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Dermatologist-Recommended Eczema Home Remedy

Updated on March 2, 2010
(Brand names have been blurred.)
(Brand names have been blurred.)


When I went to my dermatologist, my face was covered in a dry, flaky rash. I had been treated with a variety of ointments for recurring dry rashes all my life. The rash was never properly diagnosed. The only reaction I ever had from the collection of ointments was burning sensations. The rashes continued to periodically appear.

I was a teenager when I developed the rash over my face. It was the largest, most bothersome rash that I had ever had. The rash hurt and itched. I wore glasses at the time, and the uncomfortable rash made it impossible to wear my glasses.

The dermatologist examined the rash and took a family history of skin disorders and allergies. He sat on his stool and scribbled in my chart before addressing us. I was expecting to receive another prescription for another cream that would not work for this nameless rash.

He looked and my mother and I and gave the rash a name. It was eczema. He seemed very sympathetic that the family doctors who I had seen had never properly diagnosed the condition or treated it effectively.

The next surprise that I received was the surprisingly simple treatment. Instead of getting out his prescription pad and prescribing yet another ointment, his suggested a treatment could be found in any grocery store. Shortening.

“Shortening, like Crisco?” my mom asked.

The doctor explained that he could prescribe a fancy moisturizer. He told us that many thick moisturizers that are good for dry skin have perfumes that may smell better than shortening but can irritate the skin of someone with eczema. In his opinion, shortening worked as well if not better than expensive moisturizers.

The dermatologist directed me to apply shortening to my skin immediately after showering and blotting my skin partly dry with a towel. Yes, shortening is greasy to be applying to your body, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. It got rid of the rash. From that point on, I kept a tub of shortening in the bathroom. I only use it in the winter when I am most prone to eczema and whenever I get an eczema rash. Sometimes, a simple home remedy is undeniably the best medicine.



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    • Sheila Wilson profile image

      Sheila Wilson 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I hope it works well for your son. It's funny how some things work so well for some people and don't work at all for others. My youngest son, daughter, and I get eczema fairly badly at times and the Crisco has worked wonders to calm flairups and prevent them. When my daughter was a toddler, the doctor thought it was our soap triggering it. He recommended the mildest form of Dove. It didn't help. You know which soap seems to give us the least problems? Irish Spring! I think that's bizarre since it is heavily perfumed, but hey, we stick with what works!

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 7 years ago

      My son has severe eczema and we have tried every remedy available, with mixed results. I don't like the idea of continued use of steroid creams, which seems to be the preferred treatment of most doctors. I'm willing to give this a try and hope it gives him some relief. Thanks for the suggestion.