It itches like you wouldn’t believe. It can cause you immense pain. It can hurt your self-esteem. No, this isn’t some rare, exotic disease. It’s eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a relatively common skin condition which effects infants, children and adults. The most common form of eczema is atopic eczema, which causes your skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and red with inflammation. It may only effect small patches of skin, like on the inside of the elbows or the backs of the knees.
It can also affect large areas of skin, and may appear on your face, scalp or entire body. Some people may grow out of eczema, others will have to contend with it their entire lives.
What Causes Eczema?
Doctors don’t know the exact cause of atopic eczema, but they do know it’s not caused by one specific trigger. It can run in families, and people problems like asthma and hay fever will often develop eczema as well.
As if they didn’t have enough to contend with already! Some soaps and detergents can cause an outbreak of eczema, and so can changes in the weather or feelings of stress.
How is Eczema Treated?
Just as there is no one cause of eczema, there is often not one single treatment. People with eczema may ultimately use a combination of methods to manage and relieve their symptoms. Adults and children can learn to not scratch their flare-ups and to avoid triggers like heavily fragranced perfume or soaps. Emollients, also known as moisturising treatments, can be used daily to keep the skin from becoming too dry, and topical corticosteroids can be prescribed or obtained over the contain to help with redness and itchiness.
How to Choose an Eczema Cream
Your doctor or chemist will be able to assess how severe your eczema is, and what treatment will be the best course of action for you. We’ve ranked ten of the best eczema treatments in Australia below so you can get an idea of what’s out there on the market.
10. Medihoney Natural Eczema Cream
Product name: Medihoney Eczema Cream
Overview: This eczema treatment from Medihoney boasts many naturally sourced ingredients, including coconut oil, German Chamomile flower extract, Evening Primrose oil, Vitamin E and Medihoney Antibacterial medical honey. Long used as a natural treatment for eczema, honey has been known to sooth, hydrate and reduce inflammation of the skin. Vitamin E oil can be found in many skin care products because it is believed to have antioxidant properties. Medihoney Natural Eczema Cream can be used on both the face and body and is safe for children as well as adults. It doesn’t contain any lanolin, parabens, added colours or fragrances, so that’s good news if you like your skin care to be as natural as possible.
Review: Some people can be put off by how intense prescription or even over-the-counter eczema treatments can be. Many of these contain topical steroids, which are effective but may not be the best long-term solution. A natural product like Medihoney may work for sufferers of mild eczema who are looking for an extremely gentle solution.
You can buy it here
9. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Product name: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Cost: $22.00 at Sephora, which gets you a 56.7-gram tube.
Overview: This is a rich, emollient cream which contains no parabens, harsh chemicals or colourants – how good is that! Instead, this Ultra Repair Cream by F-A-B contains ingredients like soothing colloidal oatmeal, shea butter and eucalyptus oil. And did we mention its cruelty free? (winning!)
Review: Amongst other conditions, First Aid Beauty recommend this cream for sufferers of irritant eczema, allergic eczema and psoriasis who want to sooth itching and irritation. You can use it on both your body and face, which is a plus. This cream is a cult favourite with eczema sufferers the world over and has been given an average of 4.5 stars by Sephora customers alone.
One satisfied user said: “I love this formula, super thick and nourishing but not heavy on the face and doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or struggling to breath. Will 100% recommend this product to anyone with dry skin struggling to find something to retain moisture throughout the day.”
For $22.00, it’s a bargain.
You can buy it here
8. DermaVeen Sensitive Relief Eczema Lotion
Product name: DermaVeen Sensitive Relief Eczema Lotion
Overview: Free from lanolin, parabens, artificial dyes and fragrance, DermaVeen Sensitive Relief Eczema Lotion contains natural colloidal oatmeal. It is pH balanced and infants, children and adults can use it all over the body. It’s best applied after showering or bathing so that the lotion can form a protective barrier over the skin and work to rehydrate it.
Review: This lotion has been designed specifically for mild eczema flare-ups, so it may not be sufficient for people who suffer from severe eczema. But if you or a family member is fed up of enduring mild eczema, this could be the lotion for you.
One mum wrote: “My son suffered from eczema and sensitive skin ever since he was a newborn. It was around 2 years of age that a friend recommended DermaVeen moisturiser. We had tried all different products, but his skin would always flare up. My son is now 11 years of age and we are still using this product. It's oatmeal-based component helps the skin keep its moisture and with no lanolin or alcohol my sons’ skin doesn't get irritated. The whole family use this moisturiser now and my husband loves the fact it has a subtle fragrance.”
You can buy it here
7. Sudocrem Healing Cream
Product name: Sudocrem Healing Cream.
Overview: Sure, it isn’t glamorous, we get it. But Sudocrem has long been Australia’s answer to mild eczema, dermatitis, nappy rash and minor skin abrasions. It contains zinc oxide, benzoate and benzyl alcohol, and is basically an emulsified water in oil cream. The zinc oxide helps to form a protective barrier over the skin, and the benzoate and benzyl alcohol give the cream its antiseptic properties.
Review: Sudocrem is readily available throughout Australia, you’ll be able be able to pick it up at most chemists. It’s also very cheap, one of the cheapest solutions you’ll find. It can be used on babies, children and adults, so if baby eczema is a problem in your family this could be the product for you. There are so many pro’s when it comes to this cream, but the one con is that Sudocrem is recommended for mild eczema. It may not do the job If your condition is an especially severe one. However, keep in mind that Sudocrem has been around for over 80 years – so they must be doing something right!
You can buy it here
6. Shea Moisture African Black Soap
Product name: Shea Moisture African Black Soap
Cost: $9.79 at Priceline, and this gets you a 230-gram bar.
Overview: Using soap for eczema may seem a little counterintuitive, because certain soaps and detergents have been known to actually worsen the condition. Not this soap! Made by Shea Moisture, who have been established since 1912, this body bar contains African Shea Butter, oats, aloe, plantain extract, vitamin E – the list of soothing ingredients goes on!
Review: This soap is intended for use on the hands and body, so if your face is the main issue you might want to try their facial bar instead. You get a lot for your money, this is a giant-sized bar so it should go a long way. Some people don’t like the sensation of applying ointment or cream, so being able to show their skin some love whilst bathing may be a better option. One dry-skin sufferer said: “One of the kindest soap bars I've ever tried - smells fantastic and the creamy suds are seemingly endless. I have very dry skin, and this soap thoroughly cleanses me from top to toe while leaving my skin feeling soft and supple. The bar is massive too and will last for ages.”
You can buy it here
5. L’Occitane Shea Melting Butter
Product name: L’Occitane Shea Melting Butter
Cost: $42.00 from L’Occitane, and this gets you a 75-gram tub.
Overview: L’Occitane is famous for their luxury skin care range, and this product is no exception. It contains an extremely high concentration of shea butter (70%), along with castor seed oil, sunflower oil and vegetable oil. The texture of this indulgent cream is one of whipped butter, allowing it to melt into the skin with ease when applied.
Review: The price point of this treatment is certainly high end, but that is likely due to the high concentration of moisturising shea butter, which is also fair trade and sustainably sourced. It’s such a rich formula that you only need to use a small quantity at a time, so if it ends up working for you it’s worth the buy. One mum said: “I bought this for my son whose hands were a mess completely dry and cracked with working on a farm all day. After 2 nights completely covering his hands and wearing a glove to bed you would never know his hands were cracked at all…This is well worth the money and would recommend it to anyone with dry skin. Brilliant product.”
You can buy it here
4. MooGoo Skin Problem Range
Product names: Products in the MooGoo Skin Problem range include:
- MooGoo Eczema and Psoriasis Cream
- MooGoo Eczema and Psoriasis Cream with Marshmallow, Elderberry & more
- MooGoo Skin Milk Udder Cream
- MooGoo Milk Wash
- $18.50 for MooGoo Eczema and Psoriasis Cream, 120-gram tube.
- $18.50 for MooGoo Eczema and Psoriasis Cream with Marshmallow, Elderberry & more, 120-gram tube.
- $11.90 for MooGoo Skin Milk Udder Cream, 120-gram tube.
- $6.50 for MooGoo Milk Wash, 100ml pump bottle.
Family-owned and Australian-made, MooGoo is a home-grown success story. Established in 2005, MooGoo has over 40 products on offer to help with problem skin. Some of their most famous products include those that have been formulated to relieve the symptoms of eczema.
Prior to 2018, MooGoo usually received between 50-60 orders from the United Kingdom a day. That was until British teacher Meghan Underwood’s MooGoo experience was snapped up by UK media. Miss Underwood had eczema that was so severe, it required her to be hospitalised. She had tried almost every remedy on the market by the time MooGoo was recommended to her. “I didn’t want to get too carried away because things had worked for me before and my eczema had always come back, but after using MooGoo it was an "oh my gosh" moment” she said.
“My eczema started to clear up and then it was gone. I couldn’t believe it. I never thought that I would be in a position where I would be able to stand up to a classroom and teach.”
After Miss Underwood’s experience was featured in the press, MooGoo received a whopping 4200 orders from the UK in one weekend. MooGoo may be in the moderate to high price range, but it’s changed the lives of many eczema sufferers for the better.
You can buy it here
3. QV Eczema Prone Skin Range
Product name: Products in the QV Eczema Prone Skin Range include:
- QV Intensive With Ceramides – Hydrating Body Wash
- QV Intensive With Ceramides -Light Moisturising Cream
- QV Flare Up Wash
- QV Flare UP Bath Oil
- QV Flare Up Cream
- $19.99 for 350ml QV Intensive With Ceramides – Hydrating Body Wash
- $22.99 350ml QV Intensive With Ceramides -Light Moisturising Cream
- $10.99 for 150ml QV Flare Up Wash
- $18.99 for 500ml QV Flare UP Bath Oil
- $11.99 for 100gram QV Flare Up Cream
QV products are free from irritants like added colours and fragrance, which are known to trigger eczema flare-ups. Ceramides, which can be found in the body wash and moisturising cream, are waxy lipid molecules that are naturally found in our skin. They are added into skin care products because they replicate the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Review: QV is a long-standing Australian brand. It was first established in 1975 and remains Australian made and owned to this day. QV products are dermalogically tested, and most are designed to relieve the symptoms of atopic eczema. Best of all, The Eczema Association of Australasia gives both QV Hydrating Body Wash and QV Light Moisturising Cream its seal of approval. That alone speaks volumes.
The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne even recommend QV cream and QV Kids balm for the relief of eczema symptoms in children, so you can feel confident bringing QV treatments home to your family.
2. Aveeno Skin Relief Range
Product name: Products in the Aveeno Dermexa Range include
- AVEENO Dermexa Moisturising Cream
- Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion
- Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion with cooling action
- Skin Relief Body Wash
- $19.99 for 206grams AVEENO Dermexa Moisturising Cream
- $11.99 for 354ml Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion
- $13.49 for 312grams Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion with cooling action
- $9.49 for 354ml Skin Relief Body Wash
The Aveeno Skin Relief range contains naturally active colloidal oatmeal and include ingredients like cocoa and shea butter for moisture and menthol for a cool, soothing effect. They are fragrance-free and all aim to restore the skin barrier.
We all know that the age-defying Jennifer Aniston appears in their ads (and who wouldn’t want to look as good as Jen!) but does Aveeno really work? Good news, Aveeno is another brand recommended by The Eczema Association of Australasia. They haven’t just got an extremely-pretty face to front their brand. The AVEENO Dermexa Cream is probably your best weapon in the Skin Relief Range, it’s been clinically proven to be suitable for eczema prone skin. One long-time sufferer said:
“I have been an eczema sufferer since birth and it has only worsened into my 20's. I was dubious when my neighbour recommended this cream as the miracle cure to her daughter's eczema, as I have tried every moisturiser, oil, diet and trigger avoidance in the books. But she was right, this cream is nothing short of a miracle. Within 24hrs of using it, the major flare I was experiencing had almost completely disappeared and my skin felt smoother than ever before. There was no trace of my eczema.”
You can find it here
1. Lush Dream Cream
Product name: Dream Cream Hand and Body Lotion
Cost: $29.95 from Lush, which gets you a 240 gram tub.
Cruelty-free and as natural as can be, Lush offers its Dream Cream solution in both standard and self-preserving form. The only difference is that the self-preserving formula does not contain the safe synthetics that are added to extend the shelf life of the standard formula. Both versions of the lotion contain oat milk, rose water, organic extra virgin olive oil and fair-trade organic cocoa butter.
Dream Cream is Lush’s best-selling product, and for a good reason. It works. It’s thoroughly natural, a little goes a long way, it isn’t tested on animals, the ingredients are ethically sourced, and it’s helped eczema sufferer’s world wide – therefore it belongs smack bang at the top of our list. Satisfied customers have said:
“This has been the ONLY product that has helped my little boys’ eczema, he reacts really bad with grass and we have tried all different types of special products to deal with eczema, but I found this, and I recommend it to everyone that has issues too. AMAZING”
“This cream is an absolute godsend. I've tried countless creams and lotions to soothe my eczema - none of them has worked like this one. Often my skin is dry, irritable and itchy, especially in summer, and this product helps immensely. Recommend to anyone who has eczema or skin related issues.”
You can find it here
What may have worked for someone else may not be the best product for you, so it may be a case of trial and error. Remember to always conduct a small patch test before launching into a brand-new product to be on the safe side, and always follow the directions. There is no need to put up with the uncomfortable, and often distressing, symptoms of eczema, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your GP if nothing seems to be working.