The Best Eczema Cream - Pros and Cons

One of the primary ways to manage the dry, itchy and inflamed skin that eczema causes is to use eczema creams or emollients. Eczema sufferers should establish a regular routine of applying eczema cream every day.

The cream should be applied to the whole body and not just to the afflicted area. The application of cream is very soothing to the dry skin and reduces itching. It also helps to prevent inflammation. The cream acts to hydrate the skin and to protect it.

Which cream should you choose? Each one has its pros and cons. One cream I personally recommend if you want to avoid steroids and the like is Zenmed DermCare System which is free from all irritants and very effective.

Let's take a look at the most commonly used eczema creams.

1. Topical Steroid Creams

Topical steroid creams are the creams most often prescribed by doctors for eczema. Steroid creams come in various strengths and formulas. The milder steroid creams can be purchased over the counter but with a chronic condition like eczema, it's advisable to consult your doctor. It's vital that steroid creams are used in the correct strength and for the correct length of time. This is why a doctor's advice is important. If the cream used is not strong enough or not used for long enough, it will be ineffective or the eczema will recur. On the other hand, if a steroid cream is used for too long, it can cause a thinning of the skin. The skin becomes fragile and more likely to peel and break.

2. Popular moisturizing creams

These creams such as aqueous cream, E45, sudocrem contain paraffin, lanolin and other ingredients to form a layer of oil on the skin's surface. They are recommended to soothe and protect dry, itchy and rough skin. Their function is to prevent the loss of water from the skin's surface and so keep the skin hydrated. They are generally very effecive in providing relief for eczema symptoms. They are also inexpensive and readily available. As a caution, you should be aware that petrochemicals like paraffin can cause sensitivity in some individuals. Lanolin is an animal product and can be contaminated with pesticides. It also causes sensitivity in some people.

3. Shea Butter

If you want to avoid harsh chemicals like paraffin and lanolin, a more natural alternative which you can try is shea butter. It is a highly effective moisturizer. Be sure to get a product made from 100% unrefined shea butter since all the original vitamins are retained. A lot of products only have a small proportion of shea butter and instead have potentially irritating additives. The downside is that it can be a bit smelly. Shea butter contains fatty acids which promote the elasticity of the skin and also help it in retaining moisture. One caution is that if you have a nut allergy, you should avoid shea butter.

4. Creams with herbs and essential oils

There are various plant-based creams with herbal ingredients like calendula, chamomile, aloe vera or various Chinese herbs. They may also contain essential oils. These products coming from natural sources are usually kinder to the skin. As always you should carefully check the ingredients to check for any potentially irritating additives like perfumes and other chemicals.

As you can see, there are many different types of eczema creams to choose from and you need to find the best eczema cream for you. This can be a process of trial and error. You can also consult a dermatologist. Taking time to find the most suitable one for you is well worth the time as a good eczema cream is vital in hydrating and protecting your skin.