Ingredients You Should Always Look For In Eczema Treatment Products

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by itchy and dry skin (via the Cleveland Clinic). According to the clinic, the condition affects over 31 million people in the United States. It's most often seen in children but can also occur in adults. 

Eczema is not contagious and is not caused by an infection. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, says Medical News Today. According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with eczema often have a family history of the condition, and it is more common in people with a family history of allergies, such as hay fever and asthma.

When concerning environmental factors, exposure to certain allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, can trigger eczema symptoms or make them worse, says the National Eczema Association. Other triggers include stress, extreme temperatures, and exposure to irritants, such as soaps, detergents, and perfumes, says the association.  Overall, the exact cause of eczema can vary from person to person. It's important to work with a doctor to determine the underlying causes of your eczema and develop an effective treatment plan.

Ingredients that help treat eczema

Eczema can be treated with various over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as with proper skin care and lifestyle changes, per Mayo Clinic. When looking for products to treat eczema, there are certain ingredients that you should look for to ensure that the product will be effective and gentle on your skin. One such ingredient is ceramides. They're naturally occurring lipids (fats) that help to form the skin's protective barrier. According to a 2017 study published in the journal of Clinical Medicine and Research, moisturizers with ceramides, synthetic or natural, are usually recommended as an eczema treatment. Products containing ceramides can help to repair the skin's barrier and reduce symptoms of eczema, says Cleveland Clinic.

Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, might also be effective as an eczema treatment — it can help reduce redness associated with eczema, says WebMD. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and barrier-strengthening properties (via Healthline). Petroleum jelly, also known as petrolatum, is a common ingredient in eczema treatment products. It acts as a barrier to protect the skin and prevent moisture loss, says Medical News Today. According to Healthline, colloidal oatmeal is a type of oatmeal that has been ground into a fine powder. When applied to the skin, it forms a protective barrier or emollient and has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

How to choose the right eczema products

If you have eczema, it is important to choose the right eczema product to effectively manage your condition. The first step is to consult with a dermatologist. Since they specialize in treating skin conditions, they can help to determine the underlying causes of your eczema and recommend the best products and treatment options.

Also, be sure to read the ingredient list on any eczema treatment product you're considering. According to the National Eczema Association, avoiding products that contain potential irritants, such as essential oils, urea, fragrances, retinoids, and propylene glycol, would be best. It's also important to consider your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, look for soaps that are mild or specially formulated for sensitive skin, says Healthline. Lastly, follow the instructions on the product label and use the product as directed. This will help ensure that the product is effective and minimize the risk of side effects.