How Olive Oil Benefits The Young Eczema Sufferer.

In 2008, the Website www.kidshealth.org ('s) Children's Health Newsletter stated that 1 out of every 10 child develops eczema.

Fast forward to 2009. A local Savannah, Georgia news article stated that this figure had steadly risen to 1 out of 3!

Therefore, in just a matter of a year, the statistics of children diagnosed with and developing this unpleasant skin condition increased about 60 to 70%.

The experts have several theories regarding this disturbing trend (such as an increase of toxins in the environment), but haven't quite been able to pinpoint one specific cause.

Instead, they have focused most of their energy's on healing parents find ways to help alleviate the symptoms of this skin disorder.

Unfortunately, my two year old toddler fell right into this statistic when she was diagnosed with eczema at the early part of this year.

* The Characteristics Of Eczema.

Eczema is often characterized by skin that exhibits one or more of these signs; patchy, extremely dry, itchy, swelling, red and inflamed (for darker skin individuals the skin appears ashen or in dark rough patches), crusting, flaking, cracking, oozing, or bleeding.

A cause for much agony and frustration for the sufferer, the key to reducing the symptoms calls for finding and eliminating the triggers, and daily intense moisturizing.

Yet with a bevy of synthetic and all-natural moisturizers on the market, it can be very hard to choose an effective and safe moisturizer for the young eczema sufferer.

* What The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians Knew.

Surprisingly, the answer to safely getting and keeping the skin hydrated resides right on the shelves in the kitchens of millions of people around the globe - Olive Oil.

What does olive oil do for the skin of an eczema sufferer?

Well, the Greeks (both ancient and present day), ancient Romans, and the Egyptians knew the power simple olive oil held.

For ages olive oil has been used for more than a food source, besides being employed in cooking and baking, the Egyptians used olive oil to rub their bodies after bathing - which served to protect the exposed skin from the intense rays of the sun and contributed toward keeping the skin smooth and supple.

In addition, olive oil was used for its medicinal benefits; to soften and soothe bruises and wounds.

Because of the antioxidant capacity of olive oil's minor components, such as vitamin E and polyphenols (which have been found to possesses antioxidant characteristics that play a major role in human health), olive oil also protects and tones the skin.

The benefits of this simple yet highly sought after oil was so well known, that the ancient Greeks and Romans used olive oil as a skin lotion, and enriched it with herbs for cleaning and moisturizing the skin.

Even today the effectiveness of olive oil on the skin has become widely known. In addition to cosmetics, olive oil has been added to lotions and soaps to increase their moisturizing levels.

courtesy of clipartguide.com
courtesy of clipartguide.com

* How Should One Use Olive Oil In Their Child's Skin-Care Regimen?

Whether taken internally or used in a topical application, regular use of (extra-virgin) olive oil in your child's skin regimen will not get rid of eczema, but it will provide the skin with the needed moisture to help aid in its healing and overall condition.

Here are some simple suggestions that I have personally found effective (these suggestions should only be put into practice if your child does not exhibit an allergy to olives):

  1. Ironically, long baths or showers can rob the skin of its moisture. To prevent this from occurring, place a capful of olive oil in your child's bathwater to keep the skin moisturized during bath time.
  2. Administer a daily dose (one tablespoon full) of olive oil orally everyday. This will help your child's body from the inside out.
  3. Massage your child's entire body with olive oil at least twice a day (immediately after bath time, or once in the morning and once before bedtime).
  4. Make a thick paste to achieve a deeper moisturizing effect following this recipe found at www.oliveoilsource.com/oliveoildr-skin.htm: ("make an emulsion of water and oil "like mayonnaise" which would thicken and hydrate. Waxes such as beeswax [which you can find in the candle section of your local arts and craft stores] can be added to make more of a liniment or ointment, heat one pint of olive oil with 1 1/2 ounces of beeswax until melted, cool, add more wax if necessary and repeat. Other ingredients used to thicken emollients are agar, a seaweed extract, methyl cellulose or xanthum gums, both plant extracts, and glycerin. They are all edible and used to thicken everything from ice cream to pancake syrup"). *as a side-note, please ensure that the mixture has cooled completely before use.

Even today the benefits of olive oil are continually expounded on.

From its major heart and anti-inflammatory benefits, to its extensive benefits for the skin; it should come as no surprise that olive oil is considered one of the top natural, safe, and effective alternatives in providing eczema relief for even the youngest of sufferers.

Apr. 17, 2010 update - While cold-pressed is said to be the best since the process it takes does not strip the oil of it's essential nutrients and results in an olive oil that is purer than its counterparts - in addition to one of the visitors comment, and confirmation with a local allergist specialist, cold-pressed olive oil should be avoided since it may contain other ingredients not listed on the bottle. Therefore, putting the eczema sufferer at risk for hidden allergies.

copyright © 2009.

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Comments 25 comments

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

Veronica, you can also try pure petroleum jelly (vaseline) and/or "pine tar" cream or ointment if that quits working.

Bob Diamond R.Ph

Pharmacist


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks DiamondRN for your feedback. I currently use vaseline in combination with the olive oil and it seems to work wonders for my two year old, but I've never tried "pine tar" cream. I will definetly have to look into that. Thank you so much for this useful information.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank for the information, I tell my daughter, so she can do it for my grand son. thanks for sharing. creativeone59


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Such good healthy advice.

Our environment is taking its toll on all of us with children being the youngest victims. When anything becomes epidemic there are major causes, and never one. Toxins are everywhere including in our air, clothes, food, bedding, and on and on and on - everywhere!

But great news about olive oil. Thank you!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

THanks creativeone59 for stopping by. I really hope this information works for your grandson.

BkCreative - I fully agree. THere are so many toxins around us and our children that totally bombard us and make us sick. Like you said, there are definetly major causes, not just one.

Thank you all for weighing in, this would truly make for an interesting discussion.


Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Thanks for sharing this. I've been using olive oil for medicinal purposes in my kids long before I started cooking with it.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for stopping by Hendrika. I've just recently found all the wonderful benefits of olive oil due to my daughters skin condition. I think it's such a great thing that anyone (who isn't allergic to it) should look into.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for this informative hub and I am sure many people will be grateful for sharing this information. It must be awful.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

You are so welcome Hello, hello. Thank you for your geniune concern. It is getting better though. With a strict diet, avoidance of eczema triggers, and the use of natural products such as olive oil, I've been able to at least keep her condition under control.


jim10 profile image

jim10 6 years ago from ma

Thanks for the help. One of my sons seems to get an eczema like condition on his elbows and knees when it gets cold out. In and around the summer he is always perfectly fine. He also says it is never itchy. My brother in-law has it pretty bad. We usually use Aquaphor when it seems to come back for a while and that helps. But, I will give some olive oil a try.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for stopping by jim10, how have you been? I hope the olive oil tip works, it's all natural so it shouldn't hurt. Let me know how it went.


clspeakstoo profile image

clspeakstoo 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Great information. My son is healing from a 2-month long flare up. We use Bag balm and Vaseline. I'm interested in trying the thick paste. Also, my son's allergist recommended that we not use the "cold-pressed" olive oil as it tends to have more ingrediants which may not to be reflected on the label; therefore I cannot tell if the "cold-pressed" olive oil contains any ingrediant my son is allergic to.

Thanks for sharing


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thank you so much clspeakstoo for reading and commenting.

That's good to know about the "cold-pressed". I'll keep that in mind.

Not knowing what the ingredients entail may make matters worse.

Vaseline seems to work very well for my daughter as well. I'll have to check out the Bag balm - someone else recommended this to me as well, I just haven't got around to trying it yet.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Thanks Veronica, I will try some olive oil on my skin today. Great hub with lots of info.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

MPG Narratives - thank you so much for stopping by, reading and commenting. I hope this helps.


kaja_mel profile image

kaja_mel 6 years ago from Saraland, AL

Great work Veronica, I love olive oil and always like to hear about different ways to use it.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I love olive oil too. I had no idea about it's great benefits until my daughter was diagnosed with eczema and it wasn't until then that I learned how great it is.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, read, and comment.


vphomma1 profile image

vphomma1 5 years ago

Olive oil is great at keeping children hydrated during bath times.


vphomma1 profile image

vphomma1 5 years ago

Eczema: Conventional and Alternative Approaches to Alleviating Childhood Eczema


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thank you vphomma1 for stopping by, reading, and commenting. I love olive oil as a great way of hydrating my children's skin.


Eczema in Babies 5 years ago

Hi Veronica, really good hub you've put together here. Ive been interested in the different treatments available since my youngest started suffering. I'll be looking more into olive oil now. Thanks!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 5 years ago from Georgia Author

You are so welcome Eczema in Babies. I have to say it has been really effective for my little one.


Lucia 5 years ago

I always suspected this and you just confirmed it. I am fortunate enough to have access to the most naturally based Italian extra virgin olive oil. I live in a small town in Tuscany. I just ran over to my 3 year old and we slabbered it on our hands. By the way he loves dipping his bread in olive oil. Makes for a great and healthy snack!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 5 years ago from Georgia Author

How fortunate you are Lucia to have access to the most naturally based Italian extra virgin olive oil. I love this stuff. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.


Nikhil 20 months ago

I'm 27 and never knew I had eczema beofre. I got this cheap suit they gave me for work and I start getting reactions from it (it's polyester and wool), believe it or not I work security for a very high end company under the Gucci group and they gave me this cheap suit. Anyways, it got really bad and when I met up with my mother recently she told me I had ezcema as a kid. So the point is I'm 27 past 25 and holloween costumes, usually cheap polyester, be optomistic, but still a realist.

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