I don't believe that there is a cure for eczema and I've accepted that it's something that I'll have to live with for as long as I have it. The only thing that I can do is to suppress the rash and in my 20 years of "suffering", I've probably used over 50 types of lotions, creams, ointments, supplements, and medication to treat this inherited skin disease.
In this post, I'll briefly review some of the products that I've used in the recent years to help ease the itch.
Note: Responsiveness and effectiveness may vary from person to person
Products That Are Currently Working
Betnovate-N Cream is your classic steroid cream. It offers quick relief but you'll also be risking major skin discoloration and increased skin sensitivity. Nevertheless, it's inexpensive (less than RM20) and it works. [ read steroid side effects ]
Some say Creme De La Mer is overrated, I say that it's a life-saver. This thick cream soothes and immediately relieves itchiness and redness while softening the rash. Since it's so gentle, it doesn't cause any trauma to the skin, instead it heals the skin from scars and sensitivity with its healing ingredient (Miracle Broth). Problem is, it's RM505 for a 30ml jar.
With its main ingredient being petrolatum, you'd assume that Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is an overpriced tube of Vaseline. The balm is very oily but it's incredibly effective in softening and removing flakey skin. It also helps to soothe. Retailing at RM82 for 50ml, you'd wonder why I don't just settle for Vaseline. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to vaseline.
Similar to Betnovate, Kenalog is a steroid ointment but specifically for the mouth area. I use this when I have severe attack on the lips and also for cold sores. The ointment sorta exfolaites and peels the skin of the lips. Wanna know the secret to my "naturally" nude lips? This is it. You can get this tiny tube from pharmacies at about RM25 or so. NOTE: This product not only depigmented my lips but also blurred my lip line. The steroid and chemical peeling caused discoloration and also made my lips hyper sensitive. Please don't use this because you wanna have lighter-colored lips. Trust me, you'd rather have dark lips than sensitive lips. And if you don't wear any lip color, people WILL think that you're sick and dying. If you insist on using this for the wrong reasons, I can't be responsible. I am NOT recommending this.
When you have eczema, it's important that you avoid using products that are drying to the skin. Many skin cleaners (facial cleansers, body wash, etc.) can irritate the skin and I find no better gentle cleanser than Cetaphil. Your skin will never feel dry and your eczema patches will not be irritated. [ read full review here ]
In my search for a non-steroid solution, I gave Protopic a try. At RM100 for 10g, I had high hopes for this ointment. Although claimed to be gentle, this product burns my eyes. I only use this on my fingers and neck and though it works, it makes the skin dry so you'd have to follow with a moisturizer after using this product.
Buds Super Soothing Rescue Lotion works for mild eczema and it's very gentle (meant for babies). I primarily use this on my face if the rash isn't too severe. Look for this at pharmacies such as Caring or Vitacare. Retails for RM50 or so.
Products That Used To Work
This is the lip balm version of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. It worked miraculously at first but then one of my allergies got triggered... I'm thinking it's the beeswax. RM68 [ read review here ]
Mom ordered FreeDerm from the US and it wasn't cheap ($30USD excluding shipping). It was working wonderfully for about a month and one fine day, it gave me an opposite reaction. I started to itch from using this. Huge bummer since there were so many incredible testimonials. [ read about FreeDerm here ]
Same thing happened with the Clinique All About Lips (RM80) as with the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Protect Lip Balm. Miracle for the first few days and then total hell for the rest. I hate that we don't get to return products in Malaysia *sighs*
Products That Were Supposed To Work But Didn't
I was approached by Albolene's representative to test Albolene for my eczema. Although clinically proven [ read study here ], Newton's third law of motion happened... And I have no idea why my rash erupted instead of being surpressed when the product was applied. Albolene's not expensive ($7.30 USD for 6oz) so I suppose it's still worth the try.
Products That I'd Like To Try
The Egyptian Magic Cream is very much hyped about and it's supposedly a miracle worker. However, there has been several mixed reviews so I'm still on the fence [ read testimonials here ]. $36USD for 4oz
I've heard so much about how Lush Dream Cream helps treat eczema [ read testimonial here ]. The company itself is in my good books. Only thing that's holding me back is not knowing if I can use this on my face... $22.50 USD ofr 8.4oz is not too bad.