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How Do I Use Shea Butter for Eczema?

A small amount of shea butter should be tested on skin before using it for eczema.
Shea butter can be applied topically to treat eczema.
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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2014
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When using Shea butter for eczema, a small amount should be applied to the skin first to make sure that an allergic reaction does not occur. If a reaction does occur, the product should be discontinued immediately and the health care provider should be notified. In addition, shea butter for eczema should be the type that contains no added fragrances or preservatives so that the eczema plaques are not further irritated. Since shea butter contains vitamins E and A, it may be beneficial in treating eczema and other mild skin irritations to restore moisture and relieve itching and irritation.

Shea butter for eczema can be applied by gently massaging it into the affected areas. Eczema is a dermatological condition where silvery and red plaques appear on the skin, causing itching, scaling, and irritation. In addition to using shea butter for eczema, other treatments include corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and coal tar preparations. When using shea butter for eczema, it is important that shea butter be the main product used, and not a component of another cream or lotion, as other ingredients in lotions may worsen the condition.

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Although shea butter is safe for most people, those who have allergies, and particularly allergies to nuts, should avoid using it. Chronic or severe eczema usually requires conventional medical treatment and shea butter alone should not be the only method of relieving symptoms, however, it can be an effective adjunct to therapy. Shea butter is available at most drug stores, and can also be used as a facial moisturizer and to relieve the symptoms of sunburn.

Bathing with shea butter is also an effective way to treat eczema. A tablespoon of shea butter can be added to a warm bath and allowed to melt. The treated bath water will help moisturize the skin and help relieve itching and inflammation. After taking a shea butter bath, however, the bathtub needs to be thoroughly cleaned because the product can cause the surface of the bathtub to become dangerously slippery.

Since shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties, it may work well in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids to hasten healing of eczema. A dermatologist may recommended either prescription or non-prescription products that contain other botanicals as well as shea butter as their active ingredients. These products may be effective as complementary treatments to conventional medications to treat eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders.

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