20 October 2010

Eczema - Tips for Children and Adults

Eczema is a right pain (literally).  I have seborrheic eczema which can manifest itself on my face, scalp and other 'delicate' areas of the body.  I have a very good steroid cream, the only one which works for me (and specifically seborrheic eczema I believe) which is Lotriderm. 

I dislike using steroid creams often as it can thin the skin and make things worse but it is difficult to find ranges of product that are gentle and do not cause even more irritation to the eczema whilst keeping it clean and moisturised. 

Some products that I have found completely useless are: 

  • Sudocream 
  • Vaseline 
  • Oilatum (any and all versions) 
  • Aveeno (the moisturisers are lovely, just not on eczema)! 
  • Aqueous cream (and finally a study has recognised that due to the SLS in this product it isn't good for eczema) 
  • E45 - I am allergic 

Things that work for me

So here are some tips and products that I have found work for me.  They may or may not work for you but as with all types of eczema it's always worth a try as having a flare up is so painful and sore. 

Take an oil supplement such as Omega 3,5,9 or Evening Primrose. 

You can buy this as chews for children so they don't have to taste fish, however they aren't very high in EFA's (essential fatty acids) so if you can get them to take a spoonful of flavoured oil or swallow a capsule it will be much better for them.  I found a massive reduction in my eczema outbreaks from just doing this one simple thing. I detest the taste of fish oil or swallowing the massive tablets but I know it's worth it. I personally take the paradoxal brand. 

If the eczema outbreak is red and swollen 

Take an antihistamine tablet and see if that helps stop the swelling and itching. Your skin produces a histamine like substance when you have some types of eczema so try this and see if it is beneficial.  This can also help if your eczema is triggered by an allergic reaction. 

Lavera Eczema/Diaper cream.  This is a thick and slightly sticky cream so perfect for places that rub together such as behind the knees or the bot bot.  I also use this on my face as it is so gentle, I will apply a thick layer before bed like a lip balm if my lips are particularly chapped and sore. 

A-Derma No-Rinse cleansing lotion 

If you have eczema and wear makeup or sunscreen then this is great to use when you are having a flare up. I don't use it all the time only when the eczema is prevalent as I am not saying it's the best cleanser in the universe (although it is very good) but it removes makeup without the need for water (water is often kryptonite to eczema - it certainly is to mine) and is soothing, gentle and doesn't sting at all.  It is also very reasonably priced for a product which is very impressive. 

A-Derma Cleansing Oil for Face and Body 

This is a thick oil like an olive oil type consistency. As far as I can tell it's unscented and is brilliant at cleansing sore eyes (I also get eczema on my eyes and around my eyebrows) and it is easily washed off without any residue.  This is for use in the shower and can be used on face and body, it would be perfect to use on little children instead of the usual Johnson's baby oil and it doesn't leave your skin dry after using unlike some cleansing oils.  Again very reasonably priced. 

A-Derma Epitheliale A.H Repairing Cream 

This cream contains active ingredients to soothe, soften and regenerate sore skin.  It can be used on adults and children and it contains 0.2% hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid stimulates skin healing and I find that this cream, especially for the minimal price is amazing.  It can sting a little on application (and I am a big baby so it really is only a little) but after a few days you can generally see your skin healing and I am very impressed by this. 


You buy this over the counter at Boots and you need the one in a big tub NOT the lotion (I thought that was crap).  This is what you can use to wash with especially if you have the eczema or your little one has the eczema in rather delicate places that you wouldn't want to use the A-Derma oil on.  It's like lard, which is quite unnerving but if you use this with a muslin cloth your face and body will at least be clean.  It's not the most fun product to use but when needs must, needs must. 

If the skin is cracking and bleeding and you are at the despair point then I recommend slathering on whichever emollient cream you are using on the affected area, a big thick thick thick amount, wrapping clingfilm over the top and then wrapping a warm towel over that and leaving it on as long as possible.  This helps the cream penetrate further into the skin and is great for eczema on the arms and legs. 

Badger Certified Organic Lip Balm
Madagascan Vanilla

Pre-Emptive Strike 

They say 'the best offense is a good defense' which I agree with.  Make sure you take your vitamins and Omega supplements, keep your lip balm and hand cream slapped on over and over again and use your body moisturiser twice a day especially in the winter. 

Wash your clothes on a high heat to kill dust mites (must be over 60 degrees C to kill the blighters) and if you have a pet do NOT let them on your bedding. I know you love them. So do I. But pet hair is minging. 

That being said make sure to brush your pet outside once a week and throw their hair away securely in a plastic bag and then in the bin.   

Perhaps invest in a steamer so you can clean your floors and mattress but if not then get an allergy mattress protector and change your bedding regularly. Hoover regularly. 

Use cotton gloves for household jobs and use them under rubber gloves for washing up if you get sore hands. 

Try not to wash your hands too often, use an alcohol free hand gel if you can to clean your palms and under your nails. 

If you have scalp problems try to use products that don't contain SLS or parabens, you can use warm coconut oil or olive oil (or argan etc. etc.) to massage your scalp as a treatment. 

If you have eczema on the soles of your feet definitely use the clingfilm trick before putting on your socks otherwise your cream will just rub off. 

That is all I can think of but please feel free to add any other tips in the comments box.  I hope this helps! 

A-Derma is available online and in large Boots for between £5-£10 for all items  
Lavera is available online as are Badger Balm lip balms
Epaderm is available over the counter at Boots
Lotriderm is a prescription cream


  1. Great post sarah so many children suffer with this and the so called gentle baby products are in fact not gentle at all xx

  2. I totally agree, for example baby lotion and oil from johnsons- if I have kids I would never ever but that gunk on their delicate skin! Xxx

  3. This is a great post as many people suffer from ezcema, me included! This past summer I had eczema all over my thighs, arms and back. I used Sudocream, Vaseline and E45 and they work for me as well as Dermofardi and Glysolid to bathe with xx

  4. Thank you so much for the information! I will pass this on to my friend that was asking for advice last week. Her little girls have quite severe Eczema poor little mites.

    You have reminded me that when my eldest had patches of eczema, the E45/Aqueous cream really made it flair up rather than help. It just isn't great stuff for the skin really, so thick that the skin can't breathe and it doesn't work well as a moisturiser.
    Jane x

  5. Fab post Sarah, thankfully, I don't suffer but my sister does so I'll send her a link to this :)

  6. good post! I have bad eczema that started pretty suddenly when I was 17-18, i get it all over my body and face. I use the Betnovate steroid cream but its very strong and I cant use it regularily,

    the best cream I have found in the shops for my skin is the Simple Derma intenstive relief range, which is odd as any other products made by Simple make my skin flair up even worse. I have the same problem with E45, it just makes things worse. x

  7. Godsend!
    I have awful eczema when the weather changes and sometimes throughout the winter if I'm ever stupid enough not to wear gloves. I'm terrible for scratching too so this information is nothing short of a miracle for me.
    Chrissy xx

  8. I suffer from psoriasis and it's really hard to find anything non-steriod that works, think I've found products that help now but I'm always on the lookout for that 'miracle' product, great post!

  9. chlorella is also amazing for eczema. I used to take it and it used to calm it right down. A friend of ours had extreme eczema when he was a child & when taking chlorella it improved/cleared up completely. It's more about treating it from the inside of your body, creams can help, but they never work or penetrate the body enough.

    Great post!


  10. I too have had bad experiences with the many horrible creams that GPs prescribe for eczema. The only thing that cured my eczema was pure vitamin E oil. The good thing is its really cheap too!

  11. My sister suffers from psoriasis and she's got it all over her body. At first the GP thought it was just eczema so she was given the wrong treatment for it. Her psoriasis started to flare up more this autumn. The creams prescribed to her doesn't really seem to work >.<

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I've suffered from eczema since I was a baby and now I only get it on my scalp and face. My scalp I can control but earlier this year the eczema on my face got totally out of control. I went to the doctors and he recommended Diprobase cream, you can get this on prescription but it's only £2 something for a tube or £5 something for a big pump bottle from a pharmacy and it's amazing. I slap it on my face every night and it really does work so I would recommend this to anyone who's having problems controlling their eczema xx

  14. Found this post really interesting, as I am doing my dissertation on Eczema! (I study adult nursing) After I read one of your posts the other day and you mentioned Eczema, I thought maybe I would email you a few questions if that is ok? My dissertation is focussed on whether the health care needs of adults with ecezema are met. I am thinking after this post that your Doctor isn't a huge amount of help, except prescribing steriods?

    Anna x

  15. i have eczema on my chin and sometimes it gets so red. i have used Simple Derma and its amazing stuff!

  16. @Lara - I do find it odd that petroleum based products worked but hey as long as you're better now x

    @ModestyBrown bloody E45 I always wish people would shut up when they tell you to use it on sore skin, its crap crap crap crap crap to the power of 1 million! Lol I hate it if you can't tell ;P

  17. Thank you so much for posting this.

  18. @StyleFrost Ooh my mate has psoriasis and she has been told that going on holiday/in the sun is a MUST to help psoriasis so I don't know if that helps? Maybe it's the vitamin d?

    @Peachykeen which brand would you recommend? xx

    @Caroline that's great it worked, it kind of makes me itch...do you have a preferred brand you would recommend to every one?

    @Tiffany I'd dry diprobase cream from Boots over the counter and see if she can get out in the sun or light or if the GP can recommend her to a dermatologist at the hospital as they have this weird thing that looks like a sunbed that is awesome for bad psoriasis... good luck x

    @Karla is it sebhorreic? They told me that's the one I have and it's on my scalp. I definitely recommend diprobase, it doesn't work for me personally but it is a godsend for a friend who has psoriasis. xx

    @Pink Pom Poms sure just email me x

    @Harpreet yes really do like that, I can't use it on my face these days but I use the A-Derma instead which is awesome xx

  19. This post is very helpful :)
    As you know my little 6 month old has very bad exzema, and nothing so far has cleared it up apart from steroid cream.
    Doctor now wont prescribe anymore, so we're kinda in limbo, as his scalp today was bleeding, and I have no good cream to clear it up with :(
    I feel like going back to the GP and shouting at him!
    I am looking into these products to see what can be used on babies and what can't..

    Thanks :)

  20. Great post, really informative. I've suffered from eczema since I was little, thankfully its so much better now. It's great to know that there are alternatives to steroid creams - they're the only thing that made my eczema better when it was really bad but I don't like to use them these days as they're so harsh. x

  21. Great and helpful post!!!

    Now, I don't suffer from eczema myself, but I 've read that Aveeno now makes an eczema care line of products, dunno if you 're tried that, thought I should share! :)


  22. I am so pleased you've done this post! Since starting university I get sporadic cases of eczema/irritated skin - usually around my eyes (unfortunately for me) or on my inner elbow. At the moment (it has been there for at least a month) I've got it bad on my finger (just the one, persistent little thing that wont go away), inner elbows and armpits (gross!) and I can't actually STAND the itching. I was prescribed a good steroid cream which seemed to help the finger a little bit, but has not actually cleared it. I've tried so much though! x

  23. @ Sarah - I have no idea what kind of ezcema I have, when I went to the doctors about it he wasn't much good but at least he did recommend a 'cream' first rather than jumping in and prescribing a steroid cream


Thank you for leaving a comment, I will respond as soon as I can but you can always email or tweet me if you want a faster response.

If you are here to leave link to your blog please do so via email, all comments with blog links are deleted.