If you’re an eczema sufferer or know someone who has this skin condition, you’ll know just how frustrating it can be.
Whether it’s something that flares up during cold winter months or you’re trying to combat it every day, you’ll no doubt have searched high and low for a miracle eczema cream.
First, it’s important to work with your doctor (or a dermatologist) to try and establish a skincare regimen that targets the rash and itch, finding a go-to eczema treatment that prevents infections, holds off flare-ups, heals your skin, and controls the itch.
The right treatment will depend on how severe your symptoms are, your medical history, your age, and other factors. You may even need to use a number of different remedies to achieve optimum results.
But to help get you started, we’ve sourced the 8best eczema creams and ointments.
How Have We Rated These Eczema Creams And Ointments?
To ensure you find the right eczema cream for you, we’ve done all of the hard work for you.
In order to put together this top 8 list, we’ve trawled through customer reviews and testimonials, while also looking thoroughly into the product and its brand. This allows us to create the accurate, honest rating system you’ll find below, giving you peace of mind that the products recommended really are the best on the market.
What’s The Difference Between An Eczema Cream Or Ointment?
An eczema ointment is the type of product that contains the highest oil content, which is why they’re often best at treating this skin condition. This is because they help your skin retain moisture (hence why you may want to use it overnight so it gives your skin chance to absorb it).
However, an ointment shouldn’t be used if your eczema is weeping.
Eczema creams contain slightly less oil, which means you might prefer these types of products if you don’t like your skin to feel greasy. They too can seal in moisture – but always look out for additives that may irritate your skin even further.
There are also eczema lotions (which we have included below, too). These have even less oil than creams and are made up predominantly of water. However, due to how quickly they evaporate, they aren’t generally suited to eczema sufferers. But you may find them beneficial as a top up, especially if you’re trying to avoid greasy skin before a night out.
So let’s find out what made it into our top 8.
Our Top 8 Creams And Ointments For Eczema
Recently voted as the number one eczema product by pharmacists in the U.S. News, this gets the top spot for us.
Eucerin is renowned for creating high-quality, over-the-counter eczema treatments and this is one of the best. This particular product contains colloidal oatmeal which helps calm that itchy skin down, enriched ceramides that help build up and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. It contains licochalcone that helps soothe and improve the overall condition of your skin.
It’s also free of parabens, steroids, dye, and fragrance, being suitable for everyday use for babies over 3 months old, children, and adults. There’s also a specific Eucerin Baby product available which boasts the same properties as above and is recommended by pediatricians.
For the strongest over-the-counter treatment you can buy without getting a prescription, look no further than Corizone-10 Plus. It’s perfect for calming the itch and reducing inflammation, while also being great for preventing the onset of severer eczema by breaking the dreaded scratch-itch cycle that plagues your life.
The ingredients that help soothe your skin and prevent itching include oat kernel extract, ginger extract, aloe vera, Boswellia serrata gum, and hydrocortisone. And it also contains 10 different moisturizers, such as petrolatum, dimethicone, shea butter, glycerin, and cetyl alcohol, as well as plenty of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E.
All of this means the lotion adds and locks in moisture to your skin and protects it from oxidative stress (which can damage tissues). This will also reduce the appearance of dry, cracked skin.
Ultimately, the fact there is clinical-strength hydrocortisone in this lotion means it’s highly efficient at getting rid of inflammation. This goes a long way to helping relieve your eczema and its often painful symptoms.
Thanks to its rich, creamy texture, the Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream is a classic favorite that often comes recommended by a number of dermatologists.
Packed full of lipids and ceramides, it helps your skin rebuild its protective barrier, not only relieving those unpleasant symptoms but getting to the root cause of your eczema, too.
It works to build up a strong defense system so your skin is better able to fight the cause of eczema and keep it at bay – perfect for mild to extra-dry skin.
And if you’re still trying to relieve yourself of those itchy, uncomfortable sensations, you might also want to add Aveeno’s Itch Relief Balm to your regimen. This really helps soothe any pain or tingling associated with your eczema. It works well with the therapy cream to help you get some relief.
Aveeno also offers a range of other eczema-specific products for babies and adults, including bath treatments and hand cream. All of these are given a 4/5 rating by the National Eczema Association.
To help reduce itching and inflammation, you’ll find 1% hydrocortisone in this Exederm Flare Control Cream. This helps your skin heal.
And because the cream isn’t as strong as prescription-based steroid creams, it doesn’t come with as many frightening adverse side effects.
As the National Eczema Association indicates, it’s the ongoing use of a steroid cream that can cause those unwanted side effects, e.g. thinning skin, perioral dermatitis (a rash around your mouth), and the growth of fine hair – regardless of its strength.
As Exederm is an over-the-counter, paraben-free steroid treatment, it’s ideal for people who have severe eczema that’s cracked their skin and/or patients with highly sensitive skin. In fact, if your skin is prone to cracking and drying out, this makes you more likely to develop sensitivities to certain ingredients, which means that, over time, you could develop allergies. Therefore, gentler, simpler formulas, like Exederm, are often recommended over harsher steroid-based treatments.
Another ointment that comes highly recommended by pharmacists (and is also made by Eucerin) is Aquaphor Healing Ointment.
Designed for irritated, cracked, or dry skin, it’s clinically proven to help restore healthy, smoother-looking skin. As it contains 41% petroleum jelly, its consistency is far thicker than the other Eucerin product mentioned previously. The petroleum jelly works to heal your skin while still allowing oxygen to flow.
It also comes complete with glycerin and panthenol which work to nourish, moisturize, and protect your skin, enhancing the healing process.
For use on the skin and lips, it can be used as a preventative measure, too, particularly against cold weather and wind. You can also use it for a number of other conditions, including friction and minor burns, minor scrapes and cuts, diaper rash, and drool rash.
Furthermore, because this is an ointment and doesn’t contain ingredients that help emulsify creams and lotions, it can often be tolerated by most people. However, it does contain a lanolin derivative, which means you could develop an allergy to it – in theory.
The healing ointment is also fragrance- and paraben-free.
Just like a number of other creams mentioned in this list, Theraplex is an emollient (as the name suggests!).
What are the benefits of using an emollient?
Emollients are key for eczema sufferers as these chemicals help lubricate the skin. It is believed that they help during the “shredding” process by filling in gaps between the proteins of your skin. This gives them the ability to eradicate scaling and dryness – hence why they are also used to treat ichthyosis and psoriasis.
In particular, Theraplex is perfect for persistently dry, itchy skin. It’s been specially formulated to help in the treatment of chronic skin conditions, getting deep into the cracks of your skin to protect and provide long-lasting moisturization.
As this is a moisturizer, it should be used on a regular basis, being applied liberally whenever you feel as though your skin is drying out (and always straight after you’ve had a shower or bath). Daily application will help keep your skin protected and hydrated.
With a 5/5 acceptance rating from the National Eczema Society, it’s clear this healing ointment is revered among industry professionals (it also bagged 16% of the pharmacists’ votes in the aforementioned poll).
Combining essential ceramides (1, 3, and 6-11), fatty acids, and various other lipids which help restore and maintain your skin’s natural barrier, it also comes free of lanolin which can irritate the skin. It works to soothe and protect dry, chafed, and cracked skin, boasting a non-greasy, lightweight texture that many people will favor.
It can also be used to help with windburn, minor burns, minor scrapes and cuts, baby skincare, acne-prone skin, and psoriasis-prone skin.
CeraVe also produces a number of other complementing products, including specialist baby ointments and lotions that are perfect for nappy rash, among other things.
Cetaphil is a well-known brand when it comes to helping people with dry and/or sensitive skin. That’s why this particular moisturizer doesn’t contain any irritants. It absorbs quickly into the skin to provide ongoing moisturization. It is not greasy so you can apply it on the go.
With its extra-strength humectants (additives that help reduce moisture) and emollients, it’s clinically proven to prevent the loss of moisture from your skin, helping water bind to it.
Additionally, the ceramide formula helps restore your skin’s barrier. This provides long-lasting relief for skin, even if it’s severely dry. The formula is also free of fragrance, nut oils, and parabens. It is quick-absorbing and it’s suitable for babies aged 3 months and older.
Again, Cetaphil also offers a range of other products that complement this one, including a body wash which is often recommended in conjunction with the moisturizer.
How To Pick Your Next Eczema Cream
Now you’ve been through our list of must-have eczema creams, how do you make sure you’re getting the right one for you or a loved one?
After all, what works for one person might not work for you. And who’s to say that the manufacturer won’t make alterations to their product?
Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take toward finding your ideal eczema cream:
- 1Always check the label for any ingredients that you are (or think you may be) allergic to.
- 2Only use a small pea-sized amount of the product when you use it for the first time, placing this on your wrist (where you feel for a pulse) or your elbow. Leave for 24-48 hours.
- 3If there are any signs of an allergic reaction, e.g. itchiness, breakouts, a rash, redness, or general irritation – don’t use the product anymore and try another (making a note of the ingredients that could have caused the reaction).
By doing your research thoroughly and being cautious when trying a new product, you should find that your skin is starting to look and feel great in no time at all.
However, it is important to be patient because your eczema won’t disappear overnight. And you should always enlist the advice of your doctor or dermatologist when embarking on a new skin care regimen.
Maintaining The Health Of Your Skin
Finally, once your eczema cream has worked, be sure to stay on top of your moisturized skin by applying moisturizing products on a regular (ideally daily) basis. Look out for creams and ointments that are best for sensitive skin, are free from fragrance, and don’t contain any harsh ingredients that will irritate your skin.