Itch, scratch, itch! How do you soothe red, dry, itchy, irritated eczema prone skin so it can rebuild and repair from within?
It’s distressing when your baby or child suffers from eczema or atopic dermatitis, with patches of skin that are inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough, sometimes with blisters or weeping skin — especially as the exact causes of eczema are still unknown. While there is no one single solution for managing eczema, help is at hand with lots of dermatological products that can help control the inflammation, moisturise the skin and build the skin’s natural protective barrier. Here’s our roundup of some of the most helpful products to treat symptoms of atopic dermatitis or eczema to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of itchiness and other eczema symptoms.
What are the best products to relieve eczema?
Specially formulated for very dry skin with atopic tendency, the Rivadouce Dermo range repairs, protects and nourishes the fragile skin barrier of eczema-prone skin. You’ll be glad to know that the Rivadouce Dermo range is hypoallergenic (skincare tested under dermatological control) and is formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions, plus it’s paraben and phenoxyethanol-free. The range is made in France with natural extracts of alpine plants as well as water purified by osmosis (in order to eliminate chemicals and anything harmful to the skin including heavy metals, nitrates and pesticides).
Standout products: Wash with the uber gentle Gel Crème Lavante Émollient (from $24), followed by hydrating Rivabalm Relipidant Apaisant ($50.50) for calming inflamed and irritated skin; and for protection and repair of broken and irritated skin, try Cica-R ($29.50) and Cold Cream ($28.50).
Best for: Even the youngest can use the Rivadouce Dermo range which has been clinically tested for newborns and older.
Find it: Online here (free shipping for orders over $50)
Exzma Skincare is an all-natural organic and vegan, premium Eczema & Psoriasis Remedy that is very gentle on the skin yet still delivers great results. The range is cruelty-free and contains no nasties (no steroids, no alcohol, and no chemicals). The skincare range is formulated in Germany by a team of Certified Professional Aromatherapists using handpicked ingredients to make natural essential oil and plant oils that work to combat physical symptoms; for instance Virgin Olive Oil moisturises, Palmarosa Oil is antiseptic, Geranium Oil is anti-inflammatory and Vitamin E Oil is scar reducing, but the blends of essential oils have also been chosen to help soothe mental symptoms and triggers of eczema – like stress, and anxiety.
Standout products: Exzma Relief Gel (currently US$39/10ml, U.P. US$79) gives instant relief from itchiness, Exzma Relief Oil (currently US$39/10ml, U.P. US$79) treats flare-ups and wounds as well as strengthens the skin barrier and Exzma & Psoriasis Premium Relief Balm (US$69) keeps skin hydrated, fades scars and protects skin from future flare-ups by creating a protective layer over skin. Exma Skincare also does an Ultimate Relief Set which consists of all 3 items mentioned at US$247 (U.P. US$325).
Best for: Exzma has a range for both adults and little ones.
Find it: Online here. FREE Global Tracked Shipping (limited time only)
Use the code SASSYMAMA10 for a 10% discount — no minimum order! Valid for first time customers.
Aveeno has a whole range for skin prone to eczema, or atopic dermatitis with their Aveeno Baby Dermexa Range. These specially formulated products have been clinically proven to help relieve dry, itchy and irritated eczema-prone skin in infant’s skin with 100 per cent of patients seeing an improvement in skin hydration after 12 weeks, with everyday use* which results in a smooth, moisturized and healthy-looking skin for baby. This Aveeno Baby Dermexa Range is uniquely formulated with triple oat complex, delivering up to 9 x the antioxidant power to strengthen the skin barrier and keep your baby’s skin moisturized for 24 hours which helps your little one’s natural skin barrier rebuild. Plus Avenanthramides, a concentrated oat extract proven to reduce itching and scratching, Oat Oil rich in lipids to help strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier and ceramides to help prevent the recurrence of extra dry skin.
Standout product: Aveeno Dermexa Moisturizing Cream ($18.50) helps relieve the five signs of dry, eczema-prone skin (itch, redness, roughness, scaling and tightness).
Best for: Babies
Find it: Available at all major retailers.
Spend$40 and get $6 off when buying Aveeno products online at Redmart. Use code JNJ6OFF (valid until 15 February 2020)
*Multicentric study on subjects with eczema. PECZ2010 – 1696
Ceramide is a vital lipid forming the skin barrier, that helps the skin retain moisture. The lack of it greatly compromises the skin barrier. When this happens in eczema, it is like a brick wall with insufficient mortar resulting in a weak skin barrier that breaks down easily. Therefore, it is essential to correct this underlying pathology by replenishing ceramide adequately.
Standout products: Ceradan Skin Barrier Repair Cream ($49.90) is a ceramide-dominant moisturiser, with optimal skin-equivalent physiological lipids ratio of 3:1:1 (ceramide, cholesterol and free fatty acids respectively) to ensure the barrier-compromised eczema skin can rebuild and repair. The Ceradan Regimen, consists of Ceradan Skin Barrier Repair Cream and a gentle, sodium lauryl sulphate-free wash for face and body, Ceradan Wash ($29.90). The Ceradan Regimen has been shown to prevent about 1 in 2 occurrences of dry and irritated skin and to improve skin conditions in eczema with continuous use in a study conducted by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and NSC in Singapore.
Best for: Clinically-proven on young children and safe for everyone from newborn onwards.
Find it: Ceradan is available in clinics, restructured hospitals like KKH Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, National Skin Centre and National University Hospital. Select Ceradan products are now available at all Guardian, Watsons and Unity retail pharmacies.
Pure Tincture Organic Beauty
Mamas and ladies with eczema, this one’s for you! Pure Tincture is an established organic beauty facial shop in Singapore. They’ve been doing facial treatments specialising in sensitive skin for 15 years! If you have sensitive or eczema-prone skin and want to enjoy facial treatments without being worried about flare-ups or further skin aggravation, seek Pure Tincture out. Their treatments range from anti-aging facials, to skin clarity treatments or relaxing tight facial muscles that result in frown lines or jaw ache due to frowning or jaw clenching.
Standout products: Products come from well known international organic brands like Pai Organic Skincare, The Organic Pharmacy, and Odacite. Rest assured there are no drying or irritating synthetic ingredients like sulphates, petrochemicals or MI (Methylisothiazolinone), which have been linked with a global increase in eczema. Instead, the soothing formulas used are bursting with proven organic extracts that help to soothe dry and irritated skin – and break the infuriating itch-scratch cycle with a customised treatment for each client.
Best for: Mamas and women with eczema
Find them at:
68 Tras Street, #02-01, Singapore 079007, Tel: (+65) 91052345
1 Coleman Street #02-35 Singapore 179803, Tel: (+65) 9857 7859
Designed by the dermatologist who runs the Itch Clinic (yes, there really is such a thing!) at Singapore’s National Skin Centre, Suu Balm has two creams specially formulated for adults and kids designed to match the skin’s ph. The core of the Suu Balm range is menthol to solve itching, as well as real skin-like ceramides to moisturise sensitive and dry, itchy skin. The creams are light with a non-sticky texture, suitable for frequent use, especially in Singapore’s humid climate. Both creams are hypoallergenic and free of steroids, parabens and artificial fragrances.
Standout products: For adults, the Suu Balm Dual Rapid Itch Relieving & Restoring Body Moisturiser (75ml $21.90) is a dual benefit rapid itch relief and repairing moisturiser formulated at the National Skin Centre, that helps to stop eczema itching fast (within 5 minutes*) as it contains calming menthol. For kids, there’s Suu Balm Kids Dual Rapid Itch Relieving & Restoring Ceramide Moisturiser (75ml $29.90). Here the itch relieving menthol, has a dosage tailored specially for newborns and up, plus the moisturiser contains filaggrin products to help restore your child’s skin barrier.
Best for: Specific cream for adults and another for kids.
Find it: Buy online here (free shipping to Singapore)
* (survey done in Feb 2017, data on file).
Topicrem AD Emollient Balm has been developed for very dry, sensitive and atopic skin and is suitable for bodies as well as sensitive faces for the whole family: infants, children and adults. The fragrance-free formula contains pine oil, rich in omega 3 and 6 to restore the hydrolipidic film of the skin and allantoin to soothe itching and irritated skin. In fact, this cream has been shown to reduce itching by 62.4% during the day and 58% during the night (which means less sleep loss for you and your kids!).
Standout product: Topicrem AD Emollient Balm ($20.90/75ml $32.90/200ml) is a light, non-sticky and non-greasy formula that has been tested under dermatological and pediatric control on atopic skin. There are no parabens, fragrance, silicone, colorants, or alcohol.
Best for: The whole family.
Find it: At selected Guardian, Unity, Robinsons, Ng Teng Fong Hospital and Polyclinics.
QV Skincare is a favourite with local skin specialists. If you have eczema-prone skin, chances are you will have been recommended the QV Skincare as it’s often recommended by local dermatologists. Fun fact: QV stands for Queen Victoria, which is a nod to the brand’s origin – Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Dermatology Department, where the product was first used.
Standout products: The soap-free QV Gentle Wash and highly concentrated moisturising QV Cream are best-selling sensitive skin products in Singapore’s hospitals and are just the thing for dry, sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Take note of the QV Flare Up Wash ($17.01), it’s what to reach for when eczema is in full force. Unlike soap, this gentle wash cleanses skin without stripping away the skin’s natural oils yet it gets rid of Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria that can aggravate eczema. QV Flare Up Wash is also suitable for cleaning small patches of skin when a full bath is not possible or practical. The QV Flare Up Cream ($14.77) is a handbag essential! QV Flare Up Cream is an emollient cream which restores the skin hydration, while providing anti-irritant benefits. This skin-saver cream contains povidone which acts as an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory and stops that constant itching, while glycerol helps improve the skin’s suppleness, decreases roughness, and aids the skin’s barrier function.
Best for: Suitable for young children or adults.
Find it: Online and at major pharmacies and hospital pharmacies.
Sassy Mamas can get a limited-time promotion on QV Cream, QV Skin Lotion and QV Gentle Wash. From now till 31 March 2020, simply key in 2OFFQV (in caps) at Watsons E-store to enjoy $2 off to redeem promotion during checkout.
When to see a Doctor?
If you suspect your child has eczema, it’s always best to consult your doctor. If your child’s eczema does not respond to over-the-counter products or if their condition worsens or if the skin has become infected they may need a stronger prescription-only product or steroids.
How to care for eczema prone skin
To support your child’s skin healing with your chosen products, you can also try help alleviate symptoms by trying these tips out:
- Bathe your child in soothing lukewarm water
- Use a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing
- After a bath gently pat skin dry with a towel (don’t rub the skin which can irritate it and tear the skin)
- Follow the golden 3-minute rule: “lock in” moisture by applying moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing
- Moisturize daily with a good skin-barrier healing moisturiser
- Choose your child’s clothing wisely: avoid rough, synthetic and scratchy fibers in favour of cotton and soft fabrics
- Keep your little one’s fingernails short to prevent their nails from breaking the skin if they scratch too hard.
- Keep a diary of what your child’s eczema triggers and skin irritants might be; these can range from harsh soaps, detergents, shampoos, and disinfectants, to things in their diet like dairy products, eggs, soy and wheat, or allergens like pets and pollen.
Lead image courtesy Aveeno