Has that baby soft skin transformed into a patchwork of raw, red patches? You’re not alone! Eczema is a fact of life for one in ten babies (1). While there is no cure, strategic use of the best baby eczema creams can make a world of difference.
What seems like a simple mission of finding baby eczema creams is easier said than done! When you’re standing in an aisle jammed-packed with every lotion, cream, and magic potion out there, how do you pick?
Using information from the experts as well as fellow moms who are successfully managing eczema, we’ve selected the most effective creams on the market for your babies.
- Steroid-free for baby's safety
- Fragrance-free for sensitive skin
- Trusted dermatologist-recommended
- Hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested
- More effective than lotion
- Entire family can use daily
- All-natural organic medical grade honey
- Made in the US with quality ingredients
- Eco-friendly, Climate Pledge-Friendly
- Award-winning eczema product
- Works at night for maximum impact
- Hypoallergenic colloidal oatmeal formula
- USDA certified organic
- Hypoallergenic ingredients
- Award-winning family-owned brand
- Peta-certified animal cruelty-free
- Steroid-free dermatologist-tested
- Small amount goes a long way
- Safe & effective product
- Organic calendula soothes irritation
- Works as quick as three days
- Fragrance-, steroid-, tear-free formula
- Soap-free bath for quick relief
- Full body treatment
- 100% natural treatment
- Recognized by National Eczema Assoc.
- Provides 24-hour moisture barrier
- Reasonably priced
- 2-in-1 product saves counter space
- Hypoallergenic, tear-, mineral oil-free
How to Choose the Right Baby Eczema Product
Let’s talk about the key ingredients, including hypoallergenic options, as well as official certifications that reflect quality.
From budget-friendly drugstore lotions to over-the-counter ointments for serious cases, here is everything you need to know.
Alright, moms, it’s time for a quick vocabulary lesson! Skin treatments for baby eczema vary in type, and those differences are important. While we often talk about creams, lotions, and other options interchangeably, there are key variables.
Between ointment, cream, lotion, and gel, an ointment has the highest percentage of oil. This has an occlusive effect, which means that it stays on top of the skin rather than absorbing.
An ointment is a good option for dry, chapped skin. It’s a popular pick for hands and feet, especially since it stays put on moist skin. Rather than washing away, it will hold onto moisture for a soothing effect.
Importantly, we also love eczema baby ointments because they don’t sting!
Unlike ointments, a cream will absorb quickly into your skin. The higher water content makes it easy to spread, and it won’t create an oily mess. If your baby has dry skin all over, this is a great opinion.
Cream is best for daily use and can be used alongside ointments. Many moms find that cream all over their babies’ bodies and ointment on irritated spots is a winning combo.
Lotion is very similar to cream. It has a higher water content than ointment and is thinner than cream. While the cream is a 50-50 blend of oil and water, a lotion has very little oil.
You will typically find that creams come in a jar while lotion comes in a pump bottle. Many moms find that lotion is better in the summer since it absorbs better.
Gel is made from a blend of water, cellulose, and alcohol. Gel contains no oil, and so leaves no residue on the skin.
The most common gel is aloe vera. As an anti-inflammatory, aloe vera gel is another common ingredient in eczema treatment.
What’s the difference between a baby eczema treatment that looks good and one that’s been proven to work? Certification! Getting certified by dermatologists and relevant boards is an important seal of approval.
According to the FDA, over-the-counter eczema treatments for babies are considered to be drugs rather than cosmetics (2). That is why you will see headlines on the latest and greatest. For example, you might have read about the Eucrisa (crisaborole) ointment approval (3).
In the past, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Seal of Recognition was the golden standard. This program, however, has been discontinued (4).
Now, the non-profit National Eczema Association (NEA) database of products has become a common standard of quality.
It’s worth noting, however, that the AAD seal was dropped due to a lack of brand participation. Sometimes smaller brands don’t bother with the paperwork. Likewise, there are great options that fly under the radar of the NEA.
Ultimately, this means that you can trust everything on the shelf to be safe but there’s no single gold standard. The best baby eczema creams for you might be different from what works for your nephews or bestie’s baby. Look to the cream type and active ingredients to decide.
From oatmeal to petroleum jelly, you’ll find a laundry list of ingredients in baby eczema treatments. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, let’s dig into which ones are worth trying.
Grandma’s old standby is a must from breakfasts to bathtime. Oatmeal baths and creams are all-natural, affordable, and, most importantly, effective (5).
Beyond the oatmeal you’ll find in your pantry, colloidal oatmeal is a fundamental ingredient in over-the-counter baby eczema treatments. It’s so crucial that the Food and Drug Administration has required all eczema treatments to include colloidal oatmeal (6).
Another beneficial ingredient for irritated skin is aloe vera. This antimicrobial natural wonder can prevent infection and soothe irritated skin (7).
Research has found that ceramides consistently provide relief for most people (8). Side effects are rare and you’re likely to see at least mild relief so it’s a win-win.
Thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, calendula is a top ingredient pick for many brands.
While there is rarely a one-size-fits-all fix, there is a single golden rule here. When it comes to treating baby eczema, dermatologists recommend hypoallergenic products, free from fragrance and other harsh chemicals (9).
Over the Counter vs Prescription
Don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a nut! As painful and raw as baby eczema looks, don’t rush your baby into the pediatrician as a first step. Instead, dermatologists recommend starting with over-the-counter products.
When To See The Doctor For Baby Eczema
If your baby has blisters or yellow crust over eczema-affected areas, it’s time to see the doc (10). If it’s red and dry but you see no signs of infection, start with over-the-counter picks.
Like most products for babies, you can spend as much or as little as you like on eczema treatments. From $5 bottles to $36 tubs, it is essential to think about the price per use. One ounce of thick ointment will go much further than an ounce of watery lotion.
In our list, we’ve focused on value for money rather than the lowest cost. Generally speaking, the majority of our picks fall between $5 to $20, with a few higher-priced but concentrated options.
The Best Baby Eczema Creams of 2021
When it comes to the best baby eczema creams, here are our top ten favorite options.
1. Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Steroid & Fragrance-Free Body Cream
For babies three months of age and older, this is a powerful fragrance-free option. We love the inclusion of protecting colloidal oatmeal along with soothing ceramide-3 and licorice root extract in this cream.
For daily maintenance, this everyday body cream offers 24-hours hydration to keep your baby’s skin smooth and comfortable.
This dermatologist-favorite brand has found that four out of five kids are flare-free after using Eucerin for six months. While there are no guarantees, using a smooth daily cream is a proactive way to prevent painful patches.
Although this cream is free from steroids and fragrances, do be careful to patch test your baby’s skin. Every baby’s skin is different and a small number of moms found this cream to irritate their little ones.
- Steroid-free for safe use in babies aged 3+ months.
- Fragrance-free for sensitive skin.
- Trusted dermatologist-recommended product.
- Contains benzyl alcohol, which may irritate some babies’ skin.
|Active Ingredients||Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide-3, and licorice root extract|
|Frequency of Use||Daily|
|Age Group||3 months and over|
|Allergy Notes||Steroid and fragrance-free|
2. Johnson's Baby Oil Enriched With Shea & Cocoa Butter
When it comes to moisturizing your baby’s skin, steal a trick from grandma’s book of secrets. Believe it or not, good old fashion baby oil is still one of the most effective moisturizers on the market.
According to dermatologists, people of all ages dealing with eczema can benefit from using baby oil regularly (11). Thanks to the staying power of mineral oil, baby oil will stick around far longer than regular creams and lotions. This coverage locks moisture into your baby’s skin to maintain moisture.
According to Johnson and Johnson, mineral oil will lock in up to ten times more moisture than normal baby lotions. Thanks to the hypoallergenic formula, it’s a smart addition to bathtime for most skin types.
How To Boost Moisture
To maximize the amount of moisture your baby’s skin holds on to, apply baby oil when the skin is still damp. Massage it in for an even application (12).
- Hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested formula.
- More effective than lotion.
- Entire family can use baby oil daily.
- Fragrance may be upsetting for some.
- Oil can leave marks on clothing.
|Active Ingredients||Mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter|
|Frequency of Use||After baths|
|Age Group||All ages|
3. Clearbody Organics Manuka Relief Soothing Baby Eczema Cream
While hydrocortisone is the go-to remedy for itchy eczema, experts are mixed on hydrocortisone use for babies (13). To play it safe, many doctors recommend looking for a safer natural fix for itchy skin on babies under two years old. Enter manuka honey to the rescue!
Made with organic medical-grade manuka honey, this cream offers a plant-based organic solution to raw and rough skin. Made in the United States, this non-GMO is free of artificial fragrances.
Another thing we love about this pick is that it’s Climate Pledge Friendly certified. That means that you won’t have annoying and wasteful packaging. Instead, all of the air and water have been removed to reduce the carbon footprint of the packaging (14).
Effective against eczema, psoriasis, shingles, rashes, rosacea, and baby acne, this is a powerful addition to any first aid kit.
- Made with all-natural organic medical grade New Zealand Manuka Honey.
- Made in the U.S. with quality ingredients.
- Eco-friendly, Climate Pledge Friendly certified.
- Honey is an allergen for some.
- More expensive than similar sized eczema treatments.
|Active Ingredients||Manuka honey, colloidal oatmeal|
|Frequency of Use||Daily or as needed|
|Age Group||All ages|
|Allergy Notes||No artificial fragrances, honey may be irritating|
4. Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Moisturizing Balm
This hypoallergenic eczema pick stands out amongst the best baby eczema creams as it’s the only overnight colloidal oatmeal balm. Awarded the National Eczema Association Seal, this formula was specially made for babies’ sensitive skin. That means that you don’t need to worry about steroids, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, and other harsh chemicals.
Aveeno is one of the core groups of brands recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists. It’s a favorite with moms and docs alike. While it’s formulated for babies, many families have had success with this hypoallergenic eczema balm on kids of all ages.
Did you know that your skin cells are in hyperdrive overnight? The greatest repair and renewal takes place at night and your baby’s skin is at peak absorption level (15). That means this is one of those rare cases when you’ll see results overnight.
- Reliable, award-winning eczema management product.
- Works at night for maximum impact.
- Hypoallergenic colloidal oatmeal formula.
- Free of steroids, fragrances — gentle on babies’ skin.
- Contains alcohol, which might irritate some skin types.
- Thick formula may be hard to spread.
|Active Ingredients||Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide|
|Frequency of Use||Nightly|
|Age Group||All ages|
|Allergy Notes||Free from steroids, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol|
5. Era Organics Healing Ointment for Babies
For a USDA-certified organic natural moisturizer, Era Organics Healing Ointment for Babies is well worth checking out. This baby balm for sensitive skin is free from harsh chemicals and toxins. Whether you’re facing baby eczema, baby acne, cradle cap, chapped skin, hives, or rashes, try this nutrient-rich hypoallergenic formula.
We love that it’s made with USDA-certified organic calendula, chamomile, cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil, avocado oil. All its ingredients are scientifically proven to work against eczema. Thanks to the power of active ingredients, a little goes a long way (a good thing for these pricier options!).
While we love natural food-grade ingredients, especially organic ones, there is always a potential for allergies. Be sure to test a patch before you rub it all over.
Another downside to the all-natural ingredients is that the texture can be less than user-friendly. It goes on grainy then turns to a thick oily coat.
- USDA certified organic with a unique blend of petrolatum and coconut oil.
- Hypoallergenic ingredients with no phthalates, petrolatum, or mineral oil.
- Award-winning family-owned and operated brand.
- More expensive than similarly sized products.
- Recommended application at least twice a day.
|Active Ingredients||Chamomile, calendula, cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil, avocado oil|
|Frequency of Use||At least twice a day|
|Age Group||All ages|
|Allergy Notes||Hypoallergenic food-grade|
6. TruBaby Soothing Skin Eczema Cream
Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this eczema cream is a PETA-certified animal cruelty-free solution to raw skin. This all-natural unscented cream is free of steroids and made for babies’ delicate skin.
On top of being an effective skin remedy, we love the eco-friendly side of this brand. Made with biodegradable BPA-free packaging, this 100% recyclable packaging is a winner with green moms. We also love that this is locally made in the United States.
This pediatrician and dermatologist-tested cream offer an extra gentle blend of natural ingredients.
Like many all-natural options, however, this cream isn’t packed with preservatives. Unfortunately, a small number of moms found that that left the cream susceptible to molding, so be aware. If you are only using a tiny bit at a time or end up with an old batch, you might see mold.
- Eco-friendly, PETA-certified animal cruelty-free.
- Unscented, steroid-free dermatologist-tested formula.
- A small amount of product goes a long way.
- Expensive compared to similar products.
- Lack of preservatives can lead to mold.
|Frequency of Use||Daily|
|Age Group||All ages|
7. T is for Tame – Cradle Cap Treatment for Babies, Toddlers & Kids
While there is no direct link between eczema and cradle cap, these two types of red, flaky skin often go hand in hand. Does your little one have a red scalp along with brown or yellow flakey scales? You might want to try an eczema cream for cradle cap (16).
Whether your baby has eczema, cradle cap, dandruff, or another type of scalp irritation, this is an all-in-one fix.
And it was made by a mom of twins! She created this treatment after trying an arsenal of natural home remedies for cradle cap. Rather than buying from a faceless corporation, it’s fabulous to be able to support a small female-owned business.
When it comes to a cruelty-free all-natural pick from a boutique brand, this is a solid option that has worked for many moms.
- Safe, effective product created by a mom.
- Organic calendula soothes irritation on contact.
- Works for many babies in as few as three days.
- Did not work for some reviewers.
|Active Ingredients||Calendula, coconut oil, jojoba oil|
|Frequency of Use||For three days after irritation|
|Age Group||All ages|
8. Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Soothing Bath Treatment
From baby rash to eczema to poison ivy to insect bites, these Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Bath Treatments are a dream. This fragrance-free powder creates a soothing milk bath that provides instant relief for most skin types.
This soap-free cleanser with no steroids, parabens, or phthalate creates a soothing soak. After 15 to 30 minutes in the tub, your baby’s sensitive skin will be nourished from scalp to toe. With the colloidal oatmeal, this skin-protecting blend brings moisture to the baby’s skin and creates a protective barrier.
As much as we’ve loved the adult bathing salting from Aveeno, some moms haven’t found the baby version to be as effective. While it’s a great all-over soothing treatment, it might not be enough for eczema patches.
- Fragrance-free, steroid-free, tear-free formula.
- Soap-free bath for quick relief.
- Full body treatment for easy application.
- Reviewers say it’s not potent enough for eczema patches.
|Active Ingredients||Colloidal oatmeal|
|Frequency of Use||Bathtime|
|Age Group||6 months to 4 years|
|Medication Type||Soothing bath|
9. Baby Dove Eczema Care Soothing Baby Wash
When you’re treating baby eczema, it’s essential to pay attention to every product that touches your baby’s skin. One key aspect of skincare is body wash. To prevent irritation and soothe raw skin, look to gentle formulas.
Given a nod of approval from the National Eczema Association, Baby Dove’s body wash is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, fragrances, and steroids. Instead, it’s made with colloidal oatmeal and other tear-free ingredients that make bathtime easy.
Like every good eczema-friendly baby skin care treatment, this body wash provides a 24-hour moisture barrier.
While we love this body wash, you’ll want to keep in mind that it’s not an eczema cure. This is a perfect partner for another cream or balm, but not a stand-alone pick.
- 100% natural fragrance-free, paraben-free, tear-free treatment.
- Gentle formula recognized by National Eczema Association.
- Provides a 24-hour moisture barrier.
- Expensive for a body wash.
- Not a stand-alone remedy.
|Active Ingredients||Colloidal oatmeal, probiotic moisture|
|Frequency of Use||Daily|
|Age Group||All ages|
|Medication Type||Body wash cream|
|Allergy Notes||Gently formulated|
10. Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula
Looking for something that’ll make your life easier and your baby more comfortable? You are certainly not alone there! When your baby has eczema, it seems like there are always more products you should be buying.
We love that this Cetaphil product is a shampoo and body wash all in one. This dermatologist-recommended baby wash gently cleanses without parabens, colorants, or mineral oil. Best of all, it’s relatively affordable compared with similar products.
Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo is part of an extensive range of hypoallergenic bath products from the doc-recommended brand. While it’s been a miracle fix for some moms, a handful aren’t fans. Some moms note that this product is a rare fragranced option from Cetaphil and is not tear-free.
- Reasonably priced, compared to similar products.
- Two-in-one product saves counter space.
- Hypoallergenic, tear-free, mineral oil-free formula.
- Some moms found the formula wasn’t tear-free.
- Fragrance can be irritating to some.
|Active Ingredients||Organic calendula|
|Frequency of Use||Daily|
|Age Group||All Ages|
|Medication Type||Body wash and shampoo|
|Allergy Notes||Has fragrance|
|Product||Best||Active Ingredients||Frequency of Use||Age Group||Medication Type||Allergy Notes|
|Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Steroid & Fragrance-Free Body Cream||Best Fragrance-Free||Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide-3, & licorice root extract||Daily||3 months & over||Cream||Steroid & fragrance-free|
|Johnson’s Baby Oil Enriched With Shea & Cocoa Butter||Most Affordable||Mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter||After baths||All ages||Oil||Allergy-tested|
|Clearbody Organics Manuka Relief Soothing Baby Eczema Cream||Best Anti-Itch||Manuka honey, colloidal oatmeal||Daily or as needed||All ages||Cream||No artificial fragrances, honey may be irritating|
|Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Moisturizing Balm||Best Overnight Cream||Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide||Nightly||All ages||Balm||Free from steroids, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, & phenoxyethanol|
|Era Organics Healing Ointment for Babies||Best for Sensitive Skin||Chamomile, calendula, cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil, avocado oil||At least twice a day||All ages||Balm||Hypoallergenic food-grade|
|TruBaby Soothing Skin Eczema Cream||Best Cruelty-Free||Ceramide||Daily||All ages||Cream||Unscented|
|T is for Tame – Cradle Cap Treatment for Babies, Toddlers & Kids||Best for Cradle Cap||Calendula, coconut oil, jojoba oil||Three days||All ages||Cream||Unscented|
|Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Soothing Bath Treatment||Best Bath Treatment||Colloidal oatmeal||Bathtime||6 months – 4 years||Soothing bath||Soap-free|
|Baby Dove Eczema Care Soothing Baby Wash||Best Body Wash||Colloidal oatmeal, probiotic moisture||Daily||All ages||Body wash cream||Gently formulated|
|Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula||Best Shampoo||Organic calendula||Daily||All Ages||Body wash & shampoo||Has fragrance|
FAQs About Eczema in Babies
Now that you’ve got a shopping list, let’s dive into some important frequently asked questions.
How Often Should You Bathe a Baby With Eczema?
While skincare gurus and docs have long told us that bathing too much can dry out skin, the reality is not that simple. Rather than focusing on how often to bathe your baby, look at how to bathe your baby.
Using soap-free pH-balanced washes, patting skin dry, and applying moisturizer after every bath is what truly matters (17). Bathe when you feel it’s necessary and focus instead on creating an eczema-friendly bath time routine.
What Triggers Eczema In Babies?
Eczema has a range of causes. In about 30% of babies, eczema is caused by food allergy (with cow’s milk and eggs being a particularly common culprit). You’ll note that flare-ups caused by food allergies occur within a couple of hours of eating.
Aside from food allergies, discovering the cause is not as imperative as avoiding triggers. When you avoid these, eczema is much easier to manage. Eczema triggers include soaps, pollen, animals, wood, herpes virus, and dry air (18).
Is Coconut Oil Good for Baby Eczema?
When it comes to treating baby eczema with oils, experts say it’s a mixed bag. Certain oils, especially cold-pressed oils, are helpful while others have been shown to make eczema worse (19).
Essential oils have been a hot topic for years. Some people swear by them, while others say they are nothing but snake oil. Ultimately, experts have found that virgin coconut oil and virgin sunflower seed oil are amongst the surest bets (course).
What Foods Trigger Eczema in Babies?
Food allergies are a common trigger for eczema and it’s crucial to pay attention to negative reactions. Common eczema trigger foods include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish/ shellfish, and soy (20).
While sometimes food allergies are obvious at home, in many cases you’ll need to work with your doctor.
How to Apply Eczema Creams the Right Way
Found the best eczema cream for your baby? Maximize your results by applying it correctly. One of the most important things is to apply creams after every bath. Gently pat your baby’s skin dry, and then apply.
In total, you’ll want to apply your cream at least twice a day, unless directed otherwise. When you apply it, don’t be stingy! Apply it generously, then don’t rub it in. Smooth it on, all in one direction, then let your skin absorb it (21).
Managing Baby Eczema
The difference between baby soft skin and raw patches often comes down to your daily routine. Whether it’s periodic irritation or a more serious case, following best practices for eczema is fundamental.
Start by using the best baby eczema creams for your little one’s unique case. Be diligent in applying them and treating your tot’s skin with kid gloves. If you do not see a difference, it’s time to create a treatment plan with your pediatrician.