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Different ointments, creams, and lotions can help people manage the symptoms and appearance of eczema.

Dermatologists recommend that people with eczema moisturize their skin regularly. Keeping the skin’s moisture barrier intact is important for controlling eczema.

Compared with ointments and creams, lotions contain the lowest amount of oil. They evaporate quickly on the skin, contain preservatives, and may be scented, which can irritate the skin.

This article discusses lotions for eczema in more detail and what people may want to consider when choosing a lotion for eczema-prone skin. It also contains information on when to see a doctor and some frequently asked questions about lotions for eczema.

A quick look at the 8 best lotions for eczema:

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products that clearly list all ingredients.
  • Skin concerns: Where appropriate, MNT selects products that target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, oiliness, or aging.
  • Safety: MNT chooses products that contain ingredients safe for topical use.
  • Reputable: MNT selects products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best budget: Curél Itch Defense Lotion

one of the a woman applying one of the Best lotion for eczema
  • Price: $9.77
  • Product size: 20 oz.
  • Fragrance-free: Yes
  • Cruelty-free: No

People wash their hands frequently, which may exacerbate eczema symptoms. Using eczema lotions that the manufacturers have designed specifically for the hands can help.

According to the manufacturer’s website, this lotion relieves dry and itchy skin quickly. Hydrating the skin may also help control eczema flare-ups. Parents and caregivers can use this lotion on an infant’s skin from 6 months of age.

The National Eczema Association (NEA) awarded Curél Itch Defense Lotion their Seal of Acceptance, so people with eczema-prone skin can feel confident using this product. If necessary, people can apply Curél Itch Defense Lotion to the face.

Active ingredients include ceramides.

Best for hands: Urban Hydration Dry & Eczema Prone Moisture-Locking Body Lotion

one of the a woman applying one of the Best lotion for eczema
  • Price: $15
  • Product size: 6 fl. oz.
  • Fragrance-free: No
  • Cruelty-free: Yes

This lotion contains castor oil, shea butter, argon oil, and vitamins A & E.

People with eczema can use this lotion all over the body, not just on the hands. Therefore, applying the lotion after a shower may be beneficial.

This lotion uses plant-based ingredients and is paraben and sulfate free.

Best with hyaluronic acid: Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion

one of the a woman applying one of the Best lotion for eczema
  • Price: $14.97
  • Product size: 3 oz.
  • Fragrance-free: yes
  • Cruelty-free: No

People should also moisturize their face if they have dry skin and eczema.

Anyone with facial eczema should opt for lower potency corticosteroid products and seek guidance from their doctor because the facial skin is thinner and more sensitive than the skin in other areas of the body.

This lotion is suitable for treating dry skin on the face. It is an oil-free moisturizing lotion that helps hydrate the skin.

Cetaphil’s lotion contains hyaluronic acid, a moisturizing agent that also occurs naturally in the skin.

Dermatologists may recommend using this lotion because it is hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic, which means it does not clog pores or cause acne.

Some users complain of receiving counterfeit products.

Best for body and face: Cetaphil Body and Face Moisturizing Lotion

one of the a woman applying one of the Best lotion for eczema
  • Price: $20.11
  • Product size: 16 fl. oz.
  • Fragrance-free: Yes
  • Cruelty-free: No

People can use this lotion on both the face and the body.

According to the manufacturers’ website, this lotion can deliver long lasting hydration for 24 hours.

As with Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion, this moisturizing lotion is noncomedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance- and paraben-free. It is safe for daily use on the face.

Some users have complained of broken or short pumps, sticky feeling after use, and lingering scents.

Best for after a shower: Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion

one of the a woman applying one of the Best lotion for eczema
  • Price: $6.30
  • Product size: 10 fl. oz.
  • Fragrance-free: Yes
  • Cruelty-free: No

Dermatologists recommend using a thick layer of moisturizer all over the skin after a shower. Doing this helps lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.

Lotions typically evaporate quickly and are not the best moisturizers to use after showering. However, some lotions may still be effective moisturizers.

This lotion received the NEA Seal of Acceptance. It is suitable for people with eczema and may help heal and soothe dry skin. According to the manufacturer, the lotion helps moisturize and heal dry skin within 5 days of regular use.

The manufacturer recommends using the lotion daily. Applying the lotion after a shower may help further lock in moisture.

Some users report problems with the pump and a greasy feeling.

Dermatologists often prescribe ointments as a first-line eczema treatment. Ointments seal in moisture and have a higher oil content than creams and lotions. However, some people dislike the feeling of an ointment. An ointment may also stain clothing.

Another alternative to an ointment is a cream. Creams have a lower oil content than ointments but still contain more oil than lotions. They help trap moisture in the skin but are less greasy than ointments.

Best cream for sensitive faces: Weleda Sensitive Care Face Cream

  • Price: $25
  • Product size: 1 fl. oz.
  • Fragrance-free: No
  • Cruelty-free: Yes

Made from 97% organic materials, this product uses gentle ingredients to soothe the itching due to dry, sensitive facial skin. It may help soothe, smooth, and soften red, irritated facial skin.

According to the manufacturer, this product does not contain synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colorants, or other ingredients made from mineral oil. It is certified by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association.

The manufacturer states that dermatologists have tested this product and found it safe for use on hypersensitive skin.

However, people with food sensitivities may react to some ingredients. It is also higher in cost than other options.

Best for full body: DERMAdoctor Calm Cool + Corrected Clinical Repair Balm

  • Price: $35
  • Product size: 6 oz.
  • Fragrance-free: No
  • Cruelty-free: Yes

This high potency cream is designed to provide head-to-toe relief for people of all ages. It may help people with skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis by healing irritated skin and locking in skin moisture.

Its active ingredients include 1% colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and fatty acids from evening primrose, borage, and black currant seed oils.

This noncomedogenic product does not contain synthetic fragrance, synthetic dye, gluten, or oil.

Best organic: Earth Mama Eczema Cream

  • Price: $16.99
  • Product size: 3 oz.
  • Fragrance-free: Yes
  • Cruelty-free: Yes

This therapeutic cream targets itching and skin irritation due to eczema, rashes, and environmental exposure. One of its key active ingredients is organic colloidal oatmeal. Other active ingredients include organic herbs and oils.

The manufacturer’s website states that the product is gentle enough for a pregnant person to use. It does not contain steroids, fragrances, petrolatum, or artificial preservatives.

Some users found it ineffective and did not like the texture.

The table below compares the products in this article on key features:

PriceSizeFragrance-freeCruelty-freeForm
Curél Itch Defense Lotion$9.7720 oz.YesNoLotion
Urban Hydration Dry & Eczema Prone Moisture-Locking Body Lotion$156 fl. oz.NoYesLotion
Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion$14.973 oz.YesNoLotion
Cetaphil Body and Face Moisturizing Lotion$20.1116 fl. oz.YesNoLotion
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion$6.3010 fl. oz.YesNoLotion
Weleda Sensitive Care Face Cream$251 fl. oz.NoNoCream
Calm Cool + Corrected Clinical Repair Balm$356 oz.NoYesBalm
Earth Mama Eczema Cream$16.993 oz.YesYesCream

To choose the best lotion for itching and dryness due to eczema, consider:

  • Area(s) of concern. The hands, face, and body have different characteristics and moisturizing needs. People may want to select a facial lotion if they plan to specifically use the product on their face.
  • Allergies. A person with allergies should review product labels to ensure they do not contain potential allergens.
  • Oil content. Products with high oil content can be very effective at treating eczema, but some people do not like how they feel on the skin.
  • Certifications. Noting whether products are certified or recognized by national or international programs, such as the NEA Seal of Acceptance, may be helpful when shopping.

When using a new lotion for eczema, a person should first try a small, pea-sized amount on their wrist, leave it on for 1 to 2 days, and watch to see if any allergic reactions develop.

Products that relieve the itch of eczema typically contain corticosteroids. The classification of a corticosteroid will depend on its potency, which can vary significantly among the different types.

Hydrocortisone

Hydrocortisone is a low potency medication that people can use to relieve itchiness from eczema. It is available as a 0.25%, 0.5%, or 1% lotion. Sometimes these lotions are available over the counter (OTC).

Hydrocortisone lotion is suitable for different types of skin rashes. Doctors may recommend hydrocortisone lotion to adults and children 2 years of age and older. People can use hydrocortisone lotion two to four times daily, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

For children under 2 years old, parents or caregivers should apply the lotion under the advice and supervision of a doctor.

A range of hydrocortisone products is available for purchase online.

Betamethasone

Betamethasone valerate 0.1% lotion is a medium potency lotion that can also help relieve itching. Doctors may choose a higher potency corticosteroid for more severe cases of eczema or rashes that do not respond to lower potency corticosteroids.

Dermatologists also recommend moisturizing the skin regularly to relieve the itchiness that results from dry skin and eczema.

Dermatologists typically do not recommend lotions for severe eczema because of their high water content.

However, some medium-to-high potency corticosteroid lotions can help relieve severe eczema.

Amcinonide 0.1% lotion is a high-potency corticosteroid that may help relieve inflammation and itching. Doctors usually recommend applying a thin layer of amcinonide lotion to the affected area two or three times daily, depending on symptom severity.

Betamethasone valerate 0.1% lotion is a medium-potency corticosteroid that people with eczema can use to relieve itchiness and inflammation. Doctors recommend applying a few drops of the lotion to the affected area and massaging the skin gently until it has absorbed the lotion.

People can get the best results by using betamethasone valerate lotion twice daily. They may be able to apply the cream more frequently to areas with persistent symptoms but only on a doctor’s advice.

In general, it is a good idea to see a doctor about eczema when outbreaks cause a person significant physical or emotional discomfort.

Although doctors often prescribe corticosteroids for eczema, other medications can help people with severe eczema that does not respond to corticosteroids. These drugs include:

Although there is no cure for eczema, working with a health professional can help people manage their symptoms more effectively and control and reduce the severity of their flares.

It is also important for a person to make sure their skin condition is, in fact, eczema and not something else that may require different treatment.

The following are common questions and answers about lotions for eczema.

What lotions make eczema worse?

Some lotions or creams may contain preservatives that make itching and inflammation worse.

Additionally, note that products with “unscented” labels are not necessarily fragrance-free. Some contain masked fragrances that can still irritate the skin.

What is the best lotion for a baby with eczema?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), the best lotion for a baby with eczema:

  • does not contain fragrances, dyes, or preservatives
  • is a cream or ointment instead of a lotion
  • is affordable

What is the root cause of eczema?

Experts have not identified a singular root cause of eczema.

According to the AAD, one or more of the following factors may be involved:

  • a family of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, or allergies
  • sensitivity of the immune system
  • geographical location
  • exposure to irritants, from tobacco smoke to fragrances to pollution

Typically, doctors do not recommend lotions over creams or ointments to treat eczema. Lotions evaporate quickly and may irritate the skin. However, some lotions may be effective in treating eczema.

Some lotions can help trap moisture to hydrate the skin. Before using a lotion for eczema, it is a good idea to speak with a doctor or dermatologist to explore the best options.