Patient Blogs | Atopic Dermatitis
Alternative Treatments I Use With Eczema
photo of woman applying moisturizer

Since my diagnosis of severe atopic dermatitis (eczema), I’ve always tried my best to figure out new and innovative ways to help manage my condition. I would literally search Google when I was younger for hours to stumble across the “cure.” For some people who live with this condition, the doctor will prescribe a steroid cream that only works for so long. Before you know it, your skin almost becomes immune to the medicine and is no longer effective. You’ll need to find a new and stronger medication just to maintain your flares.

My mom found somewhere on the internet that oregano oil helped improve eczema due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good idea to put pure, highly concentrated oregano oil on inflamed broken skin. Boy was I in pain! While I see what she was trying to do, that wasn’t the best alternative for me.

I, unfortunately, was admitted to the Mayo Clinic when I was around 13 due to how unmanageable my skin had become. This was the first time I was introduced to wet gauze wraps. For 72 hours, I had doctors douse my body with steroids, but the difference was the gauze. They dipped it in a warm solution (warm water will suffice) and completely wrapped my body. I received a change probably every couple of hours. When I left the hospital, I was a completely new person.  While this was something that worked very well for me initially, it was hard to maintain once I got home. The dressings became costly, and I didn’t have the huge tubs of cream to cover my entire body.

I went back to scouring the internet for other treatments. I stumbled across the Avene Hydrotherapy Center located in France. I still dream of one day being treated there. At the center, they treat thousands of patients who have eczema, psoriasis, burns, and more using water drawn directly from the spring. I’ve heard so many success stories and was almost recommended by my dermatologist. I was an excellent candidate given my many years dealing with my condition.

I had to find a more cost-efficient way to help deal with the flares of my skin. To this day, I’m still trying to research new ways that help. Now with the temperature dropping, it’s become more important to try to seal in as much moisture as I can to combat the cold. Sometimes when I step outside, it feels as though all the moisture has been sucked out of my body. 

The No. 1 piece of advice is to limit any exposure of your skin to the cold as possible. Recently, I’ve been using 100% pure vegetable glycerin when I get out of the shower, before I dry off, to seal in all the water. When I say life-changing! I then go on to my routine of cream, lotion, then Vaseline to lock in all of the moisture before I go to sleep. While it’s no cure, it sure does help alleviate the pain of dry skin!


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Photo Credit: LaylaBird / E+ via Getty Images

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Mercedes Matz

Mercedes Matz

Diagnosed since 1995

Model Mercedes Matz uses her platform to educate audiences on her skin condition. By taking pride in her 28-year journey with atopic dermatitis, she’s been able to inspire others to do the same. From speaking at national conferences to producing content, she’s dedicated to encouraging everyone to embrace their true beauty. You can reach her on Instagram.

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