dwarf elder cream as effective as hydrocortisone for eczema

Your skin is dry, itchy, red and inflamed. It’s thickened, cracked, sensitive and there are small, weepy blisters. Your one of the way too many people that is dealing with eczema.

Eczema is especially common in infants, affecting a remarkable 10-20%, but many adults struggle with it too.

Moisturizers and corticosteroids are commonly used to treat eczema, but corticosteroids bring problems of their own, including thinning of the skin, stretch marks, acne, spider veins and more. An effective natural alternative would be welcome.

Welcome dwarf elderberry. Dwarf elderberry (Sambucus ebulus) is a species of elder, related to the more famous black elderberry of cold and flu fame. This double-blind study compared dwarf elderberry cream to hydrocortisone cream for the treatment of eczema.

91 people with eczema applied either a cream containing 1% extract of dwarf elderberry or 1% hydrocortisone twice a day for 4 weeks.

Both treatments significantly improved scores on the hand eczema severity index (HECSI) at the end of the 4 weeks. By week 2, there were already impressive improvements in both groups. The two treatments were equally effective. But there was an important edge to the elder treatment. At the end of 4 weeks, the dermatology life quality index (DLQI) questionnaire revealed that the elder group had significantly greater improvement in quality of life.

This promising study shows that dwarf elder cream may be superior to hydrocortisone because it works as well while providing greater improvement in quality of life.


J Altern Complement Med. April 2021;27(4):323-330


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For much more on treating eczema naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

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