Why Do We Need Moisturizers
Healthy skin appearance is essential as flawed presentation may result in reduced self-esteem.3 Moisturizers are commonly used to reduce fine lines, smoothen and hydrate skin which may improve a patients social life, psychological satisfaction and quality of life. 4
Moreover, either normal skin or dermatoses with dry skin symptoms may both gain optimal benefit from proper utilization of moisturizers. Impression of skin dryness consist of visible and tactile changes of the skin as well as alteration in skins sensory components, which presents as dry skin symptoms. These symptoms include dryness feeling and discomforts consist of tightness, pain, itch, stinging, and tingling.5 Moisturizers work effectively to overcome dry skin underlying dermatoses, interrupting dry skin cycle while maintaining skin smoothness.6
Moisturizers also have several benefits aside from skin moistening. Some of the possible functions provided by moisturizers are as follows:
Cetaphil Healing Ointment $1699
Enter one of Cetaphils newest launches and one Dr. Libby is excited about. Making the sensitive skin line complete, this fragrance-free, hypoallergenic healing ointment is lanolin-free and is formulated with 71.5% petrolatum, shea butter, and vitamin E to protect and heal dry, irritated without leaving behind a greasy residue, she explains.
Oh, and Dr. Libby labels it her new favorite petrolatum ointment, too.
How To Choose A Product Safely
There are many products out there. What works for someone else may not work for you.
The best options are:
- Fragrance free
- Perfume free
Unscented products may still have fragrances, so they can still irritate your skin. They’re just covered up so you can’t smell them. Look for moisturizers marked “fragrance-free.”
Check the label if you know youâre allergic to a certain ingredient.
Dab a pea-sized bit of any new product onto the crook of your elbow or the inside of your wrist. Wait 24 to 48 hours to see if it causes a rash, redness, or itching before you use it on your entire body.
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What Is The Best Eczema Cream
People who suffer from eczema know how important it is to find a soothing eczema cream. Eczema is also called Atopic Dermatitis. People who suffer from eczema are said to have atopic skin.
There are many body creams on the market for the atopic skin seen in eczema, but many of these creams do not have the proper ratio or types of lipids to repair the skin barrier. We will discuss the best eczema creams to soothe itchy dry skin. To learn more about complete eczema skincare routines, visit here.
Best Budget: Cetaphil Eczema Soothing Moisturizer
Courtesy of Walmart
May not be effective for severe eczema
Not suitable for those sensitive or allergic to oat
Studies have shown that oats soothing properties can help treat itchiness in dry skin and help reduce inflammation in skin conditions such as eczema. This National Eczema Associationapproved Cetaphil lotion contains 1 percent colloidal oatmeal that helps relieve skin irritation.
It also has creamy but non-greasy consistency that’s soothing and hydrating without feeling tacky on the skin. Its a great budget-friendly option for those looking for an effective but still lightweight skin protectant. Its paraben-, fragrance-, and steroid-free and has been endorsed by the National Eczema Association as gentle for eczema-prone skin.
Price at time of publish: $16
Active Ingredient: Colloidal oatmeal | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Can be used as often as needed or as recommended by doctor
Recommended Reading: Is Eczema Contagious To Others
Other Ingredients To Soothe Eczema
Research continues to evolve to identify the best ingredients for treating eczema. Dr. Anthony shares two ingredients that have been found to be particularly soothing.
- Licorice root: Studies show that glycyrrhizin, a compound in licorice root, has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe skin with eczema. And Dr. Anthony says its unlikely to cause allergies.
- Colloidal oatmeal: Made of finely milled oat kernels, this ingredient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a good choice for people with eczema.
Some Other Points About Using Emollients
- Another common mistake is to stop using emollients when the skin appears good. Patches of eczema, which may have been prevented, may then quickly flare up.
- A dry dressing may be helpful if your eczema is moderate or severe. This helps to keep the emollient from being rubbed off the skin and stops scratching. However, you should not use a dressing if infection is present.
- Paraffin-based emollients are flammable. Keep them away from lights and flames.
Also Check: Best Non Prescription Eczema Cream
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.
Types Of Eczema Lotion
There are different kinds of eczema lotions to choose from. While all are designed for eczema symptoms, the main difference between them is the amount and types of oils they contain.
Lotions that contain the highest levels of oil are best if you have severe eczema. They can feel quite thick and creamy as they build up a protective barrier on your skin. These lotions contain ingredients that are particularly good for sensitive skin and sealing in moisture. They include ingredients such as ceramides, mineral oil and petroleum jelly.
Other eczema lotions contain less oil but are equally as good for treating your eczema. They feel less greasy and can be easier to apply to the affected skin. When used daily, these lotions can help strengthen the skin barrier, and provide you with long-lasting hydration and moisturization. Use these lotions when you have medium to severe eczema symptoms. Ingredients in these lotions can include glycerin and dimethicone, a silicon that is easily absorbed into the skin so that it provides fast relief from eczema dryness.
For mild eczema symptoms, a lighter lotion that has a higher water content is a good option. These lotions are easy to apply as they glide on smoothly and are quickly absorbed into your skin. This makes them ideal for moisturizing and hydrating your skin, particularly when applied throughout the day. Ingredients in lighter eczema lotions include glycerin and mineral oils.
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Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion
This lotion received the NEA Seal of Acceptance. It is suitable for people with eczema and may help heal and soothe dry skin. According to the manufacturers, the lotion helps moisturize and heal dry skin within 5 days of regular use.
The manufacturers recommend using the lotion daily. Applying the lotion after a shower may help further lock in moisture.
Dermatologists typically do not recommend lotions for severe eczema because of their high water content and increased evaporation.
Still, some medium-to-high potency corticosteroid lotions can help relieve severe eczema.
Amcinonide 0.1% lotion is a high potency corticosteroid indicated for the relief of inflammatory and itchy manifestations of the skin, such as eczema. Doctors usually recommend applying a thin layer of amcinonide lotion to the affected area two or three times a day, depending on the severity.
Betamethasone valerate 0.1% lotion is a medium potency corticosteroid that people with eczema can use to relieve itchiness and inflammation. Doctors recommend applying a few drops of the lotion to the affected area and massaging the skin gently until it has absorbed the lotion.
People can get the best results by using betamethasone valerate lotion twice daily. They may be able to apply the cream more frequently to areas with persistent symptoms but only on a doctors advice.
Anyone with severe eczema should speak to a doctor or dermatologist.
How We Chose The Best Eczema Creams
We talked with the pros to find out what to look for in an eczema cream as well as what to avoid. The advice of board certified dermatologists informed every option on our list, helping us single out the products that truly deliver.
- Contains proven ingredients.Dr. Jeannette Graf, board certified Dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai, gave us some tips for scouring ingredient lists:
- Unscented petroleum jelly helps repair skin barrier function and lock in hydration.
- Aloe vera soothes inflammation and can aid in the healing process.
- Niacinamide helps improve skin function.
- Other effective ingredients include ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, and other humectants like glycerin, lactic acid, and hyaluronic acid
If youre overwhelmed by the options out there, Vanicream is a solid place to start. The petroleum jelly-based formula seals in moisture and is perfect for dry, sensitive skin which more than likely describes your skin sitch if you have eczema.
Read Also: Is Kokum Butter Good For Eczema
How To Choose The Best Eczema Cream For You
Ready to shop until your eczema flare-ups drop? Here are some tips for finding the best cream for your needs.
- Check the ingredient list twice. Some products may look tempting and nearly eczema-approved, but its best to avoid ingredients like alcohol, parabens, urea, and fragrance, just in case.
- Try a trial size. Try to purchase the smallest size of a product to test it out before you commit to your forever cream . Many derms offer sample sizes of both prescription and over-the-counter lotions, so consider heading to your doc.
- Dont assume more $ = better. Thankfully, when it comes to eczema creams, theres something with legit ingredients at every price point. You really dont need to splurge to secure an effective product, and whats more expensive wont necessarily work better for your unique needs.
- Consult the pros. You might want to look up products in the National Eczema Association directory to see if theyve received a Seal of Acceptance. The association considers these products legit for those with eczema or sensitive skin based on a variety of criteria. Products have to apply for the label, though, so some quality products might not have the seal, but it may help you narrow down your search.
Still not sure where to turn? As Graf explains, the reality is that everyones treatments are unique based on the severity. If your symptoms get worse or dont go away, she always advises seeing a dermatologist for treatment.
An Overview Of The Different Types Of Eczema
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed and red in lighter skin tones or brown, purple, gray or ashen in darker skin tones. Eczema is very common. In fact, more than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema.
Eczema is not contagious. You cant catch it from someone else. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers do know that people who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers.
When an irritant or an allergen from outside or inside the body switches on the immune system, it produces inflammation. It is this inflammation that causes the symptoms common to most types of eczema.
There are seven different types of eczema:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
It is possible to have more than one type of eczema on your body at the same time. Each form of eczema has its own set of triggers and treatment requirements, which is why its so important to consult with a healthcare provider who specializes in treating eczema. Dermatologists in particular can help identify which type or types of eczema you may have and how to treat and prevent flare-ups.
- National Eczema Association | 505 San Marin Drive, #B300 | Novato, CA 94945
- 415-499-3474 or 800-818-7546
NEA is a qualified 501 EIN 93-0988840
NEA is a qualified 501 EIN 93-0988840
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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.
Moisturizers For Nummular Dermatitis
Nummular dermatitis is an eczematous disorder with pruritic coin-shaped patches on the skin that are often mistaken for ringworm or psoriasis. Men usually get nummular dermatitis later in their life while women get it sooner. The etiology is unknown, but most patients have very dry skin, which allow epidermal breach and permeation of allergens.83,84 Local trauma, such as arthropod bites, chemicals contact, or abrasions, may precede an outbreak.
Contact dermatitis due to nickel, cobalt, or chromates may play a role in some nummular dermatitis cases. Venous insufficiency, stasis dermatitis, and edema may be related to involvement of lower extremities.85,86 Autoeczematization may account for the presence of multiple plaques. Severe, generalized nummular dermatitis has been associated with interferon and ribavirin therapy for hepatitis C and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors.87,88
Patients may complain of pruritic, burning or stinging eruption that usually starts on the legs within days to months. Symptoms wax and wane with winter cold or dry climates, are exacerbated by temperature swings and may improve with sunlight, humidity exposure or moisturizer use. Lesion recurrence in previous lesion locations is frequent. Patient may reveal past history of eczema, atopic dermatitis, or dry and sensitive skin.85
Read Also: Why Is There No Cure For Eczema
How Often Should I Apply Emollients
Apply as often as needed to keep the skin supple and moist. This varies from person to person and from time to time in the same person, depending on how bad the skin dryness has become. A good starting point is to apply 2-3 times a day. However, some people need to increase this to up to every hour if the skin is very dry. As a rule, ointments need to be applied less often than creams or lotions for the same effect.
If you have eczema, you should keep on applying emollients every day, even when you do not have any areas of inflamed skin. The emollients prevent the skin from drying and can help to prevent eczema from flaring up. Where appropriate, to help some people to apply emollients frequently, it may be best to keep separate packs of emollients at work or school.
Using Emollients And Topical Steroids Together
Most people with eczema will also be prescribed a topical steroid to use when eczema flares up. Topical steroids are very different to emollients and should be used and applied in a different way. See the separate leaflet called Topical Steroids for Eczema for more details. When using the two treatments, apply the emollient first. Wait 10-15 minutes after applying an emollient before applying a topical steroid. That is, the emollient should be allowed to absorb before a topical steroid is applied. The skin should be moist or slightly tacky but not slippery, when applying the steroid.
Also Check: Best Eczema Treatment For Adults
What Is The Best Emollient
Eczema is a very individual condition and different emollients tend to suit different people. The best emollient is the one you like, because then you will use it more often. Always test new products on a small area of unaffected skin for 48 hours in case you have a reaction. You may need to use different types of emollient on different parts of the body to obtain the best hydration and to restore the skins barrier function to normal.
You may also like to alternate between a lighter emollient during the day and during the warmer months, and a greasier one at night and when the weather is colder.
Treating Eczema A Stepped Approach
The recommended first-line treatments for most cases of eczema are emollients and topical steroids. Paste bandages and wet wraps may be a helpful addition for some people, particularly where scratching is a major problem. Sedating-type antihistamines may be useful in helping with sleeping at night . Long-term use is not recommended.
When there is an inadequate response to appropriate strengths of topical steroid, or if these are not tolerated, especially on areas of delicate skin, topical calcineurin inhibitors the cream pimecrolimus or the ointment tacrolimus may be useful.
Treatments for more severe eczema, or additional treatments, include phototherapy, oral steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, a biologic drug and a Janus kinase inhibitor.
Before progressing to additional treatments, it is essential to check that there is no other explanation for the eczema being uncontrolled. The following are examples of questions that should be considered by your doctor, but it is not an exhaustive list:
- Have all topical therapies been used to the highest dose possible that is safe? , please see our Topical steroids factsheet.)
- Have all irritants and allergens been identified and avoided to the extent practicable?
- Has infection been controlled?
- Is the eczema diagnosis correct?
Have a look at our factsheets to find out more about different eczema treatments.
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