Castor oil has a number of beneficial properties that make it an ideal product to fight the itchiness and redness of skin conditions like eczema. Castor oil is a natural emollient as well as a detoxifier, treating the major symptoms of eczema by both cleansing and moisturizing. Because castor oil is an all-natural product, it treats skin conditions like eczema without the use of harsh chemicals, alcohol, or toxins that can cause more dryness or damage to wounded skin.
Read on to learn about eczema and see why castor oil for eczema is our favorite method of treatment!
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an itchy inflammation and irritation of the skin. It affects up to 20% of infants and typically resolves by age 10, however, it affects up to 3% of adults as well. Fortunately, eczema flare-ups are controllable and treatable with products like castor oil.
The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, causes itchy rashes that tend to appear on the face, wrists, hands, feet, and the back of the knees, although it can affect other areas as well. The rash can be dry, scaly, or thick. This type of eczema is hereditary and is especially common in people who have family histories of asthma or allergies. Symptoms typically first appear during childhood. It is estimated that between 9 and 30 percent of the U.S. population are affected by this type of eczema.
In addition to atopic dermatitis, there are several other common types of eczema.
Common Types of Eczema
Contact Dermatitis can be caused by either irritants or allergens. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when skin comes into contact with triggers such as detergents, paint, pesticides, bleach, and/or solvents. Allergic dermatitis occurs when skin comes into contact with topical antibiotics, fabrics, adhesives, or poison ivy. The result of both types of contact dermatitis is red, inflamed, itchy skin.
Dyshidrotic Eczema is a type of eczema that causes itchy, fluid-filled blisters, called vesicles, on fingers, toes, palms, and feet.
Nummular Eczema can occur at any age and is more difficult to treat as its symptoms are different from more common types of eczema. Nummular eczema causes round, itchy spots and can also cause open sores.
Stasis Dermatitis often occurs on the lower legs as a result of poor circulation. This type of eczema can cause swelling around the ankles and typically affects people aged 50 and older. Oozing skin ulcers can develop in severe cases, which carry the risk of becoming infected.
Seborrheic Eczema is commonly known as dandruff and appears as flakey, dry skin on the scalp, beard, moustache, or eyebrows. An omega-3 deficiency is often the cause. It may also be related to an overgrowth of a certain type of yeast normally secreted by the skin.
Neurodermatitis begins as an itchy patch of skin that grows itchier the more you scratch it, causing the skin to thicken and develop rough, raised patches. Neurodermatitis often develops on the neck, wrist, thigh, ankle, or forearm.
Learning which type of eczema you have will help you treat and manage flare-ups, and prevent flare-ups from occurring in the future! Fortunately, castor oil not only treats the itchy rashes caused by eczema, but also treats the infections that can result.
Castor Oil for Eczema
By now, we all know just how beneficial castor oil is for damaged skin. Castor oil reduces inflammation, hydrates and moisturizes, relieves pain, and can even treat skin infection. Castor oil is such an ideal treatment for the symptoms of eczema due to its unique chemical composition. Its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects are well documented.
Ricinoleic acid, which is found in abundance in castor oil, is a rare fatty acid that is derived from the castor seed. This rare triglyceride fatty acid, combined with salts and esters also found in the oil, work together to condition skin. It is effective and soothing in treating fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. So it’s no wonder that it provides healing, soothing effects to skin conditions like eczema.
The ricinoleic acid content in castor oil draws out dirt, dead cells, and bacteria, stimulates the lymphatic system, and promotes the growth of healthy tissue. By improving circulation and blood flow, castor oil helps remove cellular toxins, thereby reducing swelling and inflammation and helping fight infection. Castor oil also helps boost the immune system, which speeds the rate of healing.
Castor oil’s viscosity is another property that helps heal and sooth the symptoms of eczema. Due to its texture, the oil stays put and deeply penetrates skin tissue, nourishing it with fatty acids. This is an especially soothing treatment for the dry, leathery skin patches that develop due to eczema.
Castor Oil for Eczema Treatments
Castor oil works wonders for those with itchy skin or have reoccurring dandruff!
To treat itchy, red skin rashes common to eczema:
Combine a slightly warmed, dime-sized amount of castor oil. Add 1-2 drops of sweet orange essential oil and apply to the affected area. The heated castor oil provides soothing relief to the itchy, inflamed skin. The sweet orange essential oil supports collagen production in the damaged area of skin.
To treat seborrheic eczema (commonly known as dandruff):
Apply and massage castor oil into the scalp (or beard/moustache) and let absorb overnight. Wear a shower cap to bed and allow the castor oil to soak into the skin before gently shampooing hair the following morning. This deep conditioning treatment provides moisture and hydration that treats and prevents flaking skin.
Castor Oil for Eczema: The Bottom Line
Castor oil provides a number of benefits to those suffering this painful and itchy condition. It soothes symptoms and can even treat resulting infection.
As always, seek the opinion of a trusted doctor. Together you’ll determine what kind of eczema you are suffering from and if castor oil is the best choice for a successful, holistic treatment plan.