Eczema is a chronic skin condition that typically causes red, itchy, dry patches of skin to form on different parts of the body. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the type of eczema they’re dealing with.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available that can provide relief from the discomfort and distress caused by this condition. The key is to find an eczema cream that works best for your symptoms and skin type, as what works for one person may not work for another.
Choosing the Best Eczema Cream
The first factor to consider when selecting the best eczema cream is its active ingredients. Some of the more common ingredients used in eczema creams are steroids, coal tar, antihistamines, calcineurin inhibitors, saponins, and plant extracts. Talk with your doctor about which ingredient may be best for you and your condition.
Second, look for creams that have added moisturizers or emollients such as shea butter or cocoa butter that will provide deep moisture and nourishment to relieve itching and dryness. The added moisturizers can also help repair damaged skin caused by inflammation.
Finally, look for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free creams that are free from parabens and other preservatives that are known to irritate sensitive skin types. It is also important to select a cream that has been tested by a third-party organization such as the National Eczema Association (NEA). Making sure the product has gone through third-party testing ensures that its claims are reliable.
What causes Eczema?
Many people suffer from eczema, however, its exact causes are unknown. It is believed that having overly sensitive skin might cause the skin to react more quickly when it comes in contact with allergens or irritants. Other possible factors that could contribute to eczema include genetics, environmental factors, a weakened immune system, poor gut health, and stress.
What are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms of eczema include dry and scaly skin, red rashes or bumps on the skin that may ooze fluid and become crusty when scratched, and dark circles around the eyes due to sleeplessness from the intense itching. Eczema often flares in response to certain triggers including climate changes, stress, and irritants like certain fabric materials or detergents.
Treatment for eczema typically focuses on reducing inflammation and relieving itching and discomfort. While there is no cure for this condition, a variety of creams and ointments can help to soothe the symptoms.
Corticosteroid creams work by reducing inflammation in the affected area. They are considered the most effective treatment option for eczema, as they quickly reduce the redness, itchiness, and swelling caused by this condition. Topical corticosteroids come in a variety of forms, from light creams to heavy ointments. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist about which form would be best for you.
Moisturizers play an important role in treating eczema because they help keep moisture locked into the skin and prevent further drying out of itchy patches. It’s important to use a moisturizer daily after washing your skin; look for lotions or creams containing ceramides or other ingredients that are known to aid healing of the skin barrier.
An antihistamine can be helpful in combatting itchiness due to allergic reactions or immune system overreactions called flares that can be common with eczema conditions. Talk with your doctor about taking an oral antihistamine like Benadryl on an as-needed basis when flares happen more often than expected; many times these medications are effective at mitigating symptoms when other forms of treatment fail.
Antibacterial Gels & Ointments
If your skin has open sores due to scratching (which people with severe cases may experience), then you may need an antibiotic ointment prescribed by your healthcare provider topically treat bacterial infections there and prevent them from spreading further on the outer layer of skin. In addition, antibacterial gels can also reduce bacteria levels on the surface of your skin where it’s been infected, another helpful way to manage flare-ups that don’t respond well to traditional treatments like topical corticosteroids or moisturizers alone.
Home Remedies for Eczema
While there is no cure for eczema, various treatments, and remedies can help manage the condition. Home remedies, such as moisturizing regularly, avoiding irritants, using mild soaps and detergents, and avoiding excessive heat or cold on the affected area can all help to reduce symptoms.
More specifically, it is important to choose gentle soap with low pH levels and use lukewarm water instead of hot water when bathing or showering. Keeping the affected skin hydrated with a moisturizer like petroleum jelly is also beneficial. Additionally, ointments like petroleum jelly or creams with aloe vera can provide relief for dry skin and itching. Applying calamine lotion calmed by soaking in a warm bath may help to relieve itching.
Making certain dietary changes can help in reducing eczema flares by preventing inflammation throughout the body. Foods rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables are great options to consider incorporating into your diet.
Some examples include broccoli sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries), oranges, grapefruit, pomegranates, tomatoes, apples, raisins, figs, dates, kiwi fruit, papaya, mangoes, apricots, and plums.
Additionally, nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews Brazil nuts pecans pistachios; seeds such as flaxseeds chia seeds pumpkin seeds sunflower seeds; legumes like lentils beans hummus; grains including oats quinoa wheat germ wild rice brown rice barley, etc. are also helpful.
Omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in salmon mackerel herring sardines anchovies tuna European plaice oysters trout mussels and healthy plant-based sources such plant oils olive oil mustard seed oil hemp seed oil etc. can also be beneficial for reducing eczema flares.
Finding the best eczema cream can be a challenge, especially when there are so many options available. The key is to find an eczema cream that works for your individual needs and helps you manage your eczema symptoms effectively. Do some research on different products and read reviews to help narrow down which product may work best for you. Speak with your doctor or dermatologist if you have any questions or concerns about what type of product may be most suitable for you.