The 5 Best Eczema Creams For Kids
Itchy, dry skin is often a sign of eczema in babies and kids, but the right product can help clear up the uncomfortable symptoms. The best eczema cream for kids has moisturizing ingredients to soothe sensitive skin and avoids potential irritants like fragrance and essential oils.
Eczema is a chronic condition, often beginning before the age of 5. “It typically starts in infancy and continues throughout childhood [...] and many kids outgrow eczema," Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, M.D., dermatologist and author of Beyond Soap, tells Bustle, adding that you aren't limited to eczema creams labeled for treating kids. But if the condition is irritating now, there are several over-the-counter options consisting of moisturizing formulas that protect the skin and help it heal. Kids with eczema need a cream or ointment — rather than a thinner lotion — to soothe their dry, irritated skin, according to Dr. Skotnicki, who adds that she prefers ointments or "an emollient moisturizer" for targeting eczema.
One particular ingredient, according to the National Eczema Association, can help soothe the itching associated with eczema: colloidal oatmeal. There are also a few things you don’t want to see in an eczema cream for kids, Dr. Skotnicki explains, since they can further irritate sensitive skin: fragrance, essential oils, parabens, and soaps with a high pH.
The National Eczema Association labels products with a Seal of Acceptance so it’s easier for consumers to find creams or other products that are safe to use on sensitive, eczema-prone skin. Each of my picks below bears this seal. Dr. Skotnicki also recommends using cleansers instead of true soaps when it comes time to wash eczema-prone skin, so I’ve also included a soothing cleanser cream on my list.
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1. The Best Ointment For Eczema
This highly rated ointment for eczema is a lightweight formula with a pleasantly non-greasy feel. CeraVe's healing ointment is designed to protect and soothe skin that's dry, cracked, or chafed with a formula containing three ceramides to maintain and restore skin's protective barrier and hyaluronic acid for added moisture.
This pick with more than 1,000 reviews was developed with dermatologists and is made without fragrance, parabens, essential oils, or steroids, which are sometimes prescribed by doctors for more serious cases of eczema but can cause side effects like skin thinning and redness. Reviewers say they like CeraVe's formula for its non-sticky feel, gentler formula without lanolin (which can be irritating to sensitive skin), and its National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.
A helpful review: “I got this for my eczema prone 1 yr old. We have tried soooooo many creams, ointments, lotions and steroid treatments. I was getting quite tired of spending so much money on products that offered her no relief. I got the CeraVe Ointment a couple months [ago] and it [has] made such a difference. Its fragrance free, doesn't leave the skin sticky and is very moisturizing. It also is fantastic for hands, feet and lips during dry winter months.”
2. The Best Eczema Cream For Newborns
This eczema cream is billed as being gentle enough to use on newborns, which some parents may appreciate. This is an emollient formula that soothes and moisturize's baby skin that's extremely dry and prone to eczema. Mustela's plant-based biodegradable formula features ingredients like avocado perseose to protect and strengthen skin and sunflower oil distillate to soothe and moisturize inflamed skin. This National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance pick is free of fragrance, irritating essential oils, steroids, and parabens.
The creamy, lightweight texture of the formula is pleasant to apply, according to reviewers who commented, and the formula is clinically proven to reduce the likelihood of eczema flare-ups.
A helpful review: “My infant son had some pretty extensive eczema and we spent a lot of time (and money$$$$) looking for the right moisturizer. This is the best we have found by far!! Although every individual will be different, he did not have any adverse reaction to it and it has kept him super soft!!! His skin has vastly improved and using this twice a day has greatly decreased his need for any prescription steroid ointments [...]"
3. The Best Eczema Cream For Severely Dry Skin
For severely dry skin, this eczema cream is an extra-thick formula that's particularly good to slather on and protect skin overnight. This National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance cream uses oat extract and is made without fragrance, essential oils, steroids, or parabens. Reviewers commented that using this cream heals their kids' flare-ups so well, they can hold off on using prescription steroid treatments.
A helpful review: “My child has severe eczema from head to foot and I have tried several moisturizers for him. His skin would react even with the most popular gentle products like Cetaphil and Vanicream, etc., but this is the only moisturizer that really works for his skin. It doesn't make it red, and after using this, his skin does not feel rough anymore, and he also has visibly less dryness. Thank you for the bottom of my heart!!”
4. The Best Lightweight Eczema Cream For Daily Use
Aveeno's eczema therapy cream is a highly rated favorite with more than 4,000 reviews for its effective formula. This pick features colloidal oatmeal to bring relief to dry, itchy skin with continued protection for up to six hours. Unlike some heavier balms, this one is described as lightweight, with one reviewer raving that it "never felt greasy" and "sinks in nicely without residue." If you have a child who isn't fond of creams, this one is a winner or daily and daytime use. It is also clinically shown to soothe eczema-prone skin, and it's free of fragrance, essential oils, steroids, and parabens.
This National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance pick comes in this lightweight cream, and it's also available as an itch relief balm intended for nighttime use.
A helpful review: “This dramatically improved our baby's eczema. He had it on his legs, behind his ears ,and on his face. We had tried a number of different creams and some natural remedies but this cream has worked best. We apply it liberally and his skin is much less itchy.”
5. The Best Cleansing Cream
Start protecting your baby or kid's sensitive skin at bath time with this 4.8-star-rated cleansing cream for eczema. With a National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, Mustela's silky cream is a body wash and tear-free shampoo in one that soothes extremely dry skin.
The plant-based formula uses 98% naturally derived ingredients, including the brand's signature avocado perseose, which strengthens skin, and shea butter for softening, soothing, and protecting skin against potential environmental irritants; sunflower oil distillate also helps soothe eczema-prone skin. The formula is made without fragrance, irritating essential oils, parabens, and steroids.
A helpful review: “I truly can’t say enough good things about this product and the Stelatopia cream. My daughter had horrible cradle cap and bad baby acne/eczema brought on by a dairy allergy. Her pediatrician recommended this cleanser and the cream. After two baths, the cradle cap was gone completely and the cream cleared up her baby acne/eczema within a week but I saw improvement within 2 days! Highly recommend!!!”