Doctor Approved Remedies for Eczema Treatment

by Sarah Natural Remedies, Skin HealthComments: 43

doctor approved eczema treatment

By Tom Cowan MD, author The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care

Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions in the world with at least 31.6 million sufferers in the United States alone. Ironically, despite the high prevalence of this disease, there is a persistent lack of effective eczema treatment for moderate to severe cases.

Among children, the prevalence of eczema is roughly 11% and as high as 18.1% in individual states. Approximately one out of every three children with eczema suffers from moderate to severe disease. What’s more, these children do not tend to outgrow the condition as research has suggested that the prevalence of eczema in adults is only slightly lower than cases of childhood eczema.

The standard conventional treatment for eczema is topical steroids such as hydrocortisone. While this eczema treatment magically clears up the skin within a matter of days, it can drive the disease deeper into the body with more serious negative health repercussions over the long term. In addition, steroid creams have serious side effects such as blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, uneven heartbeat, sleep problems, and weight gain or puffiness.

As a result, resolution of eczema via holistic, nontoxic therapies is of paramount importance so as not to cause additional health woes through a drug based approach to illness. With this in mind, here are 7 nontoxic suggestions for eczema treatment that have worked effectively in my practice over the years.

In addition to the therapies below, Sally Fallon Morell, co-author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care, suggests the application of raw, organic apple cider vinegar to help dry up and heal eczema lesions by restoring proper pH balance to the skin. She also suggests elimination of pasteurized dairy even if organic and switching to whole, raw grassfed milk which oftentimes produces miraculous results as a food based eczema treatment!

holistic eczema treatment

Healthy Fat and Probiotic Supplementation

For eczema and atopic dermatitis, the GAPS Diet along with a cod liver oil and probiotic supplement can prove extremely helpful. In addition, an oil mixture containing multiple seed oils such as evening primrose oil, coconut oil and flax seed oil can prove effective for eczema treatment. The brand I recommend is YES Essential Fatty Acid Blend. The dosage is 2 capsules, 2 times per day.

Dermrash Cream

An effective, holistic alternative to drug based steroid cream like hydrocortisone is Dermrash from Dr. Kang Formulas. The primary ingredient of Dermrash is Sophora, an herb commonly used in Chinese medicine to counteract allergies. This is accomplished by stabilizing the mast cells, which produce histamine in the body. I have seen severe cases of eczema clear up with this sole remedy when this cream is applied to affected skin.

Consumption of Sea Vegetables

Detoxification is important for resolution of eczema problems. Sea vegetables are helpful to this end as they bind with heavy metals and other toxins and promote their excretion through bowel movements. A good choice that is available in capsule form is the brand Seagreens. A safe and effective dosage for treatment of eczema from mild to severe is 1-2 capsules, 2 times per day.

Seaweed Baths

Seaweed baths soothe and nourish the skin and provide another avenue for detoxification via the body’s largest organ. In particular, Aalgo baths are helpful as an eczema treatment as they exfoliate the skin which allows it to breathe and regenerate healthy skin tissue more quickly.

Thymus Extract

If the eczema flare-up seems to be related to one or more vaccines, Thuja Thymus Complex from Uriel pharmacy can be used.  The dosage is 3 pellets under the tongue first thing in the morning for treatment of eczema and atopic dermatitis. Thuja is the homeopathic remedy for vaccine reactions. The thymus extract helps to stimulate the thymus gland to normalize the immune response to the shots. The thymus gland makes T cells, which are an important player in the immune system.

Protomorphogen of the Skin

A protomorphogen is an extract from the same tissue type as that involved in the underlying illness. For issues with atopic dermatitis, the eczema treatment suggested is Dermatrophin from Standard Process which is a protomorphogen of the skin. This remedy binds the antibodies produced and facilitates excretion through the bowels instead of eruptions and inflammation of the skin. The dosage for eczema treatment is 1 tablet, 3 times per day, ideally between meals.

Eczema Treatment for Skin Infections

Sometimes eczema lesions can result in infections. This is something to watch out for and be very careful to discourage.  If, despite your best efforts, skin infections are a problem, I recommend Andographis Complex to help them clear and heal quickly. The dosage for eczema treatment is 1-2 tablets per day until the infection is resolved.

Learn More About Holistic Baby and Child Care

If you found this information on holistic eczema treatment encouraging and would like to learn more about how to care for your child in a nontoxic manner, my 300+ page book The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care could be a helpful resource for you!  It provides suggestions and alternatives to conventional medical advice from pre-pregnancy right through to the adolescent years.

About the Author

thomas cowan_miniThomas Cowan, MD, discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price and a fellow volunteer explained the arcane principles of Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Cowan graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Dr. Cowan is the author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care along with The Fourfold Path to Healing, a companion book to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the Foundation’s quarterly magazine and has lectured throughout the US and Canada. He has three grown children and currently practices medicine in San Francisco where he resides with his wife Lynda Smith Cowan.


Sources and More Information

The National Eczema Association, Eczema Prevalence

The Top 8 Eczema Food Triggers

Eczema Treatment: Avoiding the Drug Based Domino Effect

Tips for Eczema Relief NOW While You are Healing from Within

Doctor Prescribed Treatment for Healing Croup Naturally

What is the GAPS Diet?

Speed Gut Healing and Shorten Time on the GAPS Diet

Seaweed Wrap: Nourishes and Detoxifies

The Five Most Common GAPS Diet Mistakes

Doctor’s Orders: Your Family Needs Cod Liver Oil

Comments (43)

  • JAne

    As a tiny baby only a few week old my daughter has dreadful eczema with wet skin.
    1). A local pharmacy suggested using an emery board on her tiny nails so they were smooth, and she was able to get the little cotton mits off.
    2). Using non-biological washing power also made a huge difference.
    3). And we were told “don’t wash the baby”; bath once a week with natural oils in the water.
    I can’t overstate what a difference these 3 things made.

    Today my daughter is 10, has small patches on her inner elbow but has to be super careful. She uses oil in the bath and loves seaweed baths which we get from Cara Mara seaweed (only available in Ireland, and for whom I also do some work).

    This article was helpful and I hope those 3 tips helps others also.

    December 4th, 2015 9:32 am Reply
  • Wynette Withers

    Chickweed tea

    April 2nd, 2015 3:14 pm Reply
  • Penney

    I just came across this post and thought I would share my experience. My son is 10 yrs old. He has had eczema on his knees and ankles since he was 2 yrs old. I think I have done most everything on this list at some point over the years, with no lasting relief since he was 2. My chiropractor (whom I have been going to for 16 yrs) recommended a product called Orenda Immune. It’s a supplement that comes in capsule form, so I am not sure how you would give it to an infant. I gave my son 2 capsules a day for 30 days and he went from having deep cracks (that were bleeding) on his knees and ankles to being completely eczema free in one month. That was almost 2 yrs ago. It hasn’t returned since. The Orenda Immune supplement is a bit pricey. I balked at first because it’s about $70 per month, but given that I had spent 6 yrs, several doctors visits, a homeopath visit, and seemd to try every concoction known to man; I decided to give it a try. It was the best $70 I have ever spent. Just my experience.

    April 1st, 2015 9:28 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Can anyone recommend a WAPF/ traditional foods nutritionist who can help ensure I am getting all the necessary nutrients while having to manage multiple food restrictions for my nursling? Baby is low weight and I’m struggling to manage both his food-sensitivity induced eczema and low weight gain. THANK YOU!!

    March 24th, 2015 12:10 pm Reply
    • Kelly

      I would recommend Dr. Janice Joneja. I don’t know if she’s “WAPF-approved”, but she’s a 30-year expert on food intolerances, including histamine intolerance, which may explain your baby’s eczema and low weight.

      April 6th, 2015 12:18 pm Reply
  • Christa

    There is some concern that dermrash actually contains some hydrocortisone, along with the chinese herbs. Someone called the company to verify the ingredients, and they refused to tell her. Does anyone know for sure one way or the other? I would LOVE to use this cream, but not it it contains any steroids. Thanks!

    March 3rd, 2015 1:52 pm Reply
  • Karen

    I had Eczema for most of my life, I am now 50, about 6 months ago I had an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio test done, I was very high in Omega 6’s as apparently most of the population is. Since then I have cut out all foods that are high in Omega 6’s and also have been supplementing with Omega 3’s. I first tried to supplement with Omega 3’s and keep eating the few Organic potato chips cooked in Canola oil (which is high in mega 6’s), Chocolate, etc that I have always enjoyed. Just taking Omega 3’s and still eating foods high in Omega 6’s did not work for getting rid of the eczema. I am now on a very low Omega 6 diet and just supplement with Omega 3’s occasionally. My eczema is completely gone! FYI don’t cheat and start eating that little piece of chocolate again because the eczema will come back!
    If interested you can check out the Omega 3’s and 6’s in the foods you consuming at after entering the food in the search menu and clicking on the appropriate one scroll down to the fats and fatty acids section on the left this will tell you aprox how many 3’s and 6’s are in that food. Cutting out Omega 6’s worked for me, my skin is clear and I am itch free!

    March 3rd, 2015 1:10 pm Reply
    • Cathy

      Hi Karen,
      I am trying to unpack the eczema mystery that has plagued me for 50 years also. I am interested in your results. As you cut out those foods high in Omega 6, how extreme did you get. I’m seeing that bacon, sausage, sauteed onions, red peppers are all in the 4,000 range. Did you cut back that far? Any advice you can give will really help.


      April 6th, 2015 3:30 pm Reply
  • Bess

    I wanted to ask, my almost 3 year old son has cuts under his toes, where the creases are. Would this also be eczema?

    March 3rd, 2015 10:35 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      It is my understanding, that yes, these would be skin fissures that are eczema related.

      March 3rd, 2015 12:04 pm Reply
    • Chris

      Sounds like athletes foot.

      March 5th, 2015 9:33 am Reply
  • Bess

    My youngest daughter is 14 months old. About a month or so ago I noticed her hands and wrists drying up. The pediatrician said it is Atopic Dermatitis. Even though it is mild, I don’t understand why she has developed this. She is not vaccinated, and all I have given her up to this point is homemade baby formula and a grain free diet. Very frustrating. I will certainly look into these remedies! Thank you so much for this post, Sarah!

    March 3rd, 2015 10:34 am Reply
  • Tina

    This is a timely post for me! My 16mo never had any problems with eczema, face was always clear, but after giving him duck yolks for several days, his cheeks got very very read and now he is constantly having a rash on his face, looking like eczema. He is on gaps intro and taking cod liver oil, but I’m not seeing any improvment! I don’t really understand how this came about all of a sudden and has not gotten any better even after removing the yolks. Any suggestions?

    March 2nd, 2015 5:19 pm Reply
  • Good State of Health

    I enjoyed your post here, my little sister has eczema I will tell her about this website and your post. Thanks for sharing your informative information here.

    February 28th, 2015 3:59 pm Reply
  • Joanne

    A specialist recommended bleach baths weekly for our 18mth old. Does anyone know the purpose of these & if they help?

    February 28th, 2015 6:12 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would not be soaking your child in a bath with bleach added. Very toxic as the chlorine absorbs through the skin into the blood and chlorine is toxic to beneficial gut bacteria. Not to mention breathing the chlorine fumes coming off the water.

      February 28th, 2015 9:27 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      My pediatrician recommended this as well, he told me that Eczema can be bacterial based and the bleach will kill the bacteria. I did not want to do it so he told me to take my son to the swimming pool at least two times a week, not rinsing him off and just patting him dry in this worked great for us

      March 4th, 2015 9:03 pm Reply
  • Dawn

    It’s amazing how many adults and children suffer from eczema and don’t know that food problems can be be a major culprit. I wish more doctors would forgo the steriod creams and talk to folks about the root cause of the issue! Thanks for posting.

    February 27th, 2015 11:05 pm Reply
    • Sara

      You are so right Dawn, we have to treat the root cause. In our daughter’s case it was potatoes.

      April 1st, 2015 10:36 pm Reply
  • Erika

    What are your suggestions for a great baby probiotic? I am looking to start GAPS soon with my 14 mo old because of her eczema, but haven’t found one yet.

    February 27th, 2015 7:49 pm Reply
    • Carrie

      I have been using Klaire Labs Infant Formula, but since you’re starting GAPS you should look into Bio Kult which was developed by the founder of GAPS.

      March 5th, 2015 1:28 pm Reply
  • Cari Adams

    Where would I get Dermrash Cream and Thymus Extract?

    February 26th, 2015 11:18 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      There’s a link for the dermrash cream in the post above. If it runs out of stock for some reason and for the thymus extract, I would contact your local doctor of Chinese Medicine. Mine here in Tampa is both an MD and a Chinese doctor which is very convenient should prescriptions need to be written.

      February 27th, 2015 12:52 pm Reply
  • Carrie

    Most of these sound like they are only appropriate for older babies and children. My son is 5.5 months and exclusively breastfed. What would you recommend for him? He is already on probiotics, and I am off dairy, eggs, and peanuts. I am starting probiotics and digestive enzymes soon. His eczema seems to be getting worse. We do a nightly lukewarm bath and rub him down with moisturizer (have tried vaseline, Honest Healing Balm, coconut oil and shea butter, and now we are on Mustela’s Stelatopia.) and run a humidifier. I have even tried putting breastmilk on his scalp, which is very itchy and he scratches at throughout the day. I stay away from the hydrocortisone unless he is absolutely miserable, since I know it is a steroid and not a long term remedy. I am desperate to find a solution!! Thanks in advance!

    February 26th, 2015 8:32 pm Reply
    • Carrie

      I should also note that I cut out gluten for about a month until I read that the culprit was most likely cow’s milk. Cutting out the gluten didn’t seem to make a difference. It might be worth doing the elimination diet to find the cause! But then what would I eat and how would I find the time to make it?!

      February 26th, 2015 8:35 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Hi Carrie,
      I am so sorry for your struggle. My 3 year old had TERRIBLE eczema. We had to bandage places to keep her from scratching herself bloody for almost a year and a half. I cannot imagine the torment she went through. It is long a battle to find the cause but once you do it does get better. For my little one it is dairy and almost every lotion out there that she is allergic to. Once I quit applying lotion of any kind there was a drastic reduction in redness and lesions healed in 36 hours. I began making our soap and using homemade butters vs. lotions on her. Fermented cod liver oil helped tremendously as well. Epsom salts in the bath water made a day and night difference as well (we were able to go from a bath every 10 days to needing a bath every other day to help control itching). We were able to go to a chiropractor who did muscle testing through my holding her that gave us a homeopathic spray to help with flora/fauna issues. That helped quite a bit as well. As I said it is a long road to figure out the cause but each step of the way you will learn something and it will be another piece of the puzzle specific to you little one. I think the number one thing that helped and helps other people when I mention it is Epsom salts in bath water. It is a relatively inexpensive thing to try. We still use it in every bath for her. I pray that you will get the insight you need.

      February 27th, 2015 10:02 am Reply
      • Carrie

        Thank you for your advice. Was the cod liver oil for you or your child? My son is exclusively breastfed. Will the CLO pass through my breastmilk? Should I give it directly to my son? He is 6 months. Giving it directly to him makes me a little nervous.

        March 5th, 2015 1:26 pm Reply
    • Denise

      I wish someone had told me about diet changes when my breastfed baby had terrible eczema! He had cradle cap so bad it would get puss pockets under it! Something that did help the scalp was California Baby Tea Tree and Lavender shampoo every day and it worked! Also, Burt’s Bees carrot lotion worked great and I started giving him sulphur tablets that dissolved on his tongue (made by Hylands the maker of teething tablets). These are just the things that worked topically for my baby! We later figured out it was conventional dairy that was the main culprit! Raw milk reversed his eczema… We sure miss it! Trying to find a new source as it’s illegal in Alabama!

      February 27th, 2015 11:51 am Reply
    • Jodi

      wet wraps work wonders on flare ups. My child’s eczema is caused by a dust mite allergy. We were told cool baths and to only use cetaphil on dirty spots and plain water on the rest of the body. after the bath, rub down with ceravae cream then put wet tight fitting pajamas on and a few layers of dry clothes over that so they don’t get chilled. in the morning reapply ceravae and dry clothes. try to apply the ceravae a few times throughout the day. the key is finding the allergen and keeping the skin moisturized.

      March 1st, 2015 11:12 pm Reply
      • Sarah

        Our main allergen ws cetaphil

        March 3rd, 2015 1:06 pm Reply
    • Debby

      You should check out the website for a fabulous homeopathy named Joette Calabrese. Her site is
      I have searched her site for the exact same issues with my daughter. Her protocols have worked so well for her. Oh, and I think she does comsults on Skype too.
      Best wishes for his recovery.

      March 3rd, 2015 3:42 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Carrie, my son is 5.5 mo and has the exact same issues – it’s SO SAD. And we use the same treatments as you. I even make my own tallow balm but it doesn’t seem to help much, though I know it’s nourishing his skin. I’m off milk, wheat, eggs and nightshades – nightshades are especially bad for him. I’m also grain free already. I feel like there’s nothing more I can eat and it’s hard to keep my supply up. He’s also very low weight – though was born a healthy 8lb3oz. So I have the same question as you… what is recommended for a baby who is still EBF?

      I saw a post above about getting the omega 6:3 ratios in check. I eat a few pieces of chocolate every day but will stop immediately to see if it helps with the horrible itching. Babies are not meant to suffer like this and I am feeling deprived of all the joys that are supposed to come with being the mother of a baby… he will grow quickly and before I know it, the time to coo and cuddle with him will be lost. I plan to get him on GAPS intro as soon as we start introducing foods…. hoping that helps.

      I feel for you and your baby…

      March 24th, 2015 12:04 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Where can find the Dermrash? It is out of stock everywhere. Also, would this be safe for a 3 month old baby?

    February 26th, 2015 8:08 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would suggest reaching out to a Doctor of Chinese Medicine in your area. Mine here is Tampa is also an MD. Here is the link to Dermrash on Amazon.

      February 27th, 2015 12:57 pm Reply
      • Ellen

        Hi Sarah, I was wondering, what is your doc’s name. We may be relocating soon to (sort of) nearby. I’ve looked into the practitioners and saw a few. Trying to sort and narrow. :) Thanks!!

        March 1st, 2015 10:31 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          I don’t post contact information for anyone … doctors, farmers or whatever on my blog. Sorry!

          March 1st, 2015 3:05 pm Reply
  • Beth

    My husband has has eczema and rosaica since childhood. Once he removed wheat from his diet both cleared up with in a few days- the first time ever.

    February 26th, 2015 5:56 pm Reply
  • Joel Blanchard

    I suffered from eczema for nearly 40 years until I finally figured out the cause of my condition: food sensitivities. Yes, avoiding contact with harsh substances and using natural oils helped, but since I completely eliminated wheat and nuts from my diet, my eczema has never been a problem again.

    February 26th, 2015 2:31 pm Reply
  • Stephen

    Often Eczema is an early indicator of the presence of the cumulative progressive Allergy SnowBall Rolling ( called Allergy March ) in an individual.

    As such, if Eczema .. then likelihood of Aero-Enviro Allergy is High.

    More importantly .. if the Allergy SnowBall is “Rolling” … in many cases, it will roll to Allergic Asthma unless ..Stopped & Melted ..

    A suggest remedy is to build Internal Immune Tolerance to your Enviro Allergy Sources .. such that External Symptoms abate ..

    February 26th, 2015 11:17 am Reply
  • Beth

    This article should be helpful for countless people so thanks for posting.

    I found homemade kefir from raw pasture-raised milk, made with kefir grains, was miraculous at curing my eczema.

    Do you have a favorite holistic alternative to antibiotic ointments for minor cuts and scrapes that are not related to eczema?

    February 26th, 2015 11:15 am Reply
  • Marcie

    Thank you for sharing! My seven
    Month has terrible eczema! Trying desperately to heal his gut and eczema!
    I have this book. Thanks for the tips!

    February 26th, 2015 10:49 am Reply
  • Anne

    Emu oil mixed with a small amount of pre-diluted Oil of Oregano can have very healing effects and is listed on some ezema forums as something to try.

    February 26th, 2015 10:35 am Reply
  • Lori Alexander

    My sister struggled with eczema for years until she gave up all gluten! She tried everything the doctor gave her but it never worked. I wrote about it here ~

    My grandbaby breaks out with it whenever he eats dairy of any kind. I do believe it can be completely healed but the key is getting a healthy gut.

    February 26th, 2015 9:41 am Reply

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