How Long To Use It For
Most people only need to use hydrocortisone skin treatments for a short time. Stop as soon as your skin is better. Sometimes you only need to use the skin treatments for a few days.
For insect bites and stings, nappy rash or contact dermatitis you’ll probably only need to use a skin cream for up to 1 week.
If you buy hydrocortisone from a pharmacy or shop, do not use it for more than 1 week without talking to your doctor.
Dove Dermaseries Dry Skin Relief Hand Cream
Doves DermaSeries products are paraben- and fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and made for eczema, psoriasis and very dry skin. Dove also makes gentle soap and body wash. Frequent hand washing can be performed with mild hydrating soaps such as Dove, says Kolansky. All Dove soaps are generally mild. Look for ones that are for sensitive skin and fragrance-free. If you have eczema somewhere besides your hands, try the DermaSeries Eczema Relief Body Lotion instead.
Which Jak Inhibitors Treat Atopic Dermatitis
The FDA has approved three JAK inhibitors for atopic dermatitis:
Abrocitinib . This tablet is for adults with refractory, moderate to serious atopic dermatitis.
Ruxolitinib . This is a topical medicine, which means you put on your skin. This cream is a short-term treatment for people 12 and older with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.
Upadacitinib . This is a tablet for adults and children over age 12 with moderate to serious atopic dermatitis.
Researchers are studying other JAK inhibitors for atopic dermatitis.
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Should I Use Different Products For Different Areas
Absolutely! According to Nussbaum depending where the eczema is located it should be treated differently. For example, eyelids and sensitive skin areas like underarms, inguinal folds and lips will be treated with a lighter strength corticosteroid than thicker skin like the back or legs, she explains.
The scalp can experience a few different conditions which may look like eczema, however could be a form of seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis or fungal infection. Therefore always see a dermatologist to help diagnose the condition. Depending on the condition, there are different shampoos, gels and creams containing ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, corticosteroid or selenium sulfide can also effectively treat the scalp.
Medication For Eczema & Dermatitis
At-home therapies alone may not relieve moderate-to-severe eczema and dermatitis. Our dermatologists understand that persistent, intense itching and rash, especially in visible places such as the face and hands, may significantly affect your life. NYU Langone doctors can recommend medications in a variety of forms to relieve symptoms and manage eczema and dermatitis for the long term.
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Occlusives Lock In The Good Stuff
Occlusives are like a sealant, keeping moisture and hydration where they belong in your skin. Without an occlusive, some of that goodness is lost to evaporation. But adding an occlusive on top seals the deal by literally sealing hydration and moisture into place.
Occlusive ingredients good for eczema include:
- Coconut oil.
- Petrolatum .
- Silicone derivatives, like dimethicone.
Vaseline®, which is made of petroleum jelly, is both an emollient and an occlusive. For the most part, its safe to use on eczema. But like other occlusives, petroleum jelly alone wont moisturize your skin.
You have to get the moisture in there first, whether from other ingredients or from water, and then seal it in with a topcoat, Dr. Anthony explains. Thats what we call occlusive therapy.
How To Use Emollients
Use your emollient all the time, even if you’re not experiencing symptoms.
Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients. You might keep a supply at work or school, or a tub in the bathroom and one in a living area.
To apply the emollient:
- use a large amount
- don’t rub it in smooth it into the skin in the same direction the hair grows
- after a bath or shower, pat the skin dry and apply the emollient while the skin is still moist to keep the moisture in
You should use an emollient at least twice a day if you can, or more often if you have very dry skin.
During a flare-up, apply generous amounts of emollient more frequently. But remember to treat inflamed skin with a topical corticosteroid. Emollients used on their own aren’t enough to control it.
Don’t put your fingers into an emollient pot use a spoon or pump dispenser instead, as this reduces the risk of infection. And never share your emollient with other people.
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Oral And Injected Medications
If symptoms of eczema and dermatitis are not relieved by topical medications, doctors may recommend stronger medications that are taken by mouth or injected into the skin.
In many instances, oral medications are prescribed for a short period to help get symptoms under control, and treatment then, ideally, shifts to management using topical medications and at-home therapies. But for severe eczema or dermatitis that is unresponsive to other treatment and causes persistent symptoms that interfere with your everyday life, some medications may be prescribed for months or years.
Best Overall: Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Multiuse: Good as a moisturizer and as an ointment for cuts, scrapes
Not suitable for those sensitive to lanolin
Who else recommends it? Good Housekeeping, The Strategist, and Byrdie all picked Aquaphor Healing Ointment.
What do buyers say? 87% of 62,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
We love this ointment as our best overall pick because it’s made with 41 percent petroleum, but also contains glycerin, which has humectant properties that attract water from the dermis and a humid environment into the epidermis. The addition of lanolin in the ingredient list also adds more occlusive benefits for those who are not allergic. A 2017 study indicates that lanolin can reduce water loss through the skin by 20 to 30 percent, so it helps to hydrate and soften the skin.
Aquaphor is a multitasking skin protectant. Its not only a great, thicker moisturizer, it can also be used to relieve dry, chapped lips, and can enhance healing and soothe minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Price at time of publish: $14
Active Ingredients: Petroleum | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply to the affected area and can be used as often as needed
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Why Is It So Important To Moisturize After A Bath Or Shower
Water is an effective way to put moisture back into the skin, but only if you use lukewarm water, avoid scrubbing and apply a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing or showering. This last step very important if you dont moisturize immediately afterward, the moisture your skin needs will evaporate and may cause a rebound effect making the skin even more dry.
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Best For Eczema: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream
A daily moisturizing lotion is a must-have for anyone who suffers from chronically dry, itchy skin due to eczema, and Dr. Hayag recommends this one for everyday use. The fragrance-free cream contains colloidal oatmeal as its active ingredient and also contains petrolatum for an occlusive effect, which seals in moisture. Buying a three-pack saves money in the long run.
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Who Can And Cannot Use Hydrocortisone Skin Treatments
Most adults and children aged 10 years and over can use hydrocortisone skin treatments.
Do not use hydrocortisone skin treatments on children under 10 years old unless their doctor recommends it.
Hydrocortisone is not suitable for some people. Tell your pharmacist or doctor before starting the medicine if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or any other medicine
- have a skin infection or eye infection
- are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you’re breastfeeding
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.
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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 Is The Main Cause Of Eczema How Do You Treat Eczema
A combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers and stress is what causes eczema. If you have eczema, its likely that your immune system overreacts to small irritants and/or allergens and causes your skin to inflame. To treat eczema, the best practice is to keep your skin moisturised with thick formulas , apply bandages where cases are really bad, and take warm baths regularly to relieve irritation. Avoiding ingredients such as highly perfumed products or things with dye in them is recommended too.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Eczema Who Use Hydrocortisone
Hydrocortisone is often one of the first treatments that people with eczema use to manage flare-ups. For many people, hydrocortisone is effective and relieves symptoms. However, it isnt meant for daily use. Instead, a large part of managing eczema is preventing flare-ups from happening in the first place.
Its not possible to prevent all flare-ups, but you can reduce them by learning to identify your eczema triggers and by keeping your skin clean and moisturized.
Your doctor might prescribe different medications if your flare-ups are severe or dont respond to hydrocortisone. They can include other topical medications, oral steroids, and immune-suppressing medications, immune-suppressing injections, and phototherapy.
The right option for you will depend on how severe your eczema is and how your body responds to various treatments.
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Eczema. Even the word sounds irritating, like an itch we want to scratch .
But, with eczema comes the urgency for near-instantaneous relief. Smooth skin is the goal, but product choices usually have to be specific to sensitive skin types and, of course, must be effective to head toward smoother skin.
Some signs that eczema is starting to occur is if your skin is feeling dry, rough, red or flaky,Tiffany Libby, MD, FAAD, FACMS, a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Brown Dermatology in Rhode Island, told the Post. When eczema becomes severe, you may notice more extensive involvement of your skin and or cracks in the skin, which can be painful and may risk becoming infected.
To help solve the tangible side effects of eczema, we consulted Dr. Libby and two other dermatologists on the best eczema creams, treatments, ointments, balms and everything in between. But first, take a look at the following FAQ.
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Tips For Applying Your Eczema Cream
Dr. Anthony shares some of the key steps in applying your eczema products of choice.
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.
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Why Should You Use Hydrocortisone Cream
Most hydrocortisone creams are light, and you can buy them from pharmacies and stores. It has several names like Dermacort, Dioderm, Boots Bite, and Sting Relief Hydrocortisone, Derma Care Hydrocortisone, Hc45, Zenoxone, Pinewood Bites and Stings Relief 1% cream, Lanocort, and Mildison Lipocream 1% cream.
Hydrocortisone is one of the essential medicines used in the grassroots level medical examination and treatment facilities and is also a popular drug sold in pharmacies and pharmacies. In particular, these products are sold at affordable prices, and you can easily find them at pharmacies.
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream $1356
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.
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How To Preserve Hydrocortisone Cream
You should store hydrocortisone cream at room temperature, away from moisture, away from light. You should not store the cream in the bathroom or in the freezer. Read the directions on the package carefully, or ask your pharmacist. In particular, remember to keep the medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not throw medication into the toilet or plumbing unless required. Please dispose of properly when the medicine is out of date or cannot be used. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company about how to safely dispose of your prescription.
How Can I Reduce Eczema Scarring
The best way to prevent eczema scarring is to effectively prevent and manage itching in the first place. When the itch is out of control, patients do the most damage. Keeping the skin well moisturized and nails trimmed and smoothed go a long way to reduce the risk of eczema scarring, warns Benjamin.
Nussbaum explains scarring is usually from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or residual redness from inflammation which may hyper- or hypopigment. The most important thing is to maintain a healthy skin barrier by using a gentle cleanser twice daily and moisturizer twice daily without any harsh ingredients, she shares.
Other key ingredients including vitamin C, niacinamide and aloe vera can assist with evening our skin tone, minimizing inflammation, and boosting collagen production. Oatmeal baths for 30 minutes a day can also help remove dead skin cells, calm inflammation and restore hydration while reducing scarring, shares Nussbaum. But, should the scarring be severe, we can certainly use laser resurfacing or other types of lasers to lessen the redness and hyper-pigmentation.
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Does Eczema Get Worse In Different Seasons
According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon of Preston Dermatology, cold weather and dry air often go hand in hand. Too much dry air can zap your skin of natural moisture. Dryness often leads to itching, which then leads to scratching and inflammation, she explains.
On the other hand, hot weather can also irritate eczema. Heavy perspiration can lead to itchy skin as well as prolonged exposure to water is another eczema-trigger. Water can cause dry skin, which can lead to persistent itching,” adds Dr. Solomon.