These Are The Best Creams For Soothing Eczema, According To Dermatologists

aimee simeon
·4-min read

As if it isn't enough for eczema to be itchy, irritating, and sometimes even painful, the common condition — also known as atopic dermatitis — is sneaky and unpredictable, too. Flareups can appear on different parts of your body, in the form of dry, dark, or red patches, and the symptoms are far from one-size-fits-all.

"Eczema happens when your skin's barrier is compromised," says dermatologist Caroline Robinson, MD. "There's more hydration leaving the skin than coming in, causing it to be dry, cracked, and inflamed."

Common triggers include things like allergens, dust, fragrance, and even the climate, but an exact cause — and therefore proven cure — for eczema is still unknown.
We do know that there are still ways to seek sweet relief from those painful patches. Prescription-strength treatments like hydrocortisone are available through a dermatologist, but plenty of over-the-counter treatments can also help soothe symptoms on the spot.

If you've been struggling with irritating flare-ups but aren't sure where to start with a regimen, we asked top dermatologists for their go-to picks, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h3>Aquaphor Healing Ointment</h3><br>New York City-based dermatologist <a href="https://www.instagram.com/dr.delemichael/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Adebola Dele-Michael," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Adebola Dele-Michael,</a> MD, FAAD, tells Refinery29 that Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a holy-grail option for skin that's extremely parched. "I like this because it's formulated to thoroughly hydrate dry skin while preventing further dehydration from happening," she says. It's on the thicker side, so depending on the severity of your eczema you might find a thin coat beneficial or may need to be more liberal with your application.<br><br><strong>Aquaphor</strong> Unscented Aquaphor Healing Ointment Tube , $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Funscented-aquaphor-healing-ointment-tube-1-75oz%2F-%2FA-13287607%3Fref%3Dtgt_adv_XS000000%26AFID%3Dgoogle_pla_df%26fndsrc%3Dtgtao%26CPNG%3DPLA_Beauty%252BPersonal%2BCare%252BShopping_Local%26adgroup%3DSC_Health%252BBeauty%26LID%3D700000001170770pgs%26network%3Dg%26device%3Dc%26location%3D9004082%26ds_rl%3D1246978%26ds_rl%3D1247077%26ds_rl%3D1246978%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMIn7659rmR4wIVCUsNCh3rkgB1EAYYAiABEgJA8vD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Aquaphor Healing Ointment


New York City-based dermatologist Adebola Dele-Michael, MD, FAAD, tells Refinery29 that Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a holy-grail option for skin that's extremely parched. "I like this because it's formulated to thoroughly hydrate dry skin while preventing further dehydration from happening," she says. It's on the thicker side, so depending on the severity of your eczema you might find a thin coat beneficial or may need to be more liberal with your application.

Aquaphor Unscented Aquaphor Healing Ointment Tube , $, available at Target
<h3>Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream</h3><br>When picking out an effective cream for eczema, look for the word "ceramide" in the active ingredient list. "Ceramides are like the grout between your skin cell tiles," says dermatologist <a href="https://www.instagram.com/joshzeichnermd/?hl=en" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Joshua Zeichner" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Joshua Zeichner</a>, MD. "This cream is packed with ceramides, which prevents the outer skin layer from losing hydration. It also has a combination of Chinese botanical herbs, like rhubarb and great burnet, that have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe eczema and inflammation in the skin."<br><br><strong>Kamedis</strong> Eczema Therapy Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fkamedis-usa.com%2Fproducts%2Feczema-therapy-cream%3Fvariant%3D6138295058470%26currency%3DUSD%26utm_campaign%3Dgs-2018-07-31%26utm_source%3Dgoogle%26utm_medium%3Dsmart_campaign%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMI94DtiI6o5AIV0eDICh1VQAPiEAQYASABEgLT4_D_BwE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kademis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kademis</a>

Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream


When picking out an effective cream for eczema, look for the word "ceramide" in the active ingredient list. "Ceramides are like the grout between your skin cell tiles," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. "This cream is packed with ceramides, which prevents the outer skin layer from losing hydration. It also has a combination of Chinese botanical herbs, like rhubarb and great burnet, that have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe eczema and inflammation in the skin."

Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream, $, available at Kademis
<h3>CeraVe Moisturizing Cream</h3><br>For an option that won't stick to your silk slip dress, Dr. Dele-Michael recommends this CeraVe tub. "This has hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which help restore moisture to your skin's barrier," she says.<br><br><strong>CeraVe</strong> CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fcerave-moisturizing-cream-for-normal-to-dry-skin-fragrance-free-12oz%2F-%2FA-15078541%3Fref%3Dtgt_adv_XS000000%26AFID%3Dgoogle_pla_df%26fndsrc%3Dtgtao%26CPNG%3DPLA_Beauty%252BPersonal%2BCare%252BShopping_Local%26adgroup%3DSC_Health%252BBeauty%26LID%3D700000001170770pgs%26network%3Dg%26device%3Dc%26location%3D9004352%26ds_rl%3D1246978%26ds_rl%3D1247077%26ds_rl%3D1246978%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMItt2W66yo5AIVheDICh0EVg5jEAYYASABEgKtrPD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream


For an option that won't stick to your silk slip dress, Dr. Dele-Michael recommends this CeraVe tub. "This has hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which help restore moisture to your skin's barrier," she says.

CeraVe CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin, $, available at Target
<h3><strong>Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm</strong></h3><br>Dermatologist <a href="https://www.instagram.com/drdendy/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dendy Engelman" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dendy Engelman</a>, MD, says that this balm is essential for <em>all </em>dry skin types — including people with eczema. "This soothes and restores dry skin barriers with Cer-Omega, which is an ingredient derived from evening primrose, omega-6, and ceramides," she says. The formula gets bonus points for being free of artificial fragrance and gluten, which is ideal if your skin is super sensitive.<br><br><strong>aveneusa</strong> XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aveneusa.com%2Fxeracalm-lipid-replenishing-balm" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:aveneusa" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">aveneusa</a>

Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm


Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, says that this balm is essential for all dry skin types — including people with eczema. "This soothes and restores dry skin barriers with Cer-Omega, which is an ingredient derived from evening primrose, omega-6, and ceramides," she says. The formula gets bonus points for being free of artificial fragrance and gluten, which is ideal if your skin is super sensitive.

aveneusa XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm, $, available at aveneusa
<h3>Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm</h3><br>Dermatologist Shari Sperling, MD, of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/sperlingdermatology/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sperling Dermatology" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sperling Dermatology</a>, recommends this balm to her patients with irritated skin. "It's formulated with colloidal oatmeal in addition to ceramides, which helps restore the skin's moisture barrier while calming existing irritation," she says.<br><br><strong>Aveeno</strong> Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm , $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HOHBWOY?ie=UTF8&tag=etaleusaveeno-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B01HOHBWOY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm


Dermatologist Shari Sperling, MD, of Sperling Dermatology, recommends this balm to her patients with irritated skin. "It's formulated with colloidal oatmeal in addition to ceramides, which helps restore the skin's moisture barrier while calming existing irritation," she says.

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm , $, available at Amazon
<h3>Vaseline Clinical Care Body Cream Eczema Calming</h3><br>In addition to avoiding harsh soaps and fragrances, Dr. Robinson advises using this Vaseline cream at least twice daily. "It has Vaseline jelly which helps lock in moisture, hydrating lipids, and glycerin, which helps absorb moisture back into super dry skin," she explains. It's also fragrance-free and dissolves nicely into dry skin without making it feel sticky or greasy.<br><br><strong>Vaseline</strong> Vaseline Clinical Care Body Cream Eczema Calming, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fip%2FVaseline-Clinical-Care-Body-Cream-Eczema-Calming-6-8-oz%2F663590381%3Fwmlspartner%3Dwlpa%26selectedSellerId%3D0%26wl13%3D3795%26adid%3D22222222227250508101%26wl0%3D%26wl1%3Dg%26wl2%3Dc%26wl3%3D294592804988%26wl4%3Dpla-519279452305%26wl5%3D9004352%26wl6%3D%26wl7%3D%26wl8%3D%26wl9%3Dpla%26wl10%3D8175035%26wl11%3Dlocal%26wl12%3D663590381%26veh%3Dsem%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMI-ZCh-bCo5AIVmJOzCh3C6gaHEAQYBCABEgLtTfD_BwE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Walmart" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Walmart</a>

Vaseline Clinical Care Body Cream Eczema Calming


In addition to avoiding harsh soaps and fragrances, Dr. Robinson advises using this Vaseline cream at least twice daily. "It has Vaseline jelly which helps lock in moisture, hydrating lipids, and glycerin, which helps absorb moisture back into super dry skin," she explains. It's also fragrance-free and dissolves nicely into dry skin without making it feel sticky or greasy.

Vaseline Vaseline Clinical Care Body Cream Eczema Calming, $, available at Walmart
<h2>Cetaphil Pro Eczema Soothing Hand And Body Lotion</h2><br>Dermatologist Tiffany J. Libby, MD, recommends this Cetaphil classic to her patients with eczema. "This is formulated using a patented ceramide to help rebuild and replenish the skin barrier," Dr. Libby explains. "It's extremely lightweight and absorbs easily into the skin without leaving behind a greasy feel."<br><br><strong>Cetaphil</strong> Cetaphil Pro Eczema Soothing Hand And Body Lotion, $, available at

Cetaphil Pro Eczema Soothing Hand And Body Lotion


Dermatologist Tiffany J. Libby, MD, recommends this Cetaphil classic to her patients with eczema. "This is formulated using a patented ceramide to help rebuild and replenish the skin barrier," Dr. Libby explains. "It's extremely lightweight and absorbs easily into the skin without leaving behind a greasy feel."

Cetaphil Cetaphil Pro Eczema Soothing Hand And Body Lotion, $, available at
<h3>Skinfix’s Eczema+ Extra Strength Body Cream </h3><br>Dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD, of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/mariwalladermatology/?hl=en" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mariwalla Dermatology" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mariwalla Dermatology</a>, loves this balm for patients with dry skin and eczema. "This has two powerful active pharmaceutical ingredients: colloidal oatmeal and sweet almond oil," she says. "It also has nutrient-rich moringa seed oil and shea butter, which help deliver deep hydration and protection."<br><br><strong>Skinfix</strong> Eczema+ Extra Strength Body Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Feczema-extra-strength-body-cream-P442846%3FskuId%3D2215879%26om_mmc%3Dppc-GG_1165716893_53825942100_pla-419087547242_2215879_257731950137_9004352_c%26country_switch%3Dus%26lang%3Den%26ds_rl%3D1261471%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMI3_btw7mo5AIVwoCfCh1hfwkkEAQYAiABEgLaU_D_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Skinfix’s Eczema+ Extra Strength Body Cream


Dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD, of Mariwalla Dermatology, loves this balm for patients with dry skin and eczema. "This has two powerful active pharmaceutical ingredients: colloidal oatmeal and sweet almond oil," she says. "It also has nutrient-rich moringa seed oil and shea butter, which help deliver deep hydration and protection."

Skinfix Eczema+ Extra Strength Body Cream, $, available at Sephora
<h2>Dove DermaSeries Body Cream</h2><br>If you want to feel moisturized without feeling like a dollar slice of pizza, dermatologist Hadley King recommends this Dove formula."It contains vitamin F, petrolatum, and stearic acid to help support the skin barrier and lock in moisture," she says. "It has a rich texture but absorbs quickly for a non-greasy feel."<br><br><strong>Dove</strong> DermaSeries Body Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fdove-dermaseries-body-cream-9oz%2F-%2FA-76149632" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Dove DermaSeries Body Cream


If you want to feel moisturized without feeling like a dollar slice of pizza, dermatologist Hadley King recommends this Dove formula."It contains vitamin F, petrolatum, and stearic acid to help support the skin barrier and lock in moisture," she says. "It has a rich texture but absorbs quickly for a non-greasy feel."

Dove DermaSeries Body Cream, $, available at Target

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