Best lotions for eczemaShare on Pinterest

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Eczema is a skin condition characterized by patches of itchy, inflamed skin. There are multiple types of eczema. The most common is atopic dermatitis.

If you’re living with eczema or caring for a child with eczema, a daily moisturizer can help manage flare-ups. Here’s more information about this skin condition, as well as our picks for the best topical products for managing it.

Before jumping into the best lotions for eczema, it’s important to understand what eczema is — particularly what causes it, what the symptoms are, and how it can be treated.

Causes

There are a number of factors that can lead to someone developing eczema, or atopic dermatitis specifically. The most common ones are:

  • family history and genetics
  • stress
  • environmental triggers
  • immune system response

Typically, eczema will develop in childhood if the condition runs in your family.

Symptoms

Typically, eczema is characterized by a rash that appears on the arms and behind the knees. This rash can also appear other places — including the face, eyelids, and scalp — or take on different forms, including:

  • dry skin
  • small, raised bumps that can crust over or leak fluid
  • Cracked or scaly skin
  • itching skin
  • red or brownish-gray patches on the skin

Treatment options

Treatments of eczema vary based on the severity and type of rash, but there are various things you can try to ease flare-ups, including:

  • using gentle soaps and lotions to cleanse and moisturize your skin
  • moisturizing regularly (twice a day)
  • taking short baths and showers with warm, not hot, water
  • drying your skin carefully with a soft towel and patting it, not rubbing it
  • avoiding food triggers that cause flares (some of the more common ones are milk, wheat, soy, eggs, spices, nuts, and citrus fruits)
  • avoiding environmental triggers like dust, pollen, and pet dander
  • trying to avoid stress as much as possible

When choosing the best moisturizer for eczema, there are certain ingredients to be on the lookout for, such as anti-inflammatory nutrients and moisturizing botanicals.

Other ingredients should be avoided, such as harsh chemicals, fragrances, and additives.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of moisturizers available and the top 10 moisturizers to use for eczema.

A note on price

Moisturizers for eczema can range from $5 or less to $30 or more. When purchasing a product, take into account how many ounces are in the package, as well as how frequently you’ll need to reapply.

Pricing guide

  • $ = $9 or less
  • $$ = $10 to $27
  • $$$ = $28 or more

Best hand lotion for eczema

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream

  • Price: $$

The hands are a common site for eczema flare-ups. This therapeutic formula from CeraVe is a moisturizing cream designed to protect and soothe inflamed skin, and reinforce the skin barrier.

Along with many lotions on this list, it’s recommended by the National Eczema Association.

Pros

  • contains ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid, calming niacinamide, and skin-protecting dimethicone
  • includes ceramides that restore the skin barrier
  • over 3,000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating

Cons

  • formula may be too waxy for some people
  • higher price point than traditional lotions

Best hand ointment for eczema

ATTITUDE Sensitive Skin Care Natural Protective Ointment

  • Price: $$$

This formula forms a waterproof barrier to protect your skin even when your hands are repeatedly exposed to water. Bisabolol is infused into the formula to provide anti-inflammatory action. It’s also certified vegan and cruelty-free.

Pros

  • provides a protective barrier on top of the skin
  • designated as a Climate-Pledge Friendly product for sustainability efforts

Cons

  • high cost per ounce
  • product is often sold out due to popularity

Best face lotion for eczema

Skinfix Dermatitis Face Balm

  • Price: $$$

The eyes and ears are a common place for eczema flare-ups. This concentrated face balm contains a mixture of therapeutic ingredients, such as colloidal oatmeal and sweet almond oil. It’s also designed to be delicate enough to use around the eyes.

Pros

  • designed to heal facial dermatitis, eczema, and patches of dryness
  • contains a high concentration of colloidal oatmeal
  • works on eyelids and other sensitive areas of the face

Cons

  • product’s small size means it runs out quickly
  • some reviewers didn’t see an improvement after use

Best sensitive skin face lotion for eczema

Weleda Sensitive Care Facial Cream, Almond

  • Price: $$

This soothing facial cream is designed to be gentle enough to use on children. The key ingredient is sweet almond oil, which contains plenty of anti-inflammatory unsaturated fatty acids. Weleda claims to only use certified fair-trade ingredients for their products.

Pros

  • plant-based formula with no synthetic compounds or harsh chemicals
  • designated as a Climate-Pledge Friendly product for sustainability efforts
  • over 4,000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating

Cons

  • small product size
  • costly per ounce
  • strong scent, which some reviewers didn’t like

Best sensitive skin body lotion for eczema

Cetaphil PRO Gentle Body Moisturizer

  • Price: $$

Cetaphil’s sensitive skin formula is specifically formulated to lock in moisture for dry, sensitive skin. It’s designed to be hypoallergenic and safe to use on babies as young as 3 months. In addition, it can be paired with the Cetaphil PRO Gentle Body Wash for a daily treatment against eczema flare-ups.

Pros

  • created for sensitive skin
  • dermatologist-recommended brand
  • provides all-day moisture
  • over 6,000 Amazon reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating

Cons

  • may not work for more severe eczema
  • some reviewers noted that they still felt itchy after using

Best plant-based body lotion for eczema

Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Body Lotion

  • Price: $$

Medline Remedy’s body lotion formula contains safflower oil pods, which may help contribute to long-lasting hydration. The botanical ingredients, including plant-based antioxidants, may also boast a wide variety of benefits for eczema. It’s also designed to be safe for all ages.

Pros

  • formula includes natural ingredients like safflower oil droplets, green tea, clove flower, and soy
  • doesn’t contain parabens, fragrance, aloe, phthalates, or sulfates
  • formulated to provide 24-hour moisture

Cons

  • some people found the lotion to be too thick
  • lotion texture may be too slimy for some people

Best lotion for baby eczema

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

  • Price: $

When choosing a moisturizing product for your baby, it’s important to find one with gentle ingredients. This pediatrician-recommended eczema cream contains skin-soothing colloidal oatmeal. It’s free of fragrances, dyes, and additives. It’s specifically formulated for your baby’s sensitive skin.

Pros

  • affordable price point per ounce of product
  • recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists
  • free of steroids, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol
  • over 3,000 Amazon reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating

Cons

  • very thick consistency
  • some reviewers mentioned that the product stung their babies’ faces upon application

Best gel for baby eczema

Vaseline Healing Jelly, Baby

  • Price: $

This Vaseline healing jelly is formulated for sensitive, irritated, or dry baby skin. With an oil-based product like Vaseline, you can hopefully protect the skin barrier from further damage during an eczema flare-up. This product is also designed to be hypoallergenic and shouldn’t clog your baby’s pores.

Pros

  • single ingredient formulation
  • pediatrician recommended
  • product is eligible to buy with funds from a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)

Cons

  • formulated for diaper rash and dry skin, not eczema specifically

Best prescription-strength lotion for eczema

Triamcinolone

As a therapy for eczema, triamcinolone is offered in a variety of different topical forms. Topical formulations are available in creams, ointments, or lotions ranging from 0.025 percent to 0.5 percent triamcinolone acetonide — which is a corticosteroid that should reduce the symptoms of an eczema flare-up.

Unlike ApexiCon E, triamcinolone is more appropriate for mild eczema symptoms.

This product is only available with a prescription.

Pros

  • available in a variety of topical formulations
  • can be prescribed in various strengths, depending on the severity of the condition

Cons

  • only available with a prescription
  • may be costly if not covered by insurance

Best prescription-strength steroid cream for eczema

ApexiCon E Cream

This potent eczema cream is a topical steroid that contains 0.05 percent diflorasone diacetate. It is designed to provide relief from the itching and inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema.

It hasn’t yet been tested on children. As with any prescription medication, side effects may occur.

This product is only available with a prescription.

Pros

  • should be helpful option for severe eczema
  • meant to relieve painful side effects like itching and inflammation

Cons

  • only available with a prescription
  • may be costly if not covered by insurance
  • topical steroids can cause withdrawal if used longer than two weeks and then discontinued

ProductBest forPriceActive ingredientsKey considerationsOTC or prescription?
CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Creamhands$$hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, dimethicone, ceramidesrecommended by the National Eczema Association and highly rated by reviewersotc
ATTITUDE Sensitive Skin Care Natural Protective Ointmenthands$$$colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, coconut oilcreates a waterproof barrier on skin otc
Skinfix Dermatitis Face Balmface$$$colloidal oatmeal, sweet almond oilgentle enough to use on sensitive parts of the body like the eyelidsotc
Weleda Sensitive Care Facial Cream, Almondface$$sweet almond oilplant-based formula that’s highly rated by reviewersotc
Cetaphil PRO Gentle Body Moisturizerbody$$filaggrin and ceramide complex, vitamin E, vitamin B5, vitamin B3product designed to work for 24 hours after application, dermatologist-recommended brandotc
Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Body Lotionbody$$safflower oleosomes, green tea, clove flower, soythick lotion formulated to provide 24-hour moisture otc
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Creambaby$colloidal oatmealrecommended by pediatricians and dermatologists, and highly rated by reviewersotc
Vaseline Healing Jelly, Babybaby$petroleum jelly pediatrician-recommended and hypoallergenic otc
Triamcinoloneall over eczemadepends on insurancetriamcinolone acetonidecomes in a variety of formulations and strengthsprescription
ApexiCon E Cream severe eczema depends on insurancediflorasone diacetatemay relieve painful side effects of eczema but can cause withdrawalprescription

When it comes to finding the best moisturizer for your skin, there are several different types to choose from. They can all be used together to reduce eczema flare-ups.

Lotion

A lotion is a moisturizer with high water content and low oil content. Lotions need to be reapplied frequently. Some companies formulate lotions specifically for eczema, so there are plenty of options.

Pros

  • one of the most popular moisturizing products
  • easy to find

Cons

  • difficult to narrow down with so many options
  • needs to be reapplied frequently

Ointment

Ointments have the highest oil content. Some people find ointments too greasy. However, since they have high oil content, they don’t need to be applied as frequently. Ointments for eczema can be either prescription strength or over the counter.

Pros

  • provides the best protective barrier for damaged skin
  • doesn’t need to be reapplied as frequently as lotion

Cons

  • can feel greasy once applied
  • stronger ointments may require a prescription

Cream

A cream is a moisturizer that generally falls between a lotion and an ointment in terms of thickness and hydration. This makes creams a great choice for people with and without eczema.

Pros

  • great for many skin types
  • can be combined with other moisturizers

Cons

  • may not be strong enough on its own for damaged skin

Gel

Gel moisturizers have the most water content and the least oil. Because certain oils have shown to be beneficial for eczema, sticking to a water-based moisturizer may not give you the best results.

Pros

  • least likely to leave the skin feeling greasy

Cons

  • lowest oil content, so the least protection for skin with eczema

What causes eczema?

Eczema can be caused by genetics if you have a family history of the condition, as well as stress, immune system response, or environmental factors.

How often should you apply lotion for eczema?

Apply lotion at least twice or day, or as directed by the product you use or as instructed by your doctor.

Can OTC lotion treat eczema over time?

Flare-ups can last for a couple of weeks but can be managed with over-the-counter treatment. Identifying, managing, and avoiding the triggers that cause the flare-ups will also help with treatment. Some people may need prescription treatments if OTC lotion doesn’t soothe their skin.

Does lotion for eczema expire?

When using any topical product, it’s important to check if there is a date on the bottle for when the product expires or loses potency.

How do I avoid eczema flare-ups?

Identify any triggers (foods, environment, stress) and try your best to avoid these. Also be sure to protect your skin with products that don’t contain known irritants, and be gentle in regards to water temperature when you shower or bathe.

If you have eczema, having a good moisturizing routine can help reduce the severity of your flare-ups. With so many products on the market, it’s important to narrow down your choices and find a product that works well for your skin.

For mild eczema outbreaks, a simple over-the-counter lotion, cream, or ointment can help repair dry, damaged skin. For more serious outbreaks, consider reaching out to your doctor for prescription-strength options.