What is the best moisturizer to use for eczema?

Choose a fragrance-free hypo-allergeneic moisturizing cream or ointment.
Choose a fragrance-free hypo-allergeneic moisturizing cream or ointment.

Take a look at your local supermarket/pharmacy’s skin care section and you can easily get overwhelmed by the different moisturizer options.  There are many different brands, and formulations.  Creams, lotions, and ointments, oh my!

So what are some guidelines to follow when choosing a moisturizer for eczema?

Your moisturizer should be hypoallergenic.  The last thing you want is for your moisturizer to give you an allergic reaction on your skin.

  • Your moisturizer should be fragrance-free.  Fragrances are a leading cause of skin contact allergies.
  • Look for creams or ointments.  Your moisturizer should not be thin and watery.  It should be thick. Why? because then it can seal and lock in your skin’s moisture.  If your moisturizer is thin and watery, the water will evaporate off, leaving little protectant on your skin. Ointments are great, but some people don’t like the oily feel.

Here are some of my favorite moisturizers (and no! I have no conflicts of interest and am not paid by these companies!):

  • Vanicream moisturizing cream – This one is hypoallergenic and fragrance free and comes in a big tub.
  • Cerave moisturizing cream – This cream includes ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid which help protect the skin and seal in moisture.
  • Aveeno eczema therapy – The moisturizing cream contains colloidal oatmeal.  It is not as thick as the above creams, but many patients have found this to be a very pleasant cream
  • Vaniply ointment – I like how this one comes in a travel size which I can stick in my purse to moisturize my hands or lips on the go.
  • Aveeno healing ointment or Aquaphor healing ointment – I’ve also found this very handy for the hands or lips on the go.
  • Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream – This is slightly less greasy than other ointment but thicker than a cream.  It also comes in a size that is easy to throw in my purse or keep at the desk.  I frequently use this after washing my hands or when I don’t have a separate chap stick around.
  • Plain old Vaseline petroleum jelly – Inexpensive and a great sealant!  The skin will feel a little greasy afterwards, but it’s supposed to!

What are some of your favorite moisturizers? 

Want to learn about the proper way to apply moisturizer?  The answer is HERE.

Moisturize moisturize moisturize!

Choose a fragrance-free hypo-allergeneic moisturizing cream or ointment.
Choose a fragrance-free hypo-allergeneic moisturizing cream or ointment.

It’s amazing what havoc a simple change of the weather can wreak. As our days and nights in the Northeast have gotten drier and cooler, I’ve noticed that my skin is needing more moisturizer to stay supple and comfortable. More of my patients are also coming back with flares of their eczema. Accompanying the eczema is dry skin.

So what is one key step to battling eczema and dry skin? Moisturizing! By moisturizing, we put the hydration back into the skin. Some of us have a genetic predisposition to getting dry skin. Others of us have occupations which may lead to frequent washing and dry skin. And for all of us, the inevitability of time and age also leads to a decreased ability to keep our skin supple.

So what is the proper way to moisturize? And how do you choose a moisturizer?

Well, if you are coming out of a bath or if you just washed your hands, then you want to pat dry instead of rubbing dry. Immediately put on a fragrance-free hypo-allergenic moisturizing cream or ointment. Creams tend to be thick and white while ointments tend to be greasier like Vaseline ointment. Lotions tend to be watery and less effective of a “sealant.” Slather on your moisturizing cream liberally.

Throughout the day, you can re-apply your moisturizer as needed.

For those hard to reach areas, you may need someone to help you apply your moisturizer or get a moisturizer applicator.

What is your favorite moisturizer?

What’s the right way to use moisturizer?

Image from wikipedia user Serenity.

For those of us who suffer from dry skin, there’s always that feeling of playing catch-up. How can you stay ahead of hand washing, chores that abuse the skin, dry air, and instead prevent that fragile, dry, cracked skin?

Proper use of moisturizers is a key component of successful dry skin care.

Find a moisturizer that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. A thicker moisturizing cream will be more effective than a watery lotion at sealing in moisture.

Moisturize immediately after washing your hands or chores involving water. Otherwise, the evaporation of that water on your skin can lad to more dryness.

If you’re at home or sleeping, you can wear a glove over your moisturized hands as well.