Eczema is frustrating because it's often hard to figure out what's causing your skin to flare up, but no matter why your skin is feeling red, itchy, or dry, the best hand lotions for eczema will help soothe and restore moisture to your hands so they feel comfortable and less irritated. Dr. Liia Ramachandra, with whom Elite Daily spoke for this article, suggests people with eczema look for hand lotions that contain gentle ingredients (she's a fan of urea, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide in particular) and advises steering clear of products with added fragrance, which is her biggest no-no ingredient. Dr. Ramachandra says it's best to avoid parabens, too, and when possible, phthalates as well.
Also, though not everyone with eczema has food allergies, intolerances, or the autoimmune disease celiac, Dr. Ramachandra suggests avoiding skin care products that contain any ingredients you don't eat, even if they're natural, because they may cause your skin to react badly. For example, if you're gluten intolerant, make sure your products are as well.
Below are the six best hand creams for eczema, all conveniently available on Amazon for under $25.
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1. The Overall Best Hand Cream For Eczema
Avène's Cicalfate hand cream is a rich, calming cream that aims to heal dry, cracked skin that's become irritated from things like harsh climate conditions, cleaning products, or conditions like eczema. It's made with Avène's signature thermal spring water, long known to provide soothing and calming benefits, along with glycerin, beeswax, and sucralfate (used in wound care). This cream, which is free of parabens, wheat, and fragrance, has been shown in a study to provide significant improvement to people with hand eczema. The brand even says it'll last on your hands through up to five washes!
2. The Expert’s Own Hand Cream (& It Offers Sun Protection!)
Dr. Ramachandra created EpiLynx to address her own skin concerns, and her hand cream, like the rest of the brand's lineup, is meant to be used safely by people with eczema, psoriasis, autoimmune diseases, and allergies. It contains a blend of urea, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and niacinamide, and contains no potentially irritating ingredients like fragrance or parabens. It even has an SPF of 20, as an added bonus.
3. An Affordable Eczema Cream For Your Body & Hands
For an affordable option from a trusted drugstore brand, try Eucerin's Eczema Relief Cream, which is free of steroids, parabens, fragrance, and dyes. Designed for use on your hands and body (and even safe for babies as young as 3 months old), it uses colloidal oatmeal and ceramides to relieve the dryness and irritation associated with eczema flareups. This is a popular choice with shoppers on Amazon, having garnered over 6,000 five-star ratings and reviews thus far.
4. A Rich, Soothing Cream For Your Body, Face, & Hands
La Roche-Posay's Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream can be used anywhere on your face and body, so it's a great product to have on hand in case of eczema flareups. Made with soothing and nourishing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, niacinamide, and thermal water, it's free of both parabens and fragrance, and boasts the Seal of Approval from the National Eczema Association. Put this rich cream wherever you're currently experiencing a flareup for immediate relief.
5. A Lightweight Lotion For Your Body, Face, & Hands — & It Gets You The Best Value
Also approved by the National Eczema Association, Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion is a popular pick among dermatologists due to its extremely gentle, no-risk formula. This non-greasy, fast-absorbing lotion contains no fragrance, dyes, parabens, or other potential irritants — in fact, it's even free of gluten. Note that while the La Roche-Posay product featured above is a rich cream, this is more of a lightweight lotion, so it may be better suited to slathering all over your body. Plus, this comes in a big, 16-ounce bottle, so it should last you a while.
If you experience an eczema flareup with red, rashy, itchy hands, you may want to temporarily use a low-concentration topical steroid, like CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream 1%. This moisturizing, itch-reducing lotion combines hydrocortisone with soothing and hydrating ingredients like ceramides, aloe, oat kernel exact, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to provide relief from eczema-induced discomfort. It can also be used to alleviate itching from insect bites and other minor skin irritations. This fragrance-free lotion is another product accepted by the National Eczema Association.
Be aware you should only use hydrocortisone for a short period, so read the label carefully, and speak with your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Liia Ramachandra, PharmD, PhD, creator of the allergy-friendly skin care and beauty brand EpiLynx