Not only does eczema affect your skin, it can also affect your emotional health and quality of life. Many eczema patients report feeling hopeless and desperate because traditional topical treatments and medications are unreliable in their effectiveness.
The emotional effects of eczema can include stress, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self-consciousness, frustration, and lack of sleep.
Given that stress and anxiety can trigger or worsen eczema flare-ups, the emotional and physical experiences of eczema can be a vicious circle.
In this article, we will discuss different types of eczema, traditional methods of treatment, home remedies, and how red light therapy is emerging as an exciting new alternative for relief from the relentless symptoms of eczema.
Table of Contents
What Is Eczema?
Eczema is characterized by dry, itchy, rough, flaky, inflamed patches of skin. Other symptoms can include:
- intense itching (reported to sometimes be almost unbearable)
- red or brown patches of rough skin
- thick, scaly patches of skin
- fluid-filled pustules that ooze when scratched (which can cause bacterial infection)
Eczema is a chronic and sometimes life-long condition, occurring in flare-ups that come and go over time. Flare-ups can be triggered by:
- raised body temperature
- food or animal dander allergies
- upper respiratory infections
- scratchy fabrics like wool
- reaction to chemicals that dry your skin
- upper respiratory infections
Anyone can suffer from eczema. There is no cure for this condition, but its symptoms can be treated and reduced.
There are seven different varieties of eczema:
The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis usually starts in childhood and becomes milder with age. The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but contributing factors likely include:
- an immune system disorder
- dry climate
- poor hydration
- environmental stimuli
Contact dermatitis is caused by an irritant that triggers an allergic reaction. Examples of common irritants include:
- soaps and detergents
- skin care products
- metals, particularly nickel
- poison ivy and other toxic plants
While it is similar to atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis differs in that it is localized to just one or two patches of skin.
This type of eczema occurs only on the hands and feet in the form of itchy blisters.
Nummular dermatitis causes dry, itchy, sometimes oozing, round “coin-like” patches on the skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis occurs in areas of the body where more sebaceous (oil-producing) glands are present, such as the scalp, face, and upper back.
Related read: Red light therapy benefits for the face.
Usually occurring in the lower legs, stasis dermatitis is caused by the weakening of valves in the leg veins. Water and blood cells pool because the veins leak fluid and no longer efficiently deliver blood back to the heart.
Traditional Treatments Vs. Red Light Therapy for Eczema
Traditionally, eczema has been treated with either prescription or over-the-counter topical anti-itch creams and oral antihistamines (such as Benadryl). Oral antihistamines can cause drowsiness and are not realistic in an active everyday life. Eczema sufferers have long felt frustrated by the lack of consistent efficacy of existing eczema medications.
Unlike traditional treatments, red light therapy utilizes your body’s innate healing abilities to fight eczema rather than simply masking its effects.
Red light wavelengths penetrate your cells to their mitochondria (“power generators”) to produce greater energy. Increased cellular energy boosts your body’s immune response, allowing it to battle eczema symptoms more effectively.
Red light reduces inflammation , provides better oxygen flow to cells, kills bacteria, enhances skin hydration, and improves circulation. Your body works more efficiently to naturally relieve pain, burning, and itching. 
Ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) phototherapy has been researched as a potential eczema treatment; however, UV rays are thermal and capable of burning your skin. UVA and UVB rays can cause cellular damage and even skin cancer.  
Red light therapy, on the other hand, contains no harmful UV rays and cannot damage your skin. It is 100% natural, safe for all ages and skin types, painless, and causes no harmful side effects. Our RLT Home red light therapy devices are FDA approved.
What Are the Best Red Light Wavelengths for Treating Eczema?
The recommended range of red light wavelengths for the treatment of eczema is between 610 to 700 nanometers (nm), falling in the range of short red light-emitting diode (LED) light. 630nm has been found to be particularly effective for skin conditions such as Psoriasis and Eczema. In more severe cases, near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths of 830 to 855 nm can also be helpful. Frequently, a combination of red LED and NIR light creates the best recipe for success. At-home devices are available in a variety of wavelengths and combinations thereof.
There are many natural home practices and remedies you can employ to find relief from eczema.
A healthy diet and proper hydration go a long way toward skin health. Drink plenty of water and eat a diet rich in lean proteins, leafy green vegetables, vitamins, and antioxidants. Limit your consumption of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Avoid harsh skincare products and laundry detergents. Choose milder options that are free of perfumes and dyes.
Avoid very hot baths or showers. After bathing, gently blot your skin with a soft towel rather than rubbing. Apply cool compresses to your skin, moisturize your skin daily with a rich, oil-based cream, and wear clothing made of soft, natural fibers (like cotton) rather than synthetics.
Since stress induces eczema flare-ups, have a good stress-relief regimen in place. Exercise is a great stress-reliever; however, sweating is also an eczema trigger. Layer your clothing and exercise in a controlled climate to make sure your body is able to properly cool itself.
Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques can also help to keep eczema symptoms at bay.
Alternative Natural Treatments and Herbal Remedies
Eczema sufferers have reported success in treating their symptoms with all of the following:
- colloidal oatmeal
- coconut, sunflower, borage, avocado, and primrose oils
- witch hazel
- raw honey (as a topical treatment, not consumed)
- calendula cream
- aloe vera gel
- drinking green, black, or oolong tea
- sleeping in a room with a humidifier
Whichever home remedies work best for you, their effects will be enhanced by the therapeutic and healing benefits of red light therapy.
With your own red light therapy device, you can immediately begin to experience rapid relief from your eczema symptoms in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
-  Mechanisms and Applications of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Photobiomodulation (opens in a new tab)
-  Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) in Skin: Stimulating, Healing, Restoring (opens in a new tab)
-  Safety and Efficacy of Phototherapy in the Management of Eczema (opens in a new tab)
-  Phototherapy of Eczema (opens in a new tab)