Best Eczema Cream

How to find the right treatments for your eczema

Last reviewed: 10 Mar 2019

Woman using the best eczema cream for her
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Eczema is a very common skin condition, which makes the skin become red, sore, itchy, inflamed, and cracked. There’s no cure for eczema but there are treatments which can help manage your symptoms. These can either be over-the-counter or prescription.

At Zava, we offer Eumovate and Hydrocortisone medicated creams, and Aveeno and Cetraben moisturising creams.

What’s the best medicated cream for eczema?

Prescription-only medicated creams can be very effective at relieving eczema symptoms. The best medicated cream for you will depend on where your symptoms are and how severe they are. The most commonly used type of creams for treating eczema are steroid creams. These come in different strengths: mild, moderate, potent and very potent.

Where thinking about which cream to order, you should consider which cream fits your symptoms:

  • Mild or moderate corticosteroids – these are best for eczema in areas where the skin is sensitive and thin, like the face, back of the knees, insides of the elbows, groin area and armpits
  • Potent or very potent corticosteroids – these are used for severe eczema on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, or on very thick skin, but not on large rashes

A doctor could suggest a switch between different strength creams. This might be because starting with a potent corticosteroid can quickly control an eczema flare-up for a few days before switching to a weaker one. On the other hand, you might want to start with a mild corticosteroid and only change to a stronger one if this one doesn’t work well enough.

At Zava we offer Eumovate Eczema and Dermatitis Cream or Ointment:

  • This is a moderate steroid that you can use for a short while and to control patches of eczema
  • It’s stronger than over the counter steroid creams
  • It contains the active ingredient clobetasone butyrate 0.05%, which has anti-inflammatory properties

What’s the best moisturising cream for eczema?

Keeping your skin moisturised is one of the most important things you can do to help control your eczema. Moisturisers protect the outermost layer of skin, which is important as people with eczema have a damaged skin barrier. This makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, and bacteria. A damaged skin barrier also makes it harder for the skin to keep its water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause eczema to flare up or get worse.

Generally, the best moisturising cream for you will depend on your specific case, but you can check the National Eczema Society’s emollients factsheet for more information. At Zava, we offer Aveeno and Cetraben.

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream:

  • The number 1 dermatologist recommended eczema moisturizer brand (over-the counter)
  • Allergy tested
  • Contains Colloidal Oatmeal and ceramide (an essential type of fat naturally found within skin)

Cetraben cream:

  • Contains a balance of compounds to replace lost skin oils, form a protective barrier on the skin surface, and bring moisture up from deep down in the skin
  • Suitable for all ages
  • From the first medicated skincare brand to have its research approved by the British Skin Foundation

There are also other creams available.

Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Crème:

  • Contains Colloidal Oatmeal (a skin protectant)
  • Clinically proven to relieve minor irritation and dryness
  • Can be used on infants as young as 3 months

Cetaphil:

  • Uses specific technology to help with symptoms common with eczema-prone skin
  • Clinically proven to be suitable for use on the whole body
  • Can be used on infants as young as 3 months

What’s the best over-the-counter eczema cream?

Over-the-counter treatments are ones that you don’t need a prescription to buy, and are available in pharmacies and other shops.

Moisturising creams for eczema are available over-the-counter, so you can easily try different creams to find out which one suits you best. The best cream for you will depend on your skin type, how bad your eczema is, and a lot on your personal preference.

Hydrocortisone cream is a mild steroid cream that can be used for treating eczema symptoms. This is available without a prescription from pharmacies, although the pharmacist may ask you some questions when you ask for the medication. Hydrocortisone can be used for mild to moderate eczema symptoms, but if your symptoms are more severe, or if they don’t get better after 7 days of using hydrocortisone, you should see your doctor and they may suggest a stronger cream.

Are there different creams for your face or hands?

Some areas of skin are more sensitive than others, so you should always talk to your doctor about what their recommendation is. For example:

  • mild or moderate corticosteroids – these are best for eczema in areas where the skin is sensitive and thin, like the face, back of the knees, insides of the elbows, groin area and armpits
  • potent or very potent corticosteroids – these are used for severe eczema on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, or on very thick skin, but not on large rashes

What’s the best eczema cream to use on babies?

If you think your baby might have eczema than talk to your doctor before trying any treatments or making any changes, like cutting out important foods (dairy products, wheat or eggs).

If you do use any moisturising creams, make sure that you keep a notebook to write down how your baby’s symptoms change with the moisturiser you’re applying. Keeping an eye on the progress of their eczema can help when it comes to talking to your doctor about any changes that might be needed in treatment. It might also help to make note of anything that you suspect could irritate their skin, like soap powder, animal hair, and cigarette smoke.

Are creams or ointments better?

Creams or ointments don’t usually have different medical effects because it doesn’t affect the actual active ingredient in the medication. Which one you choose can be based on personal preference or what kind of skin you want to use it on.

Creams can be better for skin that is moist or leaking any clear or yellow fluids. Ointments are generally thicker and greasier, so they’re better for areas of skin that are dry or flaky.

Are there natural creams for eczema?

There’s some limited data to show that some natural creams and oils could be useful for eczema. Some of these are:

  • Calendula cream – this has been known to heal skin inflammation, burns, and cuts, and help hydrate skin
  • Sunflower seed oil – contain ceramides, which are natural skin-related fats that moisturise skin. The natural oil also serves as an anti-inflammatory, which could be good in eczema.
  • Jojoba oil – this can seal in moisture and could help soothe irritated skin
  • Coconut oil – this has soothing qualities

You can try these options out but you might not see any real benefits. Make sure you consider medicated creams and moisturisers if your symptoms are bothering you.

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Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with Zava. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 10 Mar 2019

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