In this guest post by Jamie from My Itchy Child, discover the best moisturizing products for eczema and learn which qualities make an eczema moisturizer effective at hydrating dry, itchy skin.
With so many products out on the market, finding an eczema moisturizer for children can be a daunting task. I have 3 children with eczema and it took a lot of trial and error to find the best moisturizing products for their skin. Over time, I did find moisturizers that work well and I want to discuss with you what to look for in a good moisturizer.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a very common skin condition that causes the skin to be itchy, dry, and red. While it can develop as early as 3 months of age, some people don’t develop the condition until later in life. Many factors cause eczema including genetics and the environment.
Why is it Important to Hydrate the Skin?
One theory regarding why eczema happens is due to a defective skin barrier. That’s why using an eczema moisturizer is important to replenish the skin’s hydration. A good moisturizer will help heal the skin, reduce itching, and prevent eczema from worsening.
What Are Moisturizers?
Moisturizers are skincare products used to hydrate the skin and minimize water loss. They come as ointments, creams, or lotions. The skin barrier defect in eczema is at risk of absorbing allergens and infectious diseases which can lead to inflammation and infection. A good moisturizer will prevent this from happening. For more information about moisturizers, click here.
Ointments are the best type of moisturizer for those with eczema as they have an oily consistency which helps lock in water and keep the skin hydrated. YoRo Naturals’ Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a good product to consider trying as it contains Manuka honey which has many benefits.
While cream products contain more water content than ointments, they are also good moisturizers for eczema. I would look for creams that contain ceramides. Lastly, I do not recommend lotions as they don’t seem to really help eczema.
For children with eczema, it is highly recommended to use moisturizers with high oil content like ointments and creams. These are most effective in maintaining moisture and keeping irritants out.
Tips on Choosing an Eczema Moisturizer
Currently, there is no standardized classification for choosing the best moisturizer for eczema. Rather, choosing moisturizers usually depends on trial and error and avoiding common irritants (such as alcohol, fragrances, and preservatives). Some clinicians have recommended using creams for mild to eczema moderate cases and ointments for severe cases.
How to Choose a Product Safely
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that moisturizing products for eczema should be “fragrance-free” (as opposed to “unscented” which can still have fragrances you can’t smell), perfume-free, dye-free, and should be cream or ointment (instead of lotion).
Also, look for products that have the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™, which vet products and give 5-star ratings only to products that do not use ingredients that will irritate eczema.
In addition, if you are using a new product, you should first do a “patch test”. First, apply a small amount to your child’s wrist and observe for any reaction within the next 24-48 hours. If there is none, it is generally safe to continue using the product on other parts of the body.
How to Keep Eczema Moisturized
Moisturizers are very important to treat eczema and prevent the skin from becoming scarred and thickened. Personally, I will apply a moisturizer on my child every 4 hours or even more often if they are having a bad day. From my experience, I have found giving my child a bath with warm water for five to ten minutes will hydrate the skin. I then apply a moisturizer immediately within 3 minutes. This helps lock in the hydration. It’s very important to moisturize within 3 minutes, otherwise, the skin will become dry and you’re back to square one with dry, irritated eczema skin.
If you’re looking for a product recommendation, YoRo Naturals’ Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a good product to consider trying. The texture of the cream is very smooth and easy to apply. It is not greasy and has more of a balm texture. Also, a benefit to the YoRo Naturals Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is that it contains manuka oil which has antibacterial properties. It is also fragrance-free and preservative-free. Click here to read about how honey can help eczema
I hope this article gives you a better idea of how to find a moisturizer for your child. In summary, it’s better to use an ointment or cream moisturizer like the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream mentioned above. Always remember to do a “patch test” before applying a new product. Last but not least, talk to your pediatrician before starting any new product for your child’s eczema.
Jamie Kim is the founder of MyItchyChild, a blog about childhood eczema. She is a mother to 3 children with eczema. She is also a certified Dermatology Physician Assistant in Southern California. Through her professional and personal experience, she helps other parents who have children suffering from eczema. She focuses on treating patients holistically from the inside and out.