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What alternative remedies are used to treat skin inflammation?

Alternative remedies used to treat skin inflammation include the oils of mackerel, herring and salmon. These are high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which may reduce skin inflammation and itchiness, but more research is needed. People should talk to a healthcare provider about taking cod liver oil or fish oil supplements to boost EPA intake, and inquire about possible adverse interactions with other medications they may be taking.

In addition, some research has shown benefits in eczema sufferers who take the following:

  • probiotics
  • evening primrose oil and borage oil, both of which contain the essential fatty acid GLA
  • vitamin C, which can act as an antihistamine
  • bromelain, which helps reduce inflammation
  • flavonoids, which may help reduce allergic reactions
  • witch hazel cream
  • chamomile cream
  • St. John’s wort cream

Results of studies on the above-mentioned alternative remedies are mixed. People should discuss all alternative treatments with a healthcare provider before trying them.

Alternative remedies used to treat skin inflammation include herbal and natural remedies, likely dating back as far as man has walked this earth.  Some commonly used natural preparations for skin inflammation include the following:

  • Arnica, which is derived from the dried flowers of Arnica montana, has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
  • German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), a member of the daisy family, has been compared to low dose hydrocortisone cream.
  • Jewelweed (Impatiens biflora) is alleged to be useful topically for treating poison ivy contact dermatitis.  
  • Several herbs, including slippery elm, contain a substance called mucilage, which is useful topically to soothe and act as an emollient on skin.  
  • Oats (Avena sativa) have been used topically in baths for hundreds of years for their soothing and antipruritic properties.
  • Lemon balm, capsaicin, camphor, and aloe vera have all been used for skin irritation and inflammation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.