The Best Eczema Creams
Growing up, there weren't a lot of eczema creams available, if any. Nowadays, there are creams made exclusively for eczema sufferers.
On one hand, I'm happy to see more specialized development in the cosmetics for this condition. On the other hand, it's a sad indication that the number of people with eczema is increasing.
At any rate, there is no shortage of over-the-counter eczema creams. So many choices are bound to induce analysis paralysis. And since every cream works differently for everyone, the only way to decide on THE cream is to try as many as possible - then stick with what works.
Here are my top three recommendations, based on my own experience:
1. TriDerma Eczema Fast Healing Cream
(approximately $12 USD for 2.2 oz)
TriDerma is so far the only cream that I felt truly "healed" my skin, whereas other eczema creams stopped at moisturizing the surface of my skin. TriDerma is steroid-free, FDA-approved, and has a host of natural ingredients such as beeswax, aloe, and multiple vitamins.
Consistency-wise, it's thick enough that it stays on the skin for many hours, but not so thick that it sticks to the clothes. It also feels comfortable using on the face.
2. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
(approximately $18 USD for 16 oz)
Size and cost-wise, this is the winner. Like the name suggests, the key ingredients in CeraVe are the ceramides, which, according to the product's description, are "naturally occurring components of skin that play a key role in enhancing and restoring the skin's protective function."
In that regard, CeraVe is actually quite similar to now-discontinued TriCeram, which also used ceramide to strengthen the natural skin barrier. I used TriCeram when it was still being manufactured, but the cost was too prohibitive at $29.99 per tube. That makes CeraVe much more affordable and attractive.
There are a couple things I don't like about CeraVe. First, although it's advertised as a cream, it actually has less thickness than what you would see in other creams. It's a strange mixture between a cream and a lotion (there actually is a CeraVe lotion as well).
Another thing is that it tends to sting when applied to raw skin, although its cooling effect is pretty nice. It also tends to "gum up" when applied more than one layer.
3. Eucerin Calming Creme
(approximately $15 USD for 14 oz)
For some reason, I haven't been able to tolerate any eczema creams containing oatmeal, which meant Aveeno was out. It worked great for about 2 years, then my skin started getting unbelievably itchy whenever I put it on. The irony of an anti-itch cream causing me to itch more!
Eucerin is what I turned to afterwards. Although it's similar to Aveeno in nature, it doesn't cause as much irritation.
My top preference is TriDerma now, but I have the tendency to "conserve" TriDerma since it's relatively small for the price I pay. Eucerin is the back-up cream because it can be applied on large areas.
Eucerin is also not as greasy as its ointment counterpart, which is also a plus.
Lotions vs. Creams vs. Ointments
As far as I'm concerned, there is no discernible difference between the three types of emollients except the thickness/consistency. Lotions tend to be the most runny and thinnest, while ointments are the thickest. Creams are somewhere in between.
Of all three, I prefer creams because they are easier to apply than ointments but don't evaporate as quickly as lotions. They require more frequent application than ointments, but I like the fact that they don't stick to my clothes.
I have also heard good things about Repcillin and Sarna Anti-Itch Cream. I've written an extensive review of Heimlich Clear Cream as well, although that one did not have a happy ending.
Even though finding the right cream for eczema can be a bit of a hit-and-miss, I always get excited when there are new eczema creams to try. Once in a while, a truly helpful product like TriDerma comes out and makes my life a bit easier.
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