returned. I am simply amazed, and I cannot thank you enough for that home remedy.

Why Not Try Oolong Tea?

A. We are disappointed that no studies have been done to follow up on the original Japanese research suggesting that oolong tea is helpful for hard-to-treat eczema (Archives of Dermatology, Jan. 2001). Drinking a few cups of oolong tea daily seems like a low-cost, low-risk way to deal with atopic dermatitis, the medical term for eczema.Here are a few more readers’ stories about dealing with eczema:

“Turmeric and amber Listerine helps keep my atopic dermatitis under control. I take a capsule of tumeric a day. And I rub brown Listerine over the affected areas immediately after getting out of the shower. I have not needed steroid creams for over three years.”

“My great-nephew has suffered from it…coconut oil is fantastic applied topically for this…it soaks in really well.”

“I would recommend trying a gluten-free diet. Three of my friends who have suffered from psoriasis or eczema for years went on gluten-free diets and their skin cleared up within a few days. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself!”

“I dealt with Eczema for several years and finally cleared it up with apple cider vinegar (I used the cheapest store brand). I just dabbed some apple cider vinegar onto the area with a cotton ball a couple of times a day. Within days, the Eczema disappeared and has never returned in over two years.”

“I have eczema and tried Neem oil. Within three days the problem was better.”

If you like inexpensive, practical solutions to problems like eczema, cold sores, dandruff, dermatitis, dry skin, fungal infections or psoriasis you may want to check out our book from National Geographic, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. Here is a link to our shopping cart.

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  1. Jeneen H

    Earlier this year, at over 70 yrs of age, I developed what I think is eczema on the lower left leg, behind the knees, and on both arms. In searching the internet, I came across a cream called “Mother of all Creams” on Amazon, and ordered it. It really works!

    Not cheap, about $27 for 4 oz, but totally worth it. As the condition improved, I have been able to keep it in check w/OTC eczema creams. It is really important to moisturize the area every day.

  2. Joy

    I’m fully convinced that sugar is a big problem. My problem is my ears. Scaly and itch terribly. When I consume sugar (cookies ) it gets worse. Any ear problems out there

  3. Aya

    Thanks for the shares. I’ll certainly try Oolong tea, vinegar, bactine, and listerine and report my results in about one month.

  4. ann

    My son started to have eczema last year in october (7 months ago) on his hands,fingers and forearm.He just turned 4. It has been getting worse. He was already gluten free and soy free, so recently we added dairy also, even though he was having only a glass of milk (grass fed raw milk btw) once in a blue moon. He is not a fan of cheeses or yogurt. We see no improvements, but getting worse only. He is not vaccinated, breastfed for 26 months, and is not eating any boxed or caned food, no sweets also.
    The only thing that I feed my children is organic, grass fed and pastured food (everything made from scratch, since they were born, with the same diet before and while pregnant). We did the patch and prick testing and the only thing he reacted to is nickel. We also tried raw shea butter, coconut oil, colloidal silver, calendula oil, homeopathic and chinese remedies with no success.
    The only thing that works a bit is the colloidal oatmeal bath. When he wakes up in the morning, his hands look like never had anything on them. Once he wakes up, the redness and itching returns. By the end of the day, his hands look like they were inside of a stinging nettle bush, with red bumps all over. Looks more like urticaria than eczema.
    Does someone experienced the same thing? We don’t know what else to do. We see that behavior changed since he got this, and he’s bowel movements decreased, going from 2-3 times a day to once every other day. We did travel to Europe every year since he was 4 1/2 months old, and every time we were there was getting some kind of a rash. When he came down with eczema it was a couple of weeks after our return from there. He did take some swimming lessons there for a little over a month. He also reacts to eggplant pretty bad on his face, and we see that when I used to bake with raw cocoa, his eczema would get worse. Any idea what else we can do?

    • Skylar

      Have you eliminated nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc)? These sometimes have a connection with eczema and people don’t always think to eliminate them because they are healthy.

    • Ebm

      Ann, there is a method called NAET, administered by acupuncturist, and developed by Debbie Nambudripad in Buena Park, Ca. This helped me with my allergy to MSG.

      No needles involved. A Dr. in the Carolinas sent his nurses to learn it and they had such great results with children that the adults lined up and the doc learned it himself and uses it.

      Since your son is ok till he gets up and around, it could maybe something in his clothes, nickel in the door knob, etc. His system is sooo pure, some germs help to build immunity.

    • CC

      Explore environmental causes???

  5. Scarlet

    I agree with Sebastian’s comments – dairy is the worst for eczema.
    I’ve always been a fan of Oolong tea but I tend to add coconut milk to it (I’m British, we do this!). Usually coconut milk is fatty and it’s a Omega-6 fatty (“bad fat”) – but it’s got MCT chains which are quite healthy.
    Definitely recommend looking at your complete diet. I’ve recently blogged about this!!

  6. Sebastian

    I used to have really bad eczema all over my body, and it took me years to get it under control. The one thing that improved me greatly was to stop consuming dairy products.
    I stopped drinking cow’s milk first (before, I used to drink over a liter per day) and within 2 weeks, my eczema got so much better. So I think diet is the most important part to get rid of eczema.
    Experiment leaving out different kinds of foods, and observe your bodies reaction.

  7. RCG

    Atopic Dermatitis, gluten sensitivity
    For years my dermatologist had me use a prescription steroid on atopic dermatitis. which was on my legs (chiefly), torso, and arms Sometimes the rash was better, and sometimes worsened. Finally I refused to use it, and used only moisturizing creams, which kept the itching down. Finally, after an extended crisis with heartburn, a side effect of several years using Actonel, I discovered on People’s Pharmacy “Do you have Celiac Disease?” I put myself on a gluten-free diet.
    The skin rash is slowly lessening, and I have little trouble with IBS (a long-time difficult Problem), my red blood count has improved (even though I quit taking prescription iron capsules), and my digestion has improved. None of these occurred overnight, but after months gluten free, my health is still improving. Thank you, People’s Pharmacy!

  8. Urda

    I suffer from eczema and had no luck at the dermatologist with anything he prescribed. Tried acupuncture for a year and no results there, either. A nutritionist friend suggested I google the Candida Diet and try it as I was probably full of yeast. It worked! As long as I avoid sugar (in any form) I am eczema-free. But if I cheat, it comes back.
    I’ll try some of the other things recommended by your readers, like cider vinegar.

  9. CherylT

    I have had eczema almost as long as I can remember,(I’m 53) I have had a patch on my outer right ankle for years-It went away last year & I couldn’t figure out why – it has to be the tea! I’ve always been a big tea drinker, but I’ve been drinking imported tea from Great Britain lately-that must be the difference.

  10. Larry S.

    I am 74 and began to have problems with seborrhea eczema about 10 years ago. Medications provided by my dermatologist helped somewhat, but not much. I have tried Listerine, 50/50 vinegar and water, and astringents. They all helped some but red scalp, small scabs and crusty patches remained. A few months ago I began dousing the hot spots with Bactine and a store brand equivalent. I wish I could say I am cured, but no. Soaking the spots however has reduced them significantly and markedly moderated the redness and itching. Good luck to all.

    • Ebm

      Larry, I tried all home remedies for a persistent scab on my
      scalp by the part until I put grapefruit seed extract from
      Nutribiotics on it a couple of times. It went away and so far
      has not returned. I had been taking it internally for a parasite,
      but it did nothing for the thick scab till I applied it topically. Not
      cheap ($13 -at Swanson Vitamins online) but worth it to me.

  11. cpmt

    Sea water also helps skin problems and eczemas. I improved mine when I go to the beach. Since I had several MRI’s I got eczema in my forehead and other areas of my face. (I think I am allergic to the day).

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