What Works for You in Treating Eczema?

When OTC Products Aren’t Enough in Treating Eczema

We have been reviewing our favorite over-the-counter (OTC) products for the prevention and treatment of pediatric eczema. Here are our favorite OTC moisturizers, creams, and bathing cleansers:

CeraVe is our favorite OTC cream to use on sensitive skin. It’s thick and creamy but not greasy and very effective. We also highly recommend the very popular Eucerin and Aquaphor line of products and Cetaphil cleansers and lotions.


Mustela products, with it’s patented active ingredient, Sunflower Oil Distillate, is another great product line to try on sensitive children’s skin. If you care for a child with eczema the Vanicream line of products is wonderful. Adults will love the fragrance free sunscreens, cleansers, and lotions too.

Many parents rave about Aveeno products made specifically for baby eczema and others swear by using holistic calendula as found in California Baby products.

But once a child’s eczema flares you may need to try using nonsteroidal prescription creams and lotions along with OTC moisturizers. These include Hylira, Mimyx, and Atopiclair.

Antihistamines are also often used as part of a good treatment regimen for eczema. They are particularly helpful if itching is interfering with the child’s sleep, in which case a sedating antihistamine, like Benadryl Children’s (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) or Atarax (hydroxyzine hydrochloride), may work well. Cold compresses (see these cute Ice Packs (Round Blue) Set of 5)can also be effective at helping the child control his scratching when their skin itches.


But if these OTC treatments aren’t enough you may need to visit the pediatrician or dermatologist. The typical treatments include topical steroids and the newer non-steroidal medications like Elidel (pimecrolimus) and Protopic (tacrolimus).


Keep in mind that there are warnings about using Elidel and Protopic in children who are under two-years old or for continuous use over long periods of time. This means that a child’s eczema should be treated with other medications first, such as a prescription strength steroid cream. If that first line treatment doesn’t work, then either Elidel or Protopic might be a good second line treatment option.

Other treatments are also available for very difficult to treat cases of eczema, including using wet dressings, oral steroids, ultraviolet light therapy, and immunosuppressive drugs, like cylcosporin.

What has worked for you for treating pediatric eczema?


  1. The 6 mo old I care for has mild eczema. Since the baby's 4 other siblings have it too the parents seem to ignore it IMO. They think all kids have eczema but that's really not true. I am constantly putting on non fragrance creams and moisturizers and the parents approve. But I'm using dye free, perfume free detergent w/o their knowledge and baby oil and vaseline w/o their knowledge to help too. I feel like each Monday I come back to work with a baby with both diaper rash and eczema because they are letting me do the hard work while they ignore the baby's skin problems. Oh well. My constantly moisturizing the baby's skin and detergent free laundry etc really seems to help with baby and siblings. But I have to keep on the older siblings too.

  2. Terrific blog. We use Burts Bee Products and they work quite well.

  3. I'm not an Aveeno fan at all and the damn dermatolotist recommended it today since I didn't list it on my sheet as one of the OTC remedies I use. I tried it, don't use it! I haven't tried Burts Bees or California Baby either. But, all that you listed in your series I have used and they are all fine. I would recommend trying them all and just keep using the ones you love the best. Also, spring is almost here and our eczema should improve with better weather.

  4. My charge had really bad eczema on her cheeks and some all over body. Two days treatment with Aquaphor the dry splotches are HISTORY and the irritation on her cheeks is not inflammed any longer. This is a wonderful product, I will be investing in the larger tub for the house and I will plan on carrying the smaller tube in our diaper bag!

  5. Eczema is a skin condition that cause itching, redness, dryness and swelling in your skin. If you have eczema then you know the discomfort of eczema. There are many products and eczema treatment but one can try natural eczema treatment because this does not any type of side effects on your skin like all other expensive and ineffective products and treatments.

  6. I had this growing up and all of my adult life until I started making my own laundry detergant. Trust me I tried everything just to get my itchy skin to stop itching.
    no hot baths, no sugar,more oils in my diet and I even moved from MD to CA. Guest what? Nuthing worked. UNTIL I made my own detergant.
    its easy and works super good.
    2 bars of dove bar of sosp grated in placed in a blender
    2 cups washing soap
    2 cups Borax

    blend this in the blender until well mixed.
    you have to use it on all loads and it takes a good moth to cycle threw the whole families clothing but so worth it. I now live a life of nice skin that I’m not contantly itching.

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