Can Essential Oils Cure Eczema?

Can Essential Oils Cure Eczema? A look into Scientific Literature

Key Takeaways 

  1. Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed patches. It can be triggered by various factors like skincare products, allergens, foods, temperature extremes, and stress.

  2. Essential oils have emerged as a potential natural therapy for eczema due to their soothing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. However, their efficacy and safety in managing eczema require further research.

  3. Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, chamomile oil, peppermint oil, and calendula oil, are believed to offer relief for eczema symptoms. However, caution should be exercised due to potential allergic reactions

  4. Essential oils should always be diluted before topical application to prevent skin irritation or adverse reactions. Patch testing is recommended, and individuals with sensitive skin or existing skin conditions should consult a healthcare provider before use.

  5. Alternative treatments for eczema include carrier oils like sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil, along with effective moisturizing strategies and lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and dietary adjustments.

  6. Individuals using essential oils for eczema should consult a doctor, especially if symptoms worsen, no improvement is observed, or signs of infection or severe itching appear. Professional guidance ensures appropriate treatment and prevents complications.

Eczema, a common and chronic skin condition, presents a persistent challenge for those affected by its characteristic itchy and inflamed patches of skin. 

Symptoms include intense itching, redness, dryness, swelling, and oozing. It can be triggered by various factors like skincare products, allergens, foods, temperature extremes, and stress.

Eczema is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, often involving an overactive immune response to irritants or allergens.

The search for effective treatments is ongoing, and within this spectrum of remedies, essential oils have emerged as a potential natural therapy. 

Investigations into the therapeutic role of essential oils have shown that they might offer benefits in treating skin diseases, including eczema. The compounds found in certain essential oils have been recognized for their antimicrobial, soothing, and restorative effects. 

However, when it comes to managing a complex condition like eczema, determining the efficacy and safety of essential oils is crucial, as the sensitivity of eczematous skin can vary greatly among individuals.


Popular Essential Oils for Eczema

Popular Essential Oils for Eczema

Essential oils have gained recognition for their potential to improve skin health, particularly for conditions like eczema. They may offer soothing properties and assist with managing symptoms due to their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial characteristics.

Tea Tree Oil 

Known for its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil can help in reducing the presence of bacteria on the skin. It should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil before application to the skin.

However, tea tree oil is a highly concentrated essential oil so it may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Moreover, those with eczema face an elevated risk of developing such reactions due to their compromised skin barrier. 

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is celebrated for its calming scent and is also utilized in aromatherapy. Its anti-inflammatory properties can provide relief for skin irritation and redness often associated with eczema.

However, clinical evidence supporting its efficacy in this regard is lacking. While some laboratory studies have displayed potential benefits, further research is required to substantiate its effectiveness as a treatment for eczema.

Chamomile Oil 

Chamomile oil, particularly the Roman and German varieties, contains soothing properties that may diminish eczema flare-ups and calm irritated skin.

Peppermint Oil 

With a cooling effect on the skin, peppermint oil can ease itching that eczema sufferers often face. It is potent and should be used sparingly with a carrier oil.

Very limited evidence is available on the efficacy of peppermint oil for eczema treatment so it should be used cautiously. 

Calendula Oil

This oil is extracted from marigold flowers and is known for its healing properties. It can help reduce inflammation and encourage healthy skin growth when dealing with eczema.


Application and Safety

Before considering essential oils as a treatment option for eczema, it is crucial to understand how they should be properly used and the safety considerations associated with them. 

Proper usage involves dilution and application techniques that mitigate risks, while being aware of the potential for allergic reactions is essential for safety.

Correct Usage

Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin without dilution, as they are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation or chemical burns. 

They should be diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, which can soothe sensitive skin and help to prevent adverse reactions. 

A common dilution guideline for topical applications is to maintain a concentration of 1-2%, equivalent to 1-2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.

  • Dilution process:
    • Measure 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
    • Add 1-2 drops of essential oil.
    • Mix thoroughly before applying to a small patch of skin.

It's recommended to perform a patch test on a small area of skin first to ensure there is no allergic reaction before wider use.

Potential Risks and Allergic Reactions

While essential oils can potentially provide relief from eczema symptoms, they also carry the risk of allergic reactions or further skin irritation

Allergies to certain essential oils can manifest as contact dermatitis, characterized by redness, itching, or blisters. It's important to exercise caution and discontinue use immediately if any signs of an allergic reaction appear.

  • Symptoms of allergic reactions:
    • Itching
    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Blisters

Individuals with sensitive skin or existing skin conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before using essential oils. Additionally, they should be mindful of the chemical components of essential oils, as these can have side effects or interact with other treatments.


Alternative Treatments and Prevention

Alternative Treatments and Prevention

In the pursuit of managing eczema, alternative treatments and prevention strategies often focus on natural oils, specialized moisturizers, and adjustments in lifestyle and diet, all aimed to enhance the skin barrier and provide relief.

Carrier Oils for Eczema

Sunflower seed oil: Can play a pivotal role in managing eczema. They are typically high in fatty acids and vitamin E, which are crucial in maintaining the skin's moisture and reinforcing the skin barrier. Studies suggest that sunflower seed oil may improve skin hydration without causing irritation.

Coconut Oil: While not an essential oil, coconut oil is a prevalent carrier oil that can be mixed with essential oils. Its hydrating properties also make it a standalone option for moisturizing dry, eczema-prone skin.

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is actually a wax ester that closely resembles the natural sebum of the skin, which makes it an excellent carrier oil for essential oils. It also helps in maintaining skin hydration.

Moisturizing Strategies

An integral part of eczema treatment is the use of effective moisturizing strategies

Moisturizers should be applied to damp skin to seal in moisture. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin draw moisture to the skin, while ceramides help restore the skin barrier. For instance, cream-based lotions can be more effective for dry skin associated with eczema, as they typically offer a thicker barrier, preserving skin moisture for longer periods.

Lifestyle and Diet

Lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and wearing soft, breathable clothing, can help prevent eczema flare-ups. 

Diet also plays a role; foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce systemic inflammation. 

A clear connection has been established between dietary factors and skin health, indicating the importance of a balanced diet including anti-inflammatory foods for those with eczema.

When assessing the use of essential oils for treating eczema, it is imperative to consider both recent research and the perspectives of dermatologists

Within this context, the National Eczema Association suggests cautious use of these oils, given the lack of FDA approval due to variable purity and potency standards.

  • Dermatologist Viewpoints:
    • Mixed opinions on efficacy
    • Emphasize need for caution due to potential irritants

  • Research Evidence:
    • Limited robust clinical trials
    • A call for more rigorous research

When to See a Doctor?

Consulting your doctor should be the first step. Also, individuals using essential oils to manage eczema should consult a doctor in certain situations. Early professional advice ensures appropriate treatment and prevents complications.

Signs that warrant a doctor's visit include:

  • Infection: If there's yellow or green pus, increased redness, warmth, or if the eczema area is producing a foul odor.
  • Worsening Symptoms: When eczema symptoms intensify despite using essential oils, or if new symptoms appear.
  • No Improvement: If there's no sign of improvement after a specific duration, typically a few weeks of consistent use of essential oils.
  • Severe Itching: Itching that disrupts sleep or daily activities calls for medical intervention.
  • Sensitive Areas: Eczema on the face or genitals should be assessed by a healthcare provider.

Note the following:

  • Safety: Essential oils must be diluted before use and patch tested to avoid potential skin irritation.
  • Alternative Treatments: A physician may recommend other treatments, such as prescription medications or therapies.

Considerations Before Doctor Visit

  • Document the essential oils used and their effects.
  • List any other remedies or medications being taken.
  • Note any changes in diet or environment that could impact eczema.

For professional guidance, one may refer to studies or writings on the role of essential oils in the context of eczema, such as Clinical aromatherapy: essential oils in practice that emphasizes the importance of integrating traditional and alternative medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of essential oils are recommended for calming eczema flare-ups?

Certain essential oils, such as tea tree and chamomile, have been observed to help reduce inflammation and soothe eczema symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties of these oils can potentially calm flare-ups when used appropriately.

How can I use lavender oil for managing eczema symptoms?

Lavender oil, known for its soothing effects on skin, can be used by diluting a few drops in a carrier oil and applying the mixture to the affected areas. This can help alleviate itchiness and promote healing.

Are there any risks associated with using essential oils on baby's skin with eczema?

Caution is advised when using essential oils on a baby's sensitive skin. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional prior to use, as babies have more permeable skin which can increase the risk of systemic toxicity.

Can frankincense essential oil provide relief for severe eczema cases?

Frankincense oil has properties that may relieve redness and inflammation. For severe eczema, it can be used in a diluted form to potentially provide relief, but individual reactions can vary.

Which carrier oils are most effective for diluting essential oils for eczema treatment?

Carrier oils like coconut oil and jojoba oil are often used to dilute essential oils for eczema treatment because they have hydrating properties and are less likely to irritate the skin.

What are the best practices for applying essential oils to eczema-affected skin?

To safely apply essential oils to eczema-affected skin, always perform a patch test first, use high-quality, pure oils, and dilute them in a suitable carrier oil. Consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment regimen.


In conclusion, while essential oils might offer some benefit, they are not widely endorsed by the medical community as a primary treatment option for eczema, and they are certainly not a replacement for conventional therapies recognized by the FDA.

Patients are advised to consult with healthcare professionals before considering essential oils as part of their eczema management plan.

Take a look at our wide selection of 100% pure essential oils. They're made to suit your needs perfectly. Try them out today to feel their natural benefits and support your overall wellness journey!


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.