What is Eczema Soap?

J. Nelson

Eczema soap is a pH-neutral soap used in the treatment of eczema, or atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin condition whose key signs are patches of itchy, irritated, scaly, dark or dry skin. Although there is no cure for eczema, there are methods of preventing and reducing flareups, and eczema soap is a treatment commonly suggested by doctors and dermatologists for individuals who are suffering from the condition.

A bar of eczema soap.
A bar of eczema soap.

Eczema cannot be cured, so the only option one has is to try to identify the underlying cause such as a food or environmental allergen, stress or bacterial infection and to treat eczema after it flares up. This is where eczema soap can serve as a treatment for those suffering from atopic dermatitis. Eczema soap works in two ways. First, it contains agents known to alleviate the symptoms of eczema, depending on the severity of the outbreak, so that hopefully it can be brought under control by regular washing. Second, moisturizing one's skin by washing, bathing or showering in lukewarm water also can alleviate eczema.

Eczema is characterized by dry, itchy patches on the skin.
Eczema is characterized by dry, itchy patches on the skin.

Using eczema soap requires washing, thereby allowing one to moisturize the skin with water while also applying the soap. Users of eczema soap and bathing as a way to reduce inflammations should understand that over-bathing can further dry out the skin. This can make an outbreak even worse.

There are problems with using soap as an eczema treatment. Many soaps on the market claim to target multiple skin conditions and therefore are too general in their medication to effectively reduce eczema specifically. Also, those suffering from eczema are often sensitive to perfumes in soaps and detergents, which can make eczema worse. Makers of eczema soap commonly label the soap as unscented or non-scented, but this usually means that a perfume has been added to make it unscented, so it can pose problems as an eczema treatment for those with sensitive skin.

As a natural alleviation, oatmeal is commonly added to a pH-neutral soap such as lye to make a mild bar that can reduce eczema after it has broken out. Eczema soap in the form of oatmeal soap is widely available in stores, pharmacies and catalogs. In addition, oatmeal soap can be quite easily made in one’s own home. Although technically not soap, rolled oats themselves can be allowed to soak in a bath in order for the skin to absorb the beneficial properties of oatmeal as a way to treat an eczema outbreak, much like one would by using eczema soap itself.

Some soaps can help alleviate the symptoms of eczema, but not treat the cause of the skin condition.
Some soaps can help alleviate the symptoms of eczema, but not treat the cause of the skin condition.

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Discussion Comments

SarahSon

When I make a natural soap for eczema I like to use both oatmeal and honey. Both of these ingredients are very soothing and moisturizing for your skin whether you have eczema or not.

Once my eczema clears up, I will continue to use this on a regular basis because it does wonders for my skin. I like the oatmeal because it exfoliates without being too abrasive. I just use a coffee grinder to grind up my oatmeal.

The honey really helps make my skin feel soft and smooth and has anti-bacterial properties to it. There are some medicated soaps for eczema that you can buy too, but I like the results I get using honey and oatmeal.

Mykol

If you have ever had problems with eczema you know how hard it can be to find products that won't aggravate it. Most of the time when I used a regular soap, it made my eczema worse.

I started making my own soap for eczema which is easy and cheap. I start out with a very gentle bar of soap like Ivory and grate it. Then I take instant, unflavored oatmeal and grind it up.

I add the oatmeal to the soap and mix in some hot water until it is the texture I want and pour into soap molds. This has a soothing effect when I use it on my skin, unlike other soaps I have used that seem to make the itching worse.

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