What to Consider When Choosing Eczema Creams

Shopping for eczema cream? We can help. Use these tips to pick the best eczema cream

Pick the best eczema cream with these tips

Anyone who’s ever suffered from red, itchy, scaly skin caused by eczema knows it can be difficult to find good products to soothe it. While many folks rely on prescriptions from their dermatologists to keep their eczema flare-ups under control, it is also important to keep skin feeling moisturized between the medicated applications.

Just as you would when purchasing any other product made for the skin, it is important to take some considerations when choosing the best eczema creams. Different formulas provide different benefits, and understanding your skin’s needs before shopping can help you choose a great cream that can alleviate your eczema symptoms without irritating your sensitive skin.

How Do I Choose an Eczema Cream That Won’t Make My Skin Feel Worse?

People with eczema know how risky it can be to introduce a new lotion or cream into their skincare routines. Your skin is already sensitive enough as it is—one irritating ingredient can send you spiraling into a new itchy flare-up. To avoid this, considering the following when searching for an eczema cream:

Make sure to choose an eczema cream that doesn’t contain any fragrances or dyes. While it is tempting to choose a colorful or scented product, these additional ingredients are unnecessary for the cream to moisturize skin. They are simply added extras that could cause unnecessary irritation to your already-irritated skin. It is best to skip them and opt for an unscented, un-dyed product.

It is also best to choose an eczema cream that contains a high amount of oil. Oils provide intense moisturization that helps lock in topical treatments and keep skin feeling soothed long after it is applied. Choosing an oil-free or low-oil cream can actually have adverse effects on eczema. Although these oil-free products claim to provide moisturization, oil is the ingredient that truly locks in that moisturization long after the cream is applied. The oil-free cream may seem to work at first, but it can lead to the skin drying out faster due to a lack of oils to provide the skin with moisture longer.

Another reason you should seek an eczema cream with a high oil content is for ease of application. Often, people suffering from eczema face raw, blistered patches of skin that become tender and uncomfortable to the touch. Often, these patches become even more irritated when they are unintentionally scratched or rubbed by clothing during the day. Applying an eczema cream with a high oil content can reduce the chance of causing a burning sensation when it is applied to highly-sensitive areas like these. The oil is gentle on these raw patches of skin so moisturization can be delivered here effectively and painlessly.

Sometimes, eczema creams will include ingredients such as preservatives or stabilizers to help them maintain a longer shelf life. These products should be avoided, as these additional ingredients can create more irritation to sensitive skin.

What Are Skin Barrier Creams for Eczema?

There are many eczema creams to consider, but a special type of skin cream made for eczema are called skin barrier creams. These creams are called “skin barriers” because they are formulated to create a strong layer of protection between skin and outside irritants that can make eczema flare-ups worse.

Skin barrier creams contain ingredients called lipids and ceramides. These ingredients provide optimal moisturization and protection in eczema-affected skin because they are naturally-occurring substances found in healthy skin barriers. They have a wax-like makeup and, when applied over skin, they create a thick, strong layer of protection that seals in moisture.

These barrier creams are also designed to lock in moisture more effectively than other types of eczema creams. Because they mimic what normal, healthy skin produces to lock in its own moisture, these creams assist damaged skin by providing a boost of these already-occurring substances on the skin’s surface.

How Do I Incorporate an Eczema Cream Into My Regular Skincare Routine?

First, it is important to prioritize your prescription medication creams or topical ointments from your dermatologist as the first product you apply. These contain the medications needed to treat and prevent future flare-ups, reducing the amount of swollen, dry, and sore spots on the skin. Once you’ve applied your medications, you can add a specialized eczema cream into your routine.

Dermatologists recommend applying a moisturizing Eczema cream within three minutes of finishing a bath or shower. The warm water from your bath or shower causes your pores to open. This causes your topical medications and Eczema cream to settle onto clean, open pores for optimal effectiveness.

Resources — National Eczema Association, Healthline

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