Help! What moisturiser to use on your eczema baby?

Choosing the right moisturizers for your baby

Navigating through all the moisturizers out there to find the right one for your baby can be a nightmare.

My baby Marcie has tried various lotions and creams (I remembered when the household budget burst due to many trial and error purchases and our cabinets stacked full of different moisturizers) and finally settled on using Physiogel AI cream, Physiogel body lotion and QV body lotion. As you are figuring out which moisturizer to use, it is important to remember the one advice that I had from Marcie’s doctor, “You Can’t Moisturize too Much”.

The Undecipherable Information out there on Moisturizer

Whether over the internet or on product labels, I have this conclusion after trying to no avail to sum up the pros and cons of different moisturizers – We, as parents and layman, can’t figure out from reading the information available. I have tried at least 3 times to make sense of all the information out there, including comparing all the ingredients, and given up (all three times). I can only let you know that Physiogel and QV work for Marcie which are also recommended by Marcie’s doctor (I didn’t accept any advertising fees from these two brands and neither do I see these brands sold at the clinic that Marcie’s doctor works in).

What Moisturizers worked for Marcie’s Eczema

Physiogel AI cream works quite well but due to its high cost, S$35 for 50ml, I only use it on her face and after  swimming. Physiogel AI cream is able to neutralize free radicals which when produced in excess, damages skin cells. Physiogel body lotion also works for Marcie but also due to its cost, I use when her rashes are affecting her badly (on top of using mild steroid). On a daily basis, liberal amounts of QV body lotion is slathered on Marcie and her infant care teachers have also been reassured not to worry about slathering too much.

What has not worked for Marcie’s Eczema

Aqueous cream which contains emulsifying ointment, paraffin and preservatives – I tried this as it was recommended by a friend’s dermatologist but it hasn’t worked for Marcie. She scratched the area and was crying with frustration the two nights we applied for her. Also read that some doctors say this cream will cause thinning of skin over long period of use.

California Baby – no improvement and my hubby who has eczema felt that it stung on his eczema skin

Gaia Natural Baby – no improvement and too expensive to use liberally

Both the organic cream, California Baby and Gaia Natural Baby, are gifts from friends. Read that organic does not necessarily mean non – allergenic as some people can still be allergic to the organic ingredients. Also the use of the word ‘organic’ is not regulated.

Calamine lotion – not suitable as told by a doctor whose kids have allergies. I think it’s because one of the key ingredient, zinc oxide, absorbs moisture and that’s why it doesn’t help to moisturize the skin but helps to dry up weeping wounds.

Prickly heat powder– not suitable as told by same doctor above. My own guess is that it doesn’t have any moisturizing function.

Some common items to look out for in labels

  1. Hypoallergenic – means less chance of developing allergy
  2. Suitable for eczema baby or child
  3. Free of fragrance and perfumes
  4. Free from dyes, colors, conventional emulsifiers, preservatives, mineral oils, paraffin

In general, lotions are more easily absorbed but not as long-lasting as creams. For me, I prefer lotion as Marcie is too fidgety for me to have the time to get the cream from the tub (and ensuring no contamination) and apply over her body.

Do persevere in moisturizing as dry skin leads to itching and do so liberally all day and immediately after your baby’s shower.

Update: Almost a year after writing this post, I’ve interviewed a dermatologist Dr Verallo-Rowell for a 13-part Sensitive Skin Product Series, and in this post, she provides the list of ingredients and their different names to avoid. 

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Last update was on: 15 November, 2018 12:07 pm
74 Comments
  1. Thanks Tammy 🙂 Are you based in Singapore? I haven’t heard of Lorena/Irish Eyes but am glad that you’ve found something that works for you! Take care :))

  2. You should try Irish Eyes by Lorena body lotion and facial cream. It’s amazing. It has taken care of my eczema and extreme dry skin. It’s also much cheaper than QV lotion. I use the Milk Drench facial cream on my baby’s face to help with eczema and it works great.

  3. Thanks Bh!

    I still have a few bottles at home, but if anyone contact me after reading your posting, I’ll let you know. Cheers!

  4. Just to share. I tagged along a friend to order QV lotion. I just got my 1st lot last week, $28 for 1.25 litre. I understand Sin is selling 500ml @ $22+, cheapest I’ve seen on offer is $18. I ordered extra bottles to maximize shipping. If you are interested, I do have some to spare.

    PS: I’m not selling for business.

  5. Hi Chandra,

    I use Physiogel AI and from an eczema forum that I attend, the doc said it’s perfectly ok to use it before 6 months old. The reason why the label is written as such is because (if I remember correctly) some additional certification required to be labeled as for new born.

    Take care!
    Mei

  6. Hi Mei,

    Can I know which product you use on your baby’s face before she turns 6 months old? Because I read Physiogel AI only can be used for baby older than 6 months old.

    Currently my baby has eczema on face and she’s 3 months old.

    Thanks

  7. Hi Charlie’s mum,

    Thanks for dropping me a note!
    Jonhsons baby Sorbolene – never tried
    Dermaveen bath oil – using, no problem so far
    Balms – I don’t use balm, cos I got to apply fast and balm, being thicker, takes longer to apply
    Cetaphil – not using
    QV lotion, cream – regular use
    Cortisone cream 1% – check this post:
    http://eczemablues.com/2011/04/is-steroid-cream-safe/
    Generally, use higher strength less frequent, when eczema flare bad and not on thin skin areas
    Lonicera ( traditional Chinese herb) – never tried
    Not sure about zit-like dots, though Marcie’s eczema never turn zit-like. Zit, like acne? due to increased sebum?

    Read this link http://eczemablues.com/tag/product-label/ lots of info on sensitive skincare products.

    Cheers!
    Mei

  8. Hi, this is a great website, and your dedication as a mum really inspires me.
    My 4 month old son was diagnosed with eczema a month ago. He has it mainly on his face, scalp, behind ears and neck area.
    I have a few questions hoping you can give your opinion on based on your experience.
    I moisturise him with Jonhsons baby Sorbolene cream these couple of days, I have used Dermaveen and Qv balm, cetaphil before which seems to make it worse..qv lotion was quite good but he was still scratching. Have you tried Johnson’s Sorbolene cream?
    Our doc also prescribed cortisone cream 1% to use..but I’m reluctant to use it on his face..and him being so young. This week we are trying Lonicera ( traditional Chinese herb) boiling it with little water and dabbing inflammed areas with it…it seems to work but i am not so sure. This is what is happening after. 3 days of usage. The red inflammed area on his forehead and scalp (most itchy part for him) seems to have disappeared. But the zit like dots have increased around the temple area, mainly on the scalp between the ears and temple, kind of around the area of sideburns if he has them. Is this a worsening of the condition? Or the eczema is taking it’s course?

    Thank you so much for your help and time.
    Charlie’s mum

  9. Nope, I haven’t but I know that many moms in Malaysia are using it – Moogoo not on Singapore shelves but can be bought online. Knowing that it’s very popular, I was interested to find out more and the founder gave a 2-part interview on my blog, links below:
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/07/moogoo-learning-about-a-natural-skin-care-brand-part-1of-2/
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/07/moogoo-learning-about-a-natural-skin-care-brand-part-2-of-2/
    Hope reading the above interview helps you understand the product better!

  10. Hi there, have you ever used Moogoo?

  11. From what I can see from the label, Physiogel AI cream has the ingredient Palmitoylethanolamide that is anti-inflammatory. There’s a clinical trial I’ve found on the web on it, helped improve eczema.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18181976

  12. My dermatologist prescribed steroid cream and Aqueous cream. I’m on full strength steroid cream now 🙁

    A friend just passed me a tube of Physiogel AI cream and it’s working so much better than Aqueous. But it only helps me in my eczema, not my hives which comes together with my eczema flare up.

    May I know what’s the difference between Physiogel AI cream and Physiogel body lotion?

  13. I do! Lots! I thought you were referring to steroid cream. For QV, I slather it on my baby, use like 500ml/week! Whenever I feel that her skin is dry, and always after shower, I would moisturize lots lots on her 🙂

  14. Hi Beebee,

    Yes, it does come and go.. I don’t apply more than once per weekday and maybe twice max during weekend. Always sparingly. Usually, I may apply for few days, rashes go away and I stopped. If it comes back, we’d apply again. I believe it is safe, since we are using as prescribed and not treating the eczema is worse off. Are you coming for the support group breakfast at Tiong Bahru this Saturday?

    Hope to see you!
    Mei

  15. Hi Mei,

    I brought my boy to NSC and they prescribed the cream exactly like your Marcie Pd.
    It does make the rashes go but after sometime out of sudden it comes back again. Even if we will
    Maintain it. Does it happen to Marcie?

  16. Hi Karin,

    Most cases of eczema start off as child, but may go into remission and come back later in life. It’s sort of a mystery, as I’ve even heard of 60+ mom with grand kids suddenly developing eczema.
    If the eczema cannot be controlled using moisturizer (i.e. one without potential irritants, please click on tag ‘product label’ to learn more), not using soap (but choose non-soap cleaner/bath oil), then you may want to see a doctor. Likely will be prescribed topical steroid at polyclinic, which is ok if used under doctor’s direction (you can click ‘steroids’ to find out more).
    Otherwise, you may want to get referral to see specialist at National Skin Centre or NUH..
    Hope your eczema gets better!

  17. I know this blog is meant for baby but a few days ago, suddenly I have eczema on both legs and arms. Do u know why this happen? What is the shower gel and moisturiser that should I use? I am in late thirties? And what should I avoid? Please help. Thanks

  18. Hi Dan,

    It’s sold in hospital pharmacies (NUH, KKH I know for sure) and some GPs who sell creams/thermometers etc may also stock it. Heard from another mom AI cream is 2 for $60 (vs 1 for $38) at KKH until end of month.

  19. Mei,

    Where can i get the Physiogel AI cream? it’s not sold in pharmancy.

  20. […] Certain irritant/allergen in moisturizers may worsen the eyelid eczema, see this post and the comment section for some of these […]

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