Eczema is a long-term condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked, according to the NHS. It most often appears in children before their first birthday, but could also develop in later life. Symptoms vary between small patches of dry skin, and large areas of red and inflammation skin all over the body. But, you could help to relieve the dry skin condition by regularly applying liquorice gel, it’s been claimed.
Liquorice gel could be used to treat the painful symptoms of eczema, according to dermatologist Dr Steven Wang.
The gel works in the same way as a moisturiser, and is a natural anti-inflammatory, he said.
Liquorice could be used to treat a number of inflammatory skin conditions, including both eczema and psoriasis, he said.
“Glycyrrhizin, an active [ingredient] in the liquorice root, has strong anti-inflammatory activity that is similar to cortisol and steroids.
“Steroids are commonly used drugs in treating inflammatory dermatologic conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
“Liquorice root has been used both orally and topically for these skin conditions.”
You could also lower your risk of eczema flare-ups by using coconut oil, it’s been claimed.
Coconut oil is a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, according to the National Ececmza Association.
The oil contains lauric acid – a type of fatty acid that helps to get rid of viruses, infections and bacteria.
“Many health websites tout coconut oil as a miracle product that can do anything from soothing dry, cracked skin and hair to whitening our teeth and freshening our breath. And there’s some truth behind the hype,” it said.
“Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a nutritious fatty acid, or lipid, also found in breast milk. Lauric acid is used to develop monolaurin, which is an antimicrobial agent that can fight bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses and other pathogens.”
Jojoba oil could also be used as a moisturiser to reduce eczema symptoms.
The oil is actually a liquid wax that acts in a similar way to sebum – the skin’s natural moisturiser.
Jojoba oil penetrates deep into the skin quickly, and should be used three times per day, or as needed.
Speak to a pharmacist if you’re worried about the signs of eczema, for advice on the best over-the-counter treatments.
Alternatively, speak to a doctor if your eczema symptoms won’t go away. They may prescribe you a topical corticosteroid cream to reduce the swelling.