Creams and topical treatments for eczema

Creams and topical treatments for eczema

Creams and topical treatments for eczema

Fewer eczema flare-ups and less itching are possible! Although there is no cure for atopic eczema (flare-ups cannot be prevented completely), we can offer soothing relief from flare-ups and make them less frequent with the right treatment: cortisone cream + emollient.

Topical treatment is essential and produces excellent results, provided it is applied correctly.

It is an anti-inflammatory of the calcineurin inhibitor family: it will represent a possible alternative to dermocorticoids. The only difference with dermocorticoids (cortisone cream) is that it is applied twice a day.

When is it applied? For recalcitrant eczema on the face, especially the eyelids or other sensitive skin areas. Sometimes it is poorly tolerated in flare-ups: you must persevere, because after a few days the intolerance (tingling for example) disappears. It can be recommended to initiate treatment with cortisone cream before initiating tracolimus creams.

This page discusses the treatments for atopic eczema. Allergic eczema is treated differently.

The treatment pillars for atopic eczema

A combination of two treatments is used to reduce the frequency and severity of atopic dermatitis flare-ups.

  1. Cortisone cream (extinguisher effect) is used to fight against inflammation.
  2. Hydrating care is provided in the form of an emollient to reduce skin dryness and thus prevent inflammation.

Together, they form a dream team capable of providing incredible relief from itching and delaying the next flare-up.

illustration pompier/maçon

Calm flare-ups with an extinguishing treatment

Cortisone cream

Delay the onset of the next flare-up: repair your skin

Emollient skin care

Cortisone cream: “the extinguisher”

Your greatest ally

It is essential for soothing inflammation. Apply it once daily during flare-ups directly to red patches, to help provide your skin with soothing relief.

Cortisone cream helps eliminate oozing red patches, swollen red patches, and thick patches. As a result, it also provides relief from itching caused by these patches, making it the safest and fastest way to break the vicious cycle: redness - itching - scratching - redness.

“Grab your tube as soon as you see redness, feel itching or if the eczema patch is raised; do not wait for the flare-up to reach its peak.”

Anyone can use it

Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory. Your body produces it naturally in the form of cortisol. It poses no risk if used correctly. It can be applied to any part of the body, including the face and scalp, and is suitable for adults, pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, infants, athletes, and more.

If you are unhappy with the cream provided by your doctor, ask him or her for another texture: gel, emulsion, lotion, ointment, etc. The treatment only works if you follow it!

Fears about addiction

Cortisone cream does not cause addiction, nor does it become less effective over time. Some people are afraid to use cortisone cream because its side effects are still too often confused this those associated with oral cortisone treatments.

For eczema, you have no reason to fear cortisone, so long as you use it properly.

Emollient: “the mason”

Emollients fight against skin dryness, thus helping to:

  • rebuild the skin barrier,
  • prevent irritants and allergens from penetrating the skin,
  • and reduce the risk of superinfection.

Once or twice a day, set aside some time to apply your emollient effectively for maximum benefits.

You can use emollients available in various forms (balms, lotions, creams, etc.).Find the emollient that is best for you, with the help of your doctor.

“For children born to parents with atopy, early application of an emollient may reduce the risk of onset of atopic eczema”

“Apply the emollient to dry skin only, avoiding red patches”

No results without consistency

Eczema has a bad reputation: you often hear that it is difficult to treat, that it never goes away, that treatments are ineffective because patches keep coming back, and other such claims.

It is true that treatment requires some sacrifice. It would be easier to swallow a tablet rather than having to apply an emollient and cortisone cream every day.

Poor efficacy is often due to uneasiness and concerns about the treatment, resulting in it being applied incorrectly. Applying the cream takes time. Perhaps you applied too little, missed a few days, waited too long before applying the topical treatment, or stopped before the flare-up was treated...

“You can quickly lose out on all the comfort that a good eczema treatment can provide. Take the time to adopt good habits from the start; the difference will be staggering.”


Cortisone creams can sometimes be used as a “dressing” applied under a wet cloth for several hours. They may be applied alone or mixed with an emollient, under a bandage or piece of clothing. This technique, used in hospitals, helps maximize the benefits of topical corticosteroids and is very effective for soothing eczema.

Other topical treatments


Tacrolimus is an anti-inflammatory from the calcineurin inhibitors family and provides a possible alternative to topical corticosteroids. The only difference is that it is applied twice daily.

When? For stubborn eczema on the face, more specifically on the eyelids or other sensitive areas of the skin. It is sometimes poorly tolerated during flare-ups: but you must continue with treatment, as this intolerance (tingling, for example) will subside in a few days. Starting treatment with cortisone cream prior to applying tracolimus creams may be recommended.