The 9 Best Over-the-Counter Eczema Creams of 2021


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Eczema, also called dermatitis , is a relatively common skin condition that affects about 1 in 10 Americans at some point in their lives. "Eczema is a group of conditions that cause inflammation, irritation and itching of the skin," says Nazanin Saedi, MD , director of the Jefferson Center for Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology in Philadelphia. Eczema can appear everywhere – on the face, hands, elbows, below the knees and elsewhere on the body, manifesting as "pink to red scaly patches of dry skin," he explains.

There are many factors that can potentially cause eczema , and genetic and environmental factors can have an impact. "Cold, dry air can definitely make things worse, and we have to remember that cold season is coming," he says, adding that there is, sadly, no cure. "It is often a chronic disease and the inflammation leads to disruption of the normal skin barrier."

While eczema cannot be cured, it can be treated – no prescription is required. Hydration is a key tactic in treating eczema. "I recommend creams or ointments over lotions because they provide a better barrier to the skin," suggests Dr. Saedi. "You should also avoid flavored foods because they can be irritating and aggravating." In terms of ingredients, he suggests looking for products with glycerin "to create a barrier" and ceramides "to strengthen the barrier."

We have researched dozens of lotions and ranked them for reviews, key ingredients, consistency, ease of use, scent, and use.

Here are the best eczema lotions on the market.

Final verdict

As Dr. Saedi points out, the best options when choosing a great eczema treatment are products that use ingredients that have been shown to be effective. While there are several options to choose from, our universal best option is Aquaphor Healing Ointment (see on Amazon ). Not only does it hydrate dry and itchy skin, it also helps keep it hydrated in the future. We also love that it's in an emollient form, giving you the option of applying just a thin layer to the skin or, for problem areas, applying a thick layer. Despite being thicker than some of the other lotions on our list, it still feels silky smooth and not greasy.

What to look for in eczema lotion


As mentioned above, if you want an effective eczema treatment, consider only those that contain effective ingredients, such as glycerin, ceramides, petroleum jelly, and even colloidal oatmeal. You should also avoid anything that contains fragrances, as they often cause skin irritation. If you're not sure what that ingredient is, the National Eczema Association offers an extensive glossary to help you figure it out.

"You should avoid fragrance formulations as they are a significant potential irritant, as well as any cream that contains alpha or beta hydroxy acids that can dry out the skin," says Silal . It also joins the ceramides. These ingredients do double duty: they help soften and soften the skin and improve the skin barrier by preventing irritation and moisture absorption. "

Targeting specific problem areas

Another decisive factor when choosing a product is the location of the target treatment area. Different consistencies and solutions are better suited to specific regions. For example, when it comes to your face, you should avoid products with ingredients that can clog pores and cause breakouts. And while the lotion is a great full-body treatment, if you're battling eczema on your elbows or behind your knees, you'll probably want a product that's a little thicker and longer-lasting.

Size and packaging

You probably want to invest in various products based only on packaging. While it is very important to have a large tub of healing supplies on hand at home, you will most likely need a portable product when you are on the go.

Frequently asked questions

  • If you have eczema, it is important to keep the moisture on your skin intact. This is why it is so important to apply moisturizer regularly, even within three minutes of showering or bathing.

    "Eczema is a chronic condition, but it can definitely be treated with the right regimen," says Angie Silal , Registered Medical Assistant (RPA-C) at Advanced Dermatology PC. "Treat eczema with moisturizers and creams that help protect the skin's water barrier as it is weakened by eczema."

    However, not all moisturizers are created equal. There are three types: ointments, creams, and lotions. They are classified by the amount of oil and water they contain, and generally the ones that feel 'greasy' are the best because they contain more oil.

    "People with eczema should choose moisturizers with a high oil content rather than a water content, as this will actually attract more water to the skin and reduce water loss," explains Seal. Ointments tend to contain the most oil, creams in moderation, and lotions the least.

    So if you have severe eczema, you probably need an ointment, but creams are a good option too. 'Creams are inferior to ointments in terms of the amount of oil they contain, and they also retain moisture very well, "says Silal, and' if you are specifically looking to relieve exacerbations, creams with ingredients such as pramoxine hydrochloride, niacinamide. and hydrocortisone, quickly relieve itching and irritation. "

    If you have mild eczema, lotions can help. Also, because they are less greasy, they are often a great option for your face, especially if you are prone to acne because they are lighter. However, they can contain preservatives that burn when applied to scraped or broken skin or skin in sensitive areas.

  • Some lotions, like anti-itch lotions, can provide immediate relief, but generally you'll know that the product you're using is working if you notice milder symptoms and your skin becomes less dry and flaky within a few days.

    "If you use it daily but don't see any improvement after a few days, consider visiting the dermis," says Silal. You may need something different or stronger.

    "If your skin burns while using it, you should stop it immediately and seek professional help," she says. Signs of an allergic reaction to an ingredient in a lotion include redness, rash, rash, itching, pain, or peeling.

Why Trust Get Drug Information

As an internationally acclaimed product guru and writer, Lea Groot understands that no one wants to waste their time or money on products that don't work. Over the years, you've interviewed the world's leading health experts and reviewed hundreds of articles to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, gadgets, and devices to help you look and feel your best.

Additional reporting by Simone Scully.

As a seasoned science and health reporter, Simone Scully understands the importance of choosing carefully researched foods to improve your health and personal care.

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