What Not To Use On Dyshidrotic Eczema
First things first: its sensible to steer clear of anything that might exacerbate your dyshidrosis! That means avoiding creams, balms, ointments, soaps, washes or oils that contain potentially irritating ingredients. The list of substances that could cause further damage or inflammation to skin prone to dyshidrosis is pretty long, but its sensible to check the list of ingredients on your hand cream, for example, and make sure what youre putting on your skin wont aggravate the flare. Check for dyes, fragrance, preservatives, alcohol, sulphates, and nickel.
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream $14 Original Price: $16
As one of Dr. Chans favorites for those with allergies especially, Vanicreams Moisturizing Cream comes in an easy-to-use pump, is fragrance-free and is non-comedogenic, so it wont clog your pores.
The lotion formulation makes this product cosmetically elegant for the face, while still being effective to minimize eczema flares, Dr. Mack said.
Best Hand Cream: Cerave Therapeutic Hand Cream
This hand cream contains dimethicone, which Dr. Hayag describes as a skin protectant that blocks cold wind and other irritants from wreaking havoc on your delicate skin. The drugstore-favorite formula, which has been accepted by the National Eczema Association, also has hyaluronic acid and ceramides, both of which help maintain the skin’s natural moisture. (
“I have eczema, so I’m pretty picky about what I put on my skin,” , who said that this is the “only moisturizer” they’ll use on their hands. “When I saw this, I decided to try it for my dry, often cracked, itchy, over-washed hands. It works great! I love that it absorbs quickly, so there’s no greasy feeling âââ just leaves my hands feeling soft and moisturized.”
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Best For Itch: Cerave Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion
Courtesy of Amazon
May not be moisturizing enough for severe eczema or very dry skin
Need to reapply often
For most people, the main symptom of eczema is itching. CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion is a good option for those looking to relieve itching associated with eczema and dry skin as well as other skin irritations, such as insect bites and sunburn. In addition to ceramides, which help to maintain moisture and restore skins natural barrier, this lotion is formulated with 1 percent pramoxine hydrochloride, which a study has found to provide rapid relief of itching following a single application.
This fragrance-free lotion has also earned the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association.
Price at time of publish: $14
Active Ingredient: Pramoxine hydrochloride | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply to the affected area not more than three to four times daily
It Started With An Itch
Despite living in a dry, high-desert climate for the last 30 years, eczema wasnt an issue for me until about a year ago. Suddenly, my skin felt prickly and itchy on the underside of my upper arms, upper chest, and thighs.
I rubbed or scratched without really thinking about it until I hopped in the shower one day and realized my skin was stinging from the hot water. All the spots Id been mindlessly itching were, unsurprisingly, covered in scratches. Worse, an itchy rash had bloomed wherever I scratched which was everywhere. I slapped on some hydrocortisone and chalked up my itchy skin to seasonal allergies.
But spring ended, summer began, and still, my skin was itchy and uncomfortable. Its funny what you get used to, and I think thats exactly what happened. I just got used to my skin feeling prickly and itchy, and that prickly itch spread to my abdomen, around the backs of my thighs, down my shins, and along my forearms. It got worse and then better, but it never really went away. It seemed like this rash was just under my skin and it rose to the surface wherever and whenever I scratched or rubbed.
Around Christmas, I truly exploded. I had this prickly rash from my ankles to my chest and my method of management scratching was only making things worse. I looked like Id climbed through a juniper bush naked, and it was the push I needed to finally see a dermatologist.
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What To Look For In An Eczema Cream
Hydration makes for happy skin. If you have eczema, its extremely important to keep your skin hydrated, Dr. Anthony says.
In looking for an eczema product, there are three categories of ingredients to know about:
You see all three of them in some of the products we use for eczema, Dr. Anthony explains. And some popular ingredients pull double duty, acting, for example, as both humectant and occlusive, or emollient and occlusive, which can make things confusing.
He walks us through the categories, including ingredients to look for.
What Kind Of Products Treat Eczema
From creams and lotions to ointments and oils, it can be hard to know whats what and whats best. Before you start looking into ingredients, its helpful to understand the difference among products.
- Lotions are spreadable and sink into your skin the best. But because theyre quickly absorbed, they dont last as long as other options. They also have a bit higher risk of stinging raw skin, Dr. Anthony warns.
- Creams have more oil and less water than lotion, and theyre a little thicker/heavier. They wont sink in as quickly, but you also dont need to apply them as often.
- Ointments are the most occlusive option, meaning theyre the best at locking moisture into your skin. But theyre also the greasiest. They spread well and last longer, but they get on things like clothes and bedsheets, Dr. Anthony notes.
- Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature. Most skin oils are plant-based think argan oil, rose hip oil and tea tree oil, among others. And while some people find success with oils, for the most part, Dr. Anthony doesnt recommend them for eczema.
If youre looking for a one-size-fits-all answer to the best product for your eczema, you wont find one. It ends up being about each patients preference and tolerance, Dr. Anthony says. What feels good on your skin is probably the best product for you.
But knowing your options including what products are available, what they do and what ingredients to look for can go a long way in helping you decide.
Read Also: Why Is My Eczema Getting Worse
What Does Eczema Look Like
Most eczema appears as red, swollen patches of skin, usually on your face or neck, but sometimes on other sensitive skin areas like inner arms or behind your knees. Eczema rashes can also be dry and scaly, and, if untreated, these types of rashes can crack.
All eczema breakouts are itchy, that’s a clear indicator that your rash is eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that is genetic, and can be found in infants and children. Some children outgrow eczema of this form, but it can persist into adulthood. Other types of eczema appear only in adulthood and are caused by allergies or skincare product irritants.
There is no cure for eczema, but there are several lotions and creams that use ingredients that soothe and repair skin affected by eczema. The best eczema creams and lotions use ingredients are naturally derived and that are safe to use on infants and children as well. Read on to learn more about the ingredients used for eczema flareups and what might work best for you and your family.
How To Find The Best Eczema Cream
When considering over-the-counter creams, Dr. Hayag suggests keeping an eye out for occlusives, humectants, and emollients. “Occlusive ingredients to look out for are petrolatum and silicone derivatives such as dimethicone,” says Dr. Hayag. “Humectants are hygroscopic moisturizers that actively pull and absorb water and hydrate the outer layer of the skin,” she adds. You’re likely to find humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, in many of the skin-care products already in your arsenal. Shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and ceramides are all emollients that are great for moisturizing the skin, as well. (
Those with eczema should lean into moisturizers that have high oil content over water content, as this will actually draw more water into the skin and reduce water loss. An ointment is actually a far better option over a lotion, notes Dr. Hayag. Why? Ointments have the highest oil content of all the products, so they don’t generally burn when they’re applied to sensitive skin and are very good at sealing in moisture, she explains.
If you’re looking specifically to relieve flare-ups, Dr. Hayag recommends creams featuring ingredients such as pramoxine hydrochloride, niacinamide, and hydrocortisone, which work quickly to soothe itchiness and irritation.
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Where Can The Best Product Be Purchased From
We will review some of the best ways to buy products from an online store. A few different steps are involved in purchasing a product, and each one is important to ensure you get what you want.
First of all, make sure that your desired product has been released. It can be checked by checking the website’s release date page or clicking on new arrivals.
Next, read reviews about the products before purchasing them not only does reading reviews help with making informed decisions, but it also helps other shoppers who might be looking for feedback! Finally, when ordering something, order two sizes up if no size chart is provided because sizing charts vary between brands.
Humectants Bring In Moisture
Humectants are designed to try and draw moisture into the skin, Dr. Anthony explains. They attract and bind to water, pulling it from the air and from deeper within your skin. They include:
- Alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid and lactic acid.
- Hyaluronic acid.
Applied on their own, humectants can cause stinging and burning. Instead, eczema creams combine these ingredients with more soothing emollients and occlusives.
Also Check: Can You Get Eczema On Your Eyelids
Best For Non Greasy: Honest Product For Hand Eczema
The Honest Product For Hand Eczema is capable of outshining several other products featured in this list in overall features in its price range. The honest productfor handeczema is perfect for diaper rash, feels good and it buy again. Made with the gentle power of prebiotics, soothing colloidal oatmeal and lots of love for your babes delicate skin. Further, it is best for external use and it is very refreshing.
The product is very smooth, is very helpful and it ask a doctor. And, the product rubs in well and it smells nice. Above all, the honest product for hand eczema is great with natural oils and it can be made with active ingredients.
Most buyers quickly discovered that the product was fragranced with a light floral or something, but not a big deal. And, a few strongly agree that the product is great for keeping skin moisturized, but not for healing cracked hands. Also, they strongly agree that this hand cream absorbs quickly even though it is thicker and provides immediate relief for the pain. In conclusion, most buyers call the product functionally comfortable and no one questions it.
Why We Like This:
- This is highly recommended and it is made with mineral oil.
- Dermatologist approved hypoallergenic safe for babies.
- It effectively reduced skin dryness after 3 weeks of use.
- 97% of parents agreed soothing therapy eczema cream soothed, calmed babys dry, irritated skin.
Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Unscented Body Moisturizer $17
This body lotion is one of Dr. Libbys favorites for relieving dry, itchy eczema-prone skin. Its armed with colloidal oatmeal, allantoin, shea butter, ceramides, sunflower seed oil and Cetaphils patented Filaggrin Technology to help soothe dry, stressed skin, and repair and nourish the skin barrier, she notes.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Eczema Rash
Emollients Help Repair Your Skin
Emollients fill in the cracks in dry skin, which helps soothe, soften and ultimately heal. They restore some of the natural fats in the skin, Dr. Anthony says. Fats are important in enabling the skin barrier to exist, and emollients help repair your skin barrier.
But some emollients are better than others for eczema. Good choices include:
Ceramides fats derived from plants or animals are especially good for eczema. Data shows that products that are high in ceramides work well for a lot of patients with eczema due to their anti-inflammatory effects, Dr. Anthony says.
How To Choose The Most Popular Products For Hand Eczema
The three most crucial criteria to consider are price, quality, and popularity.Price is an obvious factor to consider, as you want to ensure it is acceptable for your needs.Quality should also be examined because buying a low-quality goods will not help you achieve your main aim of obtaining the best product.Finally, while not as obvious as price or quality, popularity can be just as significant as both when it comes to attracting new customers.
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What Ingredients To Avoid In Eczema Creams
Of course, there are ingredients youll want to avoid too, Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, tells SELF. Ingredients to watch out for include fragrances, exfoliating acids , harsh soaps, and retinol, she says: These can further irritate the skin by drying them out.
Dr. Nada Elbuluk, M.D., director of the Skin of Color Center and Pigmentary Program at USC, also notes to look at ingredients lists for anything you might be allergic to, because that will also cause a flare-up. I also recommend avoiding physical exfoliants and even certain fabrics such as wool, which can make eczema worse, she says.
So what are the absolute best eczema creams to hydrate, strengthen, and protect against flare-ups? We asked dermatologists to tell us what moisturizers they commonly recommend to their eczema patients. Heres what they suggest.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
What To Know About Prescription Eczema Creams
If your eczema isnt letting up, see your dermatologist, who may write you a prescription for something stronger.
- Hydrocortisone cream: Hydrocortisone is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid that can soothe severely dry skin. The strongest you can buy over the counter is 1% hydrocortisone, but your doctor can prescribe up to 2.5%. And there are even stronger prescription steroid products that might be prescribed in certain situations.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories: Prescription-strength hand creams and lotions may better hydrate and repair your skin barrier than products you buy on your own.
- Calcineurin inhibitors: These topical medications help suppress your overactive immune system, which can decrease inflammation caused by eczema.
- Crisaborole ointment: Sold under the brand name Eucrisa®, crisaborale is a boron-based medication that helps reduce redness, itching and swelling.
There are other options, too, like JAK inhibitors and biologics .
In short, there are a variety of ways to treat and control your eczema, so if over-the-counter products arent doing the trick, seek guidance from your dermatologist about what might work best for you. There are new products coming out all the time, Dr. Anthony encourages.
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What Products Should I Avoid If I Have Eczema
You should avoid any ingredients that you have a known allergy to and anything that has irritated your skin previously, Dr. Chan said. Common products that can do this are acne products with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. I also would avoid high percentage AHAs.
Be sure to note that developing a skin allergy is higher when you have atopic dermatitis, so avoiding fragrance when you can is a good idea, especially during an active flare.
Why Does Eczema Appear On The Hands
There can be a variety of reasons why eczema appears on the hands. For example, the hands can be affected by irritant or allergic contact dermatitis or both at the same time.
Coming into contact with irritants such as dust, detergents, cleaning agents, airborne sprays or even just frequent hand-washing can cause irritant hand eczema . The skin on the palms of the hands is much thicker than elsewhere on the body and is normally able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. But in people who regularly immerse their hands in detergents or solvents, the protective barrier of the skin breaks down, and eczema may develop. People who have this form of hand eczema often have a history of eczema in childhood.
Allergic hand eczema arises as a result of an allergic reaction to a particular substance in the environment. It is possible to be allergic to a number of different substances, but common causes of contact sensitivity include nickel, fragrances, preservative chemicals, rubber and various plants, amongst other things. Once a persons immune system has identified a substance as harmful, they will react to the substance every time their skin is exposed to it, and this reaction becomes more severe on every exposure to the allergen.
When an allergic reaction of this kind is suspected, your GP should refer you to a dermatologist, who will normally perform patch tests to try to identify the allergic cause.
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Dr Lily Ros Organics Miraculous Eczema Cream
A friend sent me this cream to test out, and I was immediately impressed by the brands commitment to purity and efficacy. Its a small jar, but the thick cream has a light consistency that spreads well and absorbs beautifully.
I use it as a spot treatment, applying dabs directly into itchy patches on my abdomen, thighs, shins, or arms, and it has a rapid soothing effect. I highly recommend this one, but note that its pricey. On the plus side, a little goes a long way.