The skin goes a long way in determining the overall look of an individual. Not only is it the largest body organ, the skin has also been described as the mirror of the entire body, capable of reflecting a person’s overall health status. And this is not far from the truth given that several hundreds of disease conditions are accompanied by skin manifestations in the form of rashes.
By way of definition, a rash is a skin lesion usually characterised by a change in the colour and/or texture of the skin. It could be very itchy or painful sometimes and the affected person feels very uncomfortable. Furthermore, some common causes of rashes include allergic reactions, infections, irritants, skin disorders (like psoriasis) and poisonous plants (like poison ivy). More often than not, when the underlying cause of a rash is identified and treated, it subsides and ultimately disappears over time. For instance, a person who has allergic or irritant dermatitis, only needs to identify the offending allergen or irritant that he or she reacts to and then avoid it to prevent a recurrence.
However, several natural remedies exist that offer benefits in alleviating the discomfort (such as severe itching or pain) often caused by rashes. Such itching may even spread or complicate the rashes if not treated on time. A few of these time-tested natural remedies will be highlighted in this article:
Honey has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of rashes by virtue of its antibacterial and hygroscopic properties. It also aids healing of the skin after rashes through reepithelialisation. When mixed with apple cider vinegar which itself has antiseptic and antifungal functions, they can be used to treat dandruff, acne and generalised skin itching.
2. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is a vitamin that has been quite effective in treating some skin conditions, hence its use in some skin creams. Note that niacin deficiency leads to a skin condition known as pellagra. Also, niacin (nicotinamide) moisturizer may be beneficial in the treatment of rosacea according to some researches. Natural food sources of this vitamin include liver, poultry, fish and nuts among others.
3. Low-histamine diets
Histamine is a chemical substance released by the mast cells in the body. It is responsible for most of the itching (pruritus) that accompanies rashes. Hence, if you have itchy rashes, it is recommended that you consume more of low-histamine diets like leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fruits and beans while you cut down on high-histamine diets such as tomatoes, alcohol, eggs, cheese, sugar and processed meats.
4. Tea tree oil
This is a favourite ingredient in the cosmetic industry and could be very useful for treating pimples (acne) as well as several other skin conditions due to its antifungal and antiseptic contents. Research has shown that tea tree oil is quite useful for treating allergic skin reactions and fungal infections. For instance, 5% tea tree oil shampoo applied to the scalp can cure scalp dandruff due to ringworms. Furthermore, tea tree oil can readily combine with coconut oil which contributes to a smooth, soft skin and also relieves itching.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel contains numerous vitamins and minerals that provide relief from itching and enhance healing of rashes. No wonder extracts from this plant are extensively used in the preparation of body creams and lotions. Aloe vera gel is especially beneficial for treating seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, sunburn, heat rashes as well as dermatitis following exposure to poisonous plants. However, do not apply it to open cuts, blisters or sores.
6. Rose oil
Rose oil contains several vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, B and E, calcium, zinc and carotenoids. All these are essential for skin health and beauty. In addition, rose oil contains antibacterial and antifungal agents, hence its use for skin conditions like tinea, dandruff and acne (pimples).
7. Garlic and Onions
These are spices that also enhance skin health and skin beauty. For instance, garlic contains ajoene, a natural antifungal agent which can cure fungal skin infections and is also good for treating hair loss. In addition, onions contain quercetin, an antiinflammatory flavonoid that is useful for inflammatory and allergic skin reactions.
Grapefruit is a delicious juicy fruit that also promotes skin beauty. In fact, early evidence has shown that grapefruits could be beneficial in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis (eczema). Grapefruit is rich in phytonutrients as well as vitamin C which are potent antioxidants important for connective tissue and skin integrity.