Eczema is one skin condition that can be quite an ordeal and a recurring problem for a great number of people. To this day, experts are still not certain as to the cause of eczema. But learning how to manage the symptoms like dryness, inflammation, and itchiness will greatly reduce the suffering and discomfort brought by this skin condition.
There are many lotions in the market that are specially formulated to provide remedy from itching and inflammation. Let us further look into this skin condition and how our top ten best lotions for eczema can help provide relief from its symptoms.
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream is one of the leading brands of cream formulated for eczema. It contains colloidal oatmeal that provides relief to itchy, irritated skin, and keeps skin moisturized. Enriched with ceramide and essential lipids to help in skin restoration. It is clinically tested and proven gentle even for babies.
- Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formula
- Contains soothing natural colloidal oatmeal and ceramides
- Suitable for baby and children
- Some claim it did not work for them
Skinfix Hand Repair Cream provides instant soothing relief for the extra dry skin. It contains 1% colloidal oatmeal making it ideal for eczema and dermatitis. It relieves itchiness, redness, and rebuilds the skin barrier with its natural butter and emollient oils. Free of steroids, fragrance, gluten, and soy.
- Made from natural ingredients
- Steroids, soy, parabens and phthalates, and fragrance-free
- Ultra-rich formula
- Contains soothing natural colloidal oatmeal, aloe, and shea butter
- Dermatologist recommended
- Too greasy for some
Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion contains a rich formula with natural sea minerals and almond oil to reduce dryness. It is dermatologically tested and proven to be mild. Specially formulated for dry to rough skin as it makes it softer and healthier looking. Its formulation contains Almond Oil which moisturizes the skin for up to24 hours.
- Rich formula
- Not for super sensitive skin
- Some don’t like the smell
- Some feel it’s a bit greasy
Neosporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream restores the skin and makes it look healthy in just 3 days. It contains colloidal oatmeal that soothes irritated skin and relieves itchiness due to eczema. It is free of steroids, fragrance, and antibiotic, making it safe for sensitive skin.
- The special formula contains glycerin, panthenol, mineral oil, ceramide, triglycerides, and oat kernel extract
- Contains soothing natural colloidal oatmeal
- Not steroids or antibiotics
- Suitable for all age group
- Did not work for some
Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm provides relief from itch for up to 6 hours. It contains colloidal oatmeal for soothing itch without the greasy feel. It is hypoallergenic and free of steroids, fragrances, and parabens, so it is safe for daily use.
- Contains colloidal oatmeal
- Non-greasy formula
- Not steroids, fragrance-free, and paraben free
- Did not work for some
- Not for super sensitive skin
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is formulated to keep skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. It contains three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help restore the protective skin barrier and retain moisture. It is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and gentle on the skin.
- Fragrance-free, good for sensitive skin
- Super absorbent, non-greasy formula, keeps skin hydrated
- Too greasy for some
Era Organics Psoriasis & Eczema Cream provides instant relief to dryness, itching, and painful skin. It helps reduce inflammation, boost healing, and restoration of the skin’s pH balance.
Era Organics Psoriasis & Eczema Cream feeds the skin with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Its powerful formula contains organic Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Manuka Honey and others. It is non-toxic and gentle even on sensitive skin.
Era Organics Psoriasis & Eczema Cream moisturizes the skin for up to 12 hours without the greasy after-feel. This keeps skin protected from infection while it promotes cell regrowth.
- Contains all-natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Hemp Seed Oil, and Olive Oil
- Special formula for all skin types
- Nourishes and rejuvenates skin
- Free of parabens, steroids, and fragrances
- Money back guarantee
- May leave a burning sensation on the super-sensitive skin
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Hand Unscented Lotion contains microdroplets of Vaseline Jelly that keeps the skin moisturized for up to 5 days. Its formula is fast absorbed by the skin to deliver immediate relief from itching. It is non-greasy, unscented, and gentle, so it’s suitable for everyday use.
- Contains ingredients proven to soothe dry skin
- Fragrance-free for sensitive skin
- The formula is not as specialized compared to others
Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Creme contains oatmeal, Licochalcone, and ceramide-3 fortifies the skin to relieve itchiness and dryness due to eczema. It is gentle, fragrance-free, and non-greasy, best for daily use.
Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Crème moisturizes the skin for up to 24 hours. It is fast-absorbing and does not irritate the skin even babies’ three months and up. It has a rich texture but does not leave a sticky residue. So, you can liberally apply it on the skin without the greasy feeling.
- Gentle formula
- Fast absorbing for quick relief from itchy dry skin
- Rich texture
- Made with colloidal oatmeal and ceramide-3
- The effect does not last long for some users
Aquaphor Healing Ointment is recommended by specialists for chapped lips, cracked skin and cuticles, also for dry feet and heels. It contains no preservatives or fragrance. Formulated with 41% Petrolatum which lets oxygen in, allowing fast healing. Its Panthenol and Glycerin ingredients moisturize and nourish the skin.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment also helps soothe skin and enhance the skin natural healing that suffers from minor burns, cuts, and diaper and drool rash.
- Good for extremely dry skin
- Keeps skin hydrated
- Rich formulation
- Feels sticky and greasy
- Slowly absorbed by the skin
What Is Eczema?
Eczema, from the Greek word “ekzein” or “to boil over”, refers to the group of skin condition which results in skin inflammation. Often, it would be characterized by red, itchy, very dry, and on severe cases, cracked and leathery skin.
Eczema is not a specific skin condition but rather a general term for chronic skin conditions. It can vary in forms and severity. Eczema may manifest on any part of the body and is common on babies. Most infants who suffered from this medical condition will outgrow the condition by age ten. But for some, they may experience the condition again later in life.
What Causes Eczema?
The skin is made up of the outer layer, elastic middle layer, and fatty inner layer. A healthy skin is well hydrated with the aid of fats and oils that locks in moisture. A healthy skin is able to protect the body from bacteria and other harmful substances.
An unhealthy skin, on the other hand, is not able to store enough fats and oils, thus can’t retain the water that it needs. This results in gaps between skin cells due to lack of moisture. Moisture loss extends to the deeper layers of the skin. Soaps also strip the skin of oil which worsens the dryness. The skin becomes irritated, cracked, red, and inflamed.
It is still not yet known what specifically causes eczema. Some experts say that it’s due to genes and other triggers. These people are prone to developing very sensitive skin and the hyperactive immune system. And skin defects that allow bacteria to pass through also contribute to the worsening of the skin condition.
Mutation of the gene that is responsible for Filaggrin is also believed to cause eczema. Filaggrin is a kind of protein that helps in the maintenance of the protective layer of the skin. When the level of filaggrin is below the ideal, moisture loss results. This makes the skin open to harmful bacteria and viruses.
Dry skin. when the skin gets very dry, it becomes brittle, itchy, and scaly leading to eczema flare-ups.
Irritants. chemicals found in soaps, shampoos, detergents, disinfectants, or even natural substances from fruits, vegetables, and meats can trigger eczema irritation.
Stress. Stress, physical or emotional, is also considered to be a triggering factor to eczema. Although it is still not known why. It is thought that an increase in stress levels triggers or worsen flare-ups.
Weather. Hot weather can cause the body to sweat heavily which can irritate the skin. Cold weather, on the other hand, can make the skin very dry.
Bacterial/Viral/Fungal. Bacteria and virus can penetrate the skin afflicted by eczema. Infection further aggravates the situation causing eczema flare-ups. The most common infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a kind of bacterium found in most atopic eczema patients. A staphylococcus infection makes eczema healing more difficult.
Infected eczema may show signs such as weepy skin with yellow or clear fluid, blisters, pus spots, swollen glands in the armpit, neck, groin.
Allergens. Substances, chemicals, and pollutants found in the environment, foods, personal and household products can cause allergic reactions. These reactions can trigger eczema flare-ups as well.
Hormones. Hormonal changes, especially for women, can also trigger flare-ups. Estrogen level drops after pregnancy, for example, results in water loss leading to dry skin.
Hormonal imbalances, like hypothyroidism, can cause the skin to get less than normal blood supply and difficulty removing waste products. The skin then compensates by pushing these waste products out through the skin. Often resulting in skin breakouts and conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
What Are the Types of Eczema?
There are many types of skin problems that result in eczema.
Atopic Dermatitis (AD). is the most common type. It usually begins in childhood and long-lasting. While it normally disappears as the child grows older, some would still experience and carry it into their adulthood. Genetics is primarily blamed for this condition. An overreactive immune system causes inflammation, redness, and itchiness.
Contact Dermatitis. When the skin comes in contact with an allergen and caused a reaction like itchiness and redness, the condition is called contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type, which is caused by chemicals. Allergic contact dermatitis usually develops reaction only after 48-96 hours from contact. It will take constant contact with the chemical for the immune system to remember and react through an itchy skin. Contact urticaria or hives is the least common type of contact dermatitis. The reaction is immediate but usually do not last long.
Dyshidrotic Eczema. Often, lasting up to three weeks, dyshidrotic eczema is manifested by painful small, itchy blisters on toes, fingers, palms, and soles of the feet. Cracks often develop when blisters dry up.
Nummular Eczema. Also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis, has an appearance that is different from other types of eczema. Characterized by spots of coin-like shapes which may or may not be itchy. It can also be dry or wet. There will also be lesions with liquid oozing or have crusted over.
Seborrheic Dermatitis. Is a chronic type of eczema, often as a result of stress, hormonal fluctuations, chemical irritation, or weather. Often develops in oily areas of the skin like the nose and scalp.
Stasis Dermatitis. Is a condition that is often caused by veins in the lower legs that are not able to properly circulate blood. Over time this causes pressure build-up and fluid to leak out to the skin. A person with stasis dermatitis would develop leg ache, swelling around the ankles during the day, red itchy skin, and varicose veins.
What Are the Symptoms of Eczema?
Children two years old and above commonly develop rashes behind elbows and knees, neck, wrists, ankles, and creases between buttocks and legs. Rashes later become bumpy, and either lighten or darken.
In adults, rashes develop on elbows, knees, nape, face, and around the eyes. Over time rashes spreads all over the body. Rashes become very itchy, the skin becomes very dry and scaly. Scratching and rubbing make the condition worse, further irritating the skin, and causing inflammation.
While both Eczema and Dermatitis refer to skin inflammation, the main difference is that Eczema is itchy while Dermatitis is not.
Itching. The main symptom of eczema is intense itching. For infants under two years old, rashes may appear on the scalp and cheeks. Often these rashes bubble up then leak with fluid. They are extremely itchy and can lead to skin infections.
Redness. Due to increased blood flow, eczema inflicted skin shows redness. Inflammation widens the network of blood vessels, which increases the blood flow to the skin. The redness worsens when the skin gets infected by bacteria.
Thickening. Inflamed skin usually becomes thicker compared to a normal unaffected skin. This is the skin’s natural reaction to trauma brought by repeated scratching. Fissures or cracks are often seen as a result.
Blisters. Skin suffering from eczema is prone to bacterial infection. Fluids from affected tissues result in blisters. Blisters may contain either clear fluids or pus.
Crusts. As a result of infection, dried fluids from weeping eczema create crusty deposits on the skin which is golden or honey-colored.
What Are the Ways to Manage Eczema?
Moisturize the skin. Skin with eczema needs help is sealing moisture in because the natural barrier has already been damaged. To prevent dryness and itching that causes flare-ups, we should keep skin moisturized as often as possible. After a bath or shower, apply moisturizer. This should seal in moisture in the skin. Have moisturizer handy as well, so you can re-apply as needed.
Fragrance and dry free moisture are the safest choices as they are less irritating on the skin. Also, re-apply moisturizer every time you wash your hands. Apply it using a circular motion or by upward or downward strokes.
Bathing. Contrary to what others believe, regular bathing helps the skin with eczema. Skin with eczema condition is very dry because of the damaged skin barrier. Bathing and applying moisturizer afterward help moisturize and hydrate the skin.
Bathe in lukewarm water for about five to ten minutes. Do not use soap (use gentle cleanser instead) and do not scrub the affected skin. After bathing, gently pat the skin with a towel and then apply topical medication on to the affected area. Liberally apply the moisturizer on the skin within three minutes then wait for it to be absorbed by the skin.
Wet wrap. Wet wrap therapy is best during severe flare-ups and itching. This should be done after bathing, applying medication, and moisturizing the affected area. Using slightly damp cotton clothing or gauze, gently wrap the dressing around the skin with eczema. Then add a dry layer on top of the wet one. A dry layer can be pajamas or vinyl gloves (for the hands). Leave the dressing on for several hours or overnight, keeping it wet the entire time.
Change in lifestyle. First, knowing your flare-up triggers is very important. Then you can work up a plan to minimize or eliminate those triggers. For example. eliminate the irritants by using only the household and personal products that are mild and fragrance-free. Choose clothing fabrics that are non-allergenic and gentle on the skin.
Manage your stress. Stress heightens the severity of eczema symptoms. Learning how to relax, get enough rest, and manage stressful situations can help calm the eczema symptoms as well.
If food allergies trigger the flare-ups, a change in diet may be necessary. Consult with a medical expert on how to go about adjusting your diet and what alternatives are there so you can still maintain a balanced diet.
Important Factors to Keep in Mind
Ointments. Ointments contain the highest level of oil ingredients as compared with other eczema treatments. The rich oil content seals in moisture better and there is less sting upon skin contact. This makes ointments, such as petroleum jelly, the best choice for eczema treatment.
Creams. People who prefer products that feel less tacky may opt for creams instead. They contain less oil, so they leave less grease after application.
Lotion. Lotions contain the least amount of oil and more water content. Lotions may sting when applied on the skin that is cracked.
Skin barrier creams. Skin barrier creams are fortified with naturally occurring lipids and ceramides. Lipids and ceramides are the skins natural barriers that protect the skin from harmful elements. They also keep moisture locked in. Skin barrier creams help in the skin’s healing process and relieve itching and burning sensation.
Topical steroids. topical steroids may be in cream, lotion, or ointment. Topical steroids help minimize inflammation. They can vary in strength from mild to very potent. The stronger the potency the more effective it is. However, it may carry more side-effects than lower potency topical steroids. In some cases where flare-ups are severe, immediate use of the most potent topical steroid may be necessary.
Creams are best used for weeping eczema, while ointments are best for very dry skin and lotions are suited for hairy areas. Normally, the topical steroid with the lowest in strength is first used, such as hydrocortisone 1%. Then, a gradual increase in strength will be applied if there is no improvement after 3-7 days of treatment. Treatment usually lasts up to 14 days, and once flare-ups clear, the use of topical steroid should be stopped.
Ceramides. Ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids are lipids that act as a barrier that protects the skin from dryness and keeps harmful chemicals out. People with eczema have decrease levels of ceramides.
Moisturizers with ceramides can help replace lipids in the skin with eczema. It is important to consider as well that each formulation contains cholesterol and free fatty acids in the right proportions for it to be effective.
Oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal helps soothe dry and irritated skin. It is basically an oatmeal that is ground very finely so that the skin can absorb it. Oatmeal is rich in beta-glucans which is great in reducing inflammation. It also provides a barrier and normalizes pH levels while it soothes dry and flaky skin.
Glycerin. Glycerol is a naturally occurring substance and can help relieve symptoms associated with eczema. Glycerin has the ability to absorb water from the air. Glycerin aids in moisturizing and keeping skin hydrated as it locks in moisture in the skin.
Eczema varies in severity as its triggers may also vary depending on the person’s age, lifestyle, and medical history. Lotions, creams, and ointment are great at providing immediate relief from flare-ups. But knowing the remedy that will work may not be easy to determine on your own. It may be best to seek professional advice to properly assess the skin condition and determine what treatment is right for you.