If you have dry, irritated skin, the wrong kind of bath--no matter how soothing to the mind--can make matters worse. Add the right components, though, and you’ll create a soak that will be a source of calm for both body and soul. So draw up some warm (but not hot) water, and give the items below a try to feel comfortable again. (Just make sure that you pat dry with a towel afterwards and add a layer of moisturizer while skin is still damp.)
Colloidal oatmeal baths are wonderfully soothing, whether you have eczema, sunburn, or poison ivy. It even helps little ones with diaper rash. You can buy colloidal oatmeal or you can simply buy regular (non-instant) oatmeal, and grind it up to a powder yourself, so that it dissolves easily into the water. Simply add about a cup under running water and soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
Apple cider vinegar
Eczema is said to be caused, in part, by a problem in the skin’s natural acidic barrier, and this tart beauty elixir is said to balance it all out. And apple cider vinegar is a natural bacteria and fungus killer, to boot. The result? Better moisture retention and healthier skin. Add one to two cups to running bath water and soak in it for 15 minutes.
You’re probably doing this already once in a while. But are you doing it right? Choose soothing options, such as lavender. Instead of sprinkling it right into your bath, place a couple of drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil--this will help the essential oil disperse better. Add to the bath after the tub is filled to your liking—this will prevent all that goodness from evaporating into thin air before it gets onto your skin. Soak for 15 minutes.
Baking soda—aka sodium bicarbonate—can temporarily relieve eczema and psoriasis, and in some cases, prevent flare-ups. It can also soothe rashes from poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, and prevent their rash-inducing oils from spreading all over your skin. Add a quarter to a half-cup to your bath. You can even combine it with an oatmeal bath for a one-two punch.