Eczema is an itchy, scaling red rash on the face in babies, kids and adults that can occur on the face. Eczema on the face is hard to treat because you cannot use strong steroid prescription cream for eczema on the face. These will thin and damage the skin if used for over a few weeks. Eczema cream for the face must be gentle, steroid-free, and should be a good barrier repair moisturizer.
The best products for eczema on the face are creamy barrier- safe face washes, and creams, ointments, and oils. Lotions can be used to treat treat eczema on the face but they are not as effective and creams and oils.
Eczema on the face can be called many different names according to where it occurs, but all of these types of face dermatitis have the same cause: an impaired skin barrier that leads to sensitive, dry, easily inflamed skin.
Rashes on the face that should be treated with an eczema cream:
- Eyelid dermatitis, rash around eyes, periorbital dermatitis, eyelid eczema
- Lip licker's dermatitis, Red ring around lips, perioral dermatitis, lip eczema
- Redness around nose and in nasolabial folds
- Eczema on hairline
- Eczema on neck
- Eczema on chin
All of these types of eczema on the face need the same skin care products and over the counter creams. The best products for eczema on the face are gentle cleansers and moisturizers with barrier repair and soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Whether you want prescription medications or natural remedies like manuka honey or oils, you will not be able to get rid of eczema on the face in one day. The fastest I have seen my patients get better is 3 days but it can take a few weeks.
What you use on your face to treat eczema can make a big difference. This blog will talk about the best lotions, ointments, oils, and creams to get rid of face eczema (also called atopic dermatitis).
Eczema Cream For the Face Should Strengthen the Skin Barrier
Before I can give you my advice on dermatologist-recommended eczema face moisturizers, I first want to make sure you understand the importance of the skin barrier.
Your skin barrier is affected by:
Best Barrier Repair Moisturizers to Treat Eczema on the Face
Eczema moisturizers MUST have barrier repair ingredients. Many moisturizers that claim to repair the barrier actually do not because they do not mimic the skin's natural barrier structure. The way you can tell if a barrier repair moisturizer is good is by looking at it under a microscope to see if it has the skin's natural barrier structure known as the maltese cross pattern.
These moisturizers have barrier repair ingredients such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol to help repair the defect in your skin that can cause eczema.
The skin care brand specialized in eczema creams- and all of them have the maltese cross pattern so this is the best dermatologist recommended facial eczema treatment. You have a few options to choose from:
If you want a face cream for eczema that also protects skin from aging choose Zerafite Wrinkle Defense Barrier Cream.
If you want to treat eczema dark spots with a cream that helps lightens skin and repair the barrier try Zerafite Brightening Cream.
Other barrier repair moisturizers that can be used to get rid of eczema on the face are shown below.
Eczema on the eyelids
If you had red scaley eyelid dermatitis, you can use an over the counter cream such a hydrocortisone for a few days. But if it persists over a few days, we recommend switching to a natural soothing oil such as argan oil.Oils are a good home remedy to treat eczema on eyelids but make sure the oils have soothing fatty acidsvand do not use essential oils to teat eczema on the eyelids.
The best soothing oil is PAORR Organic Argan Oil.
Other choices of oils that soothe skin and can be used on eczema on the eyelids are shown here:
The most common cause of a rash around the eyes is actually not eczema but is an allergic reaction- usually to nail polish. (yes nail polish even if you do not touch your eyes causes over 80% of eyelid dermatitis). So make sure your nail polish and eye make up does not have formaldehyde, toluene and other allergens.
Best Natural Oils to Treat Eyelid Dermatitis
Black seed oil - Known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Calendula oil - Derived from marigold flowers and is often used for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Caution: If you have an allergy to other members of the Compositae/Asteraceae family, such as ragweed, you should avoid using calendula oil or use it with caution.
Chamomile oil - Especially known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Caution: If you have an allergy to other members of the Compositae/Asteraceae family, such as ragweed, you should avoid using chamomile oil or use it with caution.
Flaxseed oil - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Hemp seed oil - High in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which offer anti-inflammatory properties.
Macadamia oil - Contains omega-7 palmitoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects.
Pomegranate seed oil - Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Safflower oil - Rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that offers anti-inflammatory properties.
Sea buckthorn oil - Contains a wealth of essential fatty acids and antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects.
Sesame oil - Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Tamanu oil - Known for its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eczema Around the Mouth, Lip Eczema, and Lip Licker's Dermatitis
How To Get Rid of a Red Ring Around the Mouth and Treat Lip Eczema
Best Ingredients in Face Moisturizers for Eczema
The best way to treat eczema on the face is with a cream- not a lotion or ointment. Lotions do not have enough fatty acids in them and ointments are too greasy. The oils listed above are also a good choice but barrier repair moisturizers are the fastest way to cure eczema without a prescription.
Many of the fatty acids that you want to look for in facial eczema treatments are found in strange chemical names that may be hard to recognize.
The best fatty acid to treat eczema is stearic acid. It can be found in shea butter, cocoa butter and ingredients that end in the word -stearate. Linoleic acid is also a good soothing fatty acids to look for and is safe to use on the face.
How to Find the Best Face Cream for Eczema
The best face moisturizers to treat eczema have a characteristic maltese cross pattern when viewed under a cross polarized microscope. The maltese cross pattern only occurs when the lipids in the moisturizer mimic the shape and structure of the lipids in your skin barrier. This means they mimic your skin's natural moisturize barrier replacing what is genetically absent in eczema prone skin. In case you do not have access to a cross polarized microscope, here are moisturizers for eczema that show the maltese cross pattern:
Tips To Treat Eczema on the Face
To clear eczema on the ace fast- here are some dermatologist recommendations and advice:
- Use filtered water to wash your face
- Use warm water to wash face
- Do not exfoliate
- Avoid retinoids when skin is dry and red
- Use moisturizers with barrier repair ingredients
- Avoid alcohol in skin care (Fatty alcohols are OK to use)
It is ALWAYS best to make sure any products you but on your face are the right ones for your Baumann Skin Type.
Best References and Scientific Publications on Treating Eczema on the Face:
- Baumann L. Dry Skin in Ch. 12 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
- Baumann, L. Chapters 19-30. Cosmeceuticals and cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)
- Goh, C. L. (1989). Eczema of the face, scalp and neck: an epidemiological comparison by site. The Journal of Dermatology, 16(3), 223-226.
- Fonseca, A., Jacob, S. E., & Sindle, A. (2020). Art of prevention: Practical interventions in lip-licking dermatitis. International Journal of Women's Dermatology, 6(5), 377-380.
- Mini, P. N., & Anoop, T. M. (2017). Lip-lick dermatitis. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 130(1451), 68.
- Jagannathan, K., Vijayanand, S., Manoharan, D., & Indiran, V. (2022). Perioral Rash in a Young Boy Due to Lip-Licking Dermatitis. Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 89(5), 513-514.
- Green, B., & Morrell, D. S. (2007). Persistent facial dermatitis: pediatric perioral dermatitis. Pediatric annals, 36(12), 796-798.
- Silverberg, N. B. (2017). Typical and atypical clinical appearance of atopic dermatitis. Clinics in dermatology, 35(4), 354-359.
- Guin, J. D. (2002). Eyelid dermatitis: experience in 203 cases. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 47(5), 755-765.
- Amin, K. A., & Belsito, D. V. (2006). The aetiology of eyelid dermatitis: a 10‐year retrospective analysis. Contact dermatitis, 55(5), 280-285.
- Guin, J. D. (2004). Eyelid dermatitis: a report of 215 patients. Contact dermatitis, 50(2), 87-90.
- Turkiewicz, M., Shah, A., Yang, Y. W., Mangold, A., & Shen, J. (2023). Allergic contact dermatitis of the eyelids: An interdisciplinary review. The Ocular Surface.
- Wang, Y. H. (2022). Eczema has different effects on the psychological state of patients depending on the site affected. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 47(1), 200-201.
- Tresukosol, P., Puangpet, P., & Sajjacharoenpong, P. (2023). Contact Allergy from Cosmetics Among Patients with Eczema on Face and Trunk: A 5-years Retrospective Descriptive Study. Journal of The Department of Medical Services, 48(1), 114-120.