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How Olive Oil Benefits The Young Eczema Sufferer.

Updated on April 17, 2010

With Beeswax blocks, olive oil, cooking pots and wooden spoons, you can make your own moisturizing paste right in your home.

In 2008, the Website ('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
courtesy of

* 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 ("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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