Just because you’ve never had an eczema flare up, don’t think it can’t happen to you! My husband and I both never did until one day we both got them seemingly out of the blue (both in this last year, but not at the same time – it isn’t contagious, but most people with eczema have family members with the condition). It’s not OTC everywhere, but if you have an eczema flare up the best way to treat it is with a little bit of hydrocortisone cream. It’s also important to take proper precautions between flare up to prevent them (the flare ups are not cute – mine were itchy, red, and looked a little blistery). Because I travel back and forth to Israel where a lot of products are not available and hydrocortisone is by prescription only, I went to my NYC dermatologist with a load of products and asked him to single out the best ones. I didn’t want to risk him suggesting one or two and then my not being able to find them.
Hands down his favorite was anything from La Roche–Posay. They have a number of targeted, clinically proven products which have received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance:
- Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Moisturizing Cream ( $19.99) –For Extra Dry Skin.
- Lipikar Lotion Daily Repair ($17.99) – For Normal to Dry Skin.
- Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream ($14.99) – For Targeted Eczema Breakouts.
I spoke with a pharmacist in Israel and he also singled out the brand and said their products could even help get rid of flare ups (though not as fast as hydrocortisone).
Avalon Organics Eczema Relief Therapy Collection (available at Whole Foods) is another great option, especially if you’re looking for plant-based ingredients (it’s the only line of clinically-tested eczema treatment products made with pure, plant-based ingredients and certified to an organic standard). The line includes:
- Eczema Relief Gentle Cleanser ($12.99): Non-irritating, soap-free botanical cleanser to help skin retain its moisture.
- Eczema Relief Body Cream ($11.99): To soothe symptoms of eczema and strengthen skin’s natural barrier function to prevent future flairs.
- Eczema Relief Intensive Cream ($8.99): To spot treat and prevent intense eczema symptoms.
- one love organics
Another great option is One Love Organics Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm ($49 at Free People, which is a surprisingly great destination for curated beauty!). This is fragrance-free which is so important if you’re trying to avoid irritating skin, organic, and super concentrated. Most concentrated balms leave skin feeling sticky for seemingly forever (a concern for me because I’m always worried about them rubbing off on my bags when I’m walking!), but this one isn’t bad. I use it as a targeted treatment for the inside of my elbows.
You don’t need to be a mother to love Mustela’s products though if you are they are great for treating just about any minor baby skincare concern including eczema with Stelatopia Emollient Balm ($26) and Stelatopia Emollient Cream ($26).
Dove DermaSeries was specifically created for those with eczema, psoriasis, dry, or sensitive skin and is both fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. They make for great drugstore buys and include body lotion, body wash, hand lotion and more.