I am really excited about a natural healing agent that I recently tried to calm my skin inflammation on my fingers recently. As a long-time sufferer, I am well aware that true eczema is not just dry skin. It usually causes intermittent flares of hard, flaky, and/or crusty skin AND weepy, oozing red blistering skin. My fingers are usually victims, especially my ring finger, so if you ever check me out and I don't have on my wedding ring, don't think there is any trouble in paradise. Ha ha! I often have to remove them to allow the skin on my finger to heal, and for the swelling to diminish.
So what's the mystery cure? It is a concoction using neem oil. Neem oil is a vegetable oil mixed with the seeds and fruit of the Neem tree, which is native to India. Neem is a very versatile oil, used in everything from natural insecticides to head lice treatments to soaps and body washes. The oil has antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory qualities as well. I got my neem oil on ebay, but it can be purchased at natural and Indian stores too.
Now here's the downside! Pure Neem STINKS! It smalls like garlicy food and sulfur...really smelly on its own. It is too potent to be used on it's own for the most part anyway, so I mixed it into my favorite argan Oil (see post on Exotic Argan Oil). I added about 5 drop of Neem to about one teaspoon of argan oil and applied the mixture to my sore, flaking fingers. Yes, I could have added some lavender or other fragrant essential oil to mask the stench. But when dealing with eczema, you really don't want to add anything that could possibly irritate the already "angry" epidermis. So I sucked it up and dealt with the aroma. I don't think anyone really noticed, or if they did they were too scared to say anything.
Guess what? After applying the oil mixture three times in a day, I woke up the next morning with softer skin that was no longer itching and red. As I continued to apply the oil on Day 2, I could see the inflammation waning. Yeah!!! Eczema is a very tough issue to deal with. Often times, the only thing that really takes it away is a prescription cortecosteroid. I have tried many non prescription cures with minimal success. But I am a witness, the neem/argan mixture really took down the skin flare. If you are a chronic skin sufferer like I am, it is worth a try.
* Neem Oil is for external use only. Do not consume!