Eczema is a seemingly endless battle. Red, itchy, dry patches create turmoil. You may have tried every over the counter medication under the sun, and possibly a few dermatologist-recommended products as well. It can mean a whole lot of time investment with minimal results, or perhaps irritation, disappointment, and lack of faith that you can clear this problem away. Creams tend to be the salve that saves, and there are quite a few available, but not all of them can or will produce the results you want and so desperately need. Eczema products are not one size fits all, and you have probably discovered that by now. You might end up dumping a lot of money down the drain in the hopes that you can clear away the problematic symptoms of eczema, but you shouldn’t have to.
What You Should Look For
Let’s decipher what you should be looking for in an eczema foot cream first (side note, if it works on your feet, it will likely work on your other eczema-affected skin areas). As you have probably learned, eczema is a condition in which the skin barrier is not able to maintain the necessary moisture to provide protection from allergens and environmental stressors. Most eczema treatment creams come in a thicker variety for maximal penetration and soothing properties. That being said, keep your eyes peeled for products that contain humectant ingredients (like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) and moisturizing and skin-protecting ingredients (like ceramides, petrolatum, and colloidal oatmeal). Humectants will boost up the hydration your skin needs, while ceramides and occlusive elements strengthen the skin barrier, eventually helping to protect you from irritants that might prompt an eczema burst.
On the flip side, there are definitely ingredients you should be steering clear of that may work for other skin conditions but serve as a huge detriment to treating eczema. These include fragrances, exfoliating acids – such as glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids – and retinol. All of which can further irritate your skin by drying it like the Sahara.
So where do we go from here? Glad you asked. We consulted with a scope of dermatologists who specialize in eczema and here are some of the products worth giving a try:
You may have overlooked Vaseline because it seems like it would be your grandparents’ choice for balms, but there is a reason this brand still has strong momentum. This unscented and seemingly basic formula goes to work on dehydrated skin. This lotion contains micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly to lock in moisture and is a multi-purpose miracle for other skin conditions. Go ahead and slather it on those poor feet as it has been awarded the National Eczema Seal of Acceptance and is suitable for use as an eczema lotion to help heal and soothe eczema-prone skin. Even those with sensitive skin can experience relief without irritation. Yes, Vaseline has been around for ages, but it continues to be a gold standard in providing relief for skin conditions such as eczema.
Aquaphor is another tried and true name in healing skin irritation, and eczema sufferers have long sworn by this product to nourish skin while creating a protective barrier that allows for the flow of oxygen to create an ideal healing environment. Another multi-purpose potion, this ointment can soothe dry, cracked feet because it contains panthenol (a form of vitamin B5 to help retain moisture) and glycerin (to draw in water from the air into the skin’s outer layer). Preservative and fragrance-free, this balm was created specifically for sensitive skin and clinically proven to restore smooth, healthy skin. Apply to affected feet as needed but do so only with clean feet and clean hands! It will absorb faster and get to work quicker without battling bacteria or other environmental factors living on your skin.
Known somewhat as a luxury brand, Kiehl’s Crème de Corps will go beyond the necessities you need for relief and take it a step further by creating a home, self-care experience. It contains cocoa butter and squalene which are both quintessential for boosting the moisture levels in your skin. It feels a bit dreamy applying it, but the takeaway is that this cream actually works quite well. Reviewers and skin experts have been relying on this cream since the 1980s. It’s fragrance-free, easy to use, and provides instant relief. Not only are you healing your sore, uncomfortable steppers, but you’ll also feel like you have a spa-quality product at your fingertips which results in a smooth, soft texture. It’s a bit pricy, but it is worth the investment if you want to feel that “ahhhh” moment on the spot.
If you are familiar with La Roche Posay, you know this brand doesn’t mess around. Most of their skin products are exorbitant in cost, but this bread and butter, intense repair body cream was created especially for extra dry skin. This moisturizer is dermatologist recommended across the board and is sensitive skin tested. It contains post-biotic ingredients to support and improve the health of your microbiome and is so gentle, it can be used on babies (even as early as two weeks old). Yes, foot eczema can start that young. It provides long-lasting 48-hour protection and hydration.