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Moisturizers For Eczematous Skin

Moisturizers have been found to help restore the skin barrier by forming a protective surface layer on the skin to trap water and prevent the penetration of irritants and allergens. As the diagram below shows, an emollient cream is effective for trapping moisture within the skin.

Moisturizers For Eczema Skin


Sticky: Vaseline (25% water in hydrophilic petrolatum, unscented cold cream, aqueous cream).

Less sticky: Aveeno® Eczema Care, Spectro EczemaCare, Dermalac, Lachydrin, Uremol

Moisturizers Should:

  • be perfume free and cosmetically acceptable
  • offer a layer of protection on the surface of the skin
  • rehydrate by trapping, holding, and returning moisture to the skin
  • restore the barrier function by filling in the spaces between skin cells

Application of as much as 400-500 grams of moisturizer (1-2 entire bottles/jars) a week is reasonable for children and proportionately more is recommended for adults. Research has shown that with increased moisturization, the skin barrier can be restored, resulting in significant reductions in the amount of topical medications required to manage eczema, especially in mild to moderate cases.

In order to gain the maximum benefits, complete emollient therapy is required to maintain hydration, restore the skin barrier and inhibit the penetration of irritants and allergens.

Complete Emollient Therapy Consists Of:

  • A mild soap-free cleanser (e.g., AVEENO® Eczema Care Body Wash, Spectro Jel , Cetaphil)
  • A therapeutic bath oil with emollients may also be helpful, but it is not as effective as direct skin moisturization
  • An emollient/moisturizing cream/lotion/ointment

Learn more about moisturizers

Moisturizers are composed of a combination of key ingredients that are categorized as emollients, humectants, and occlusives, which work together to enhance hydration and improve skin barrier function. Not all moisturizers are equally effective and special care must be taken when selecting an ...    Read more: What are moisturizers?