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Best hand cream for eczema 2023: Soothe sore, irritated skin

Suffering from particularly dry, cracked and itchy hands? The best hand creams for eczema help keep skin supple, smooth and pain-free

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes dry skin, itchiness, scaly patches, rashes, blisters and skin infections. As such, keeping the moisture level in your skin intact is a key factor in keeping the skin condition under control – and in that fight, a good-quality hand cream to protect the skin is a must.

All of the formulas in our list below – emollients, lotions, creams and ointments – can be bought online or in the shops. However, those suffering an eczema “flare up” (where you’re experiencing acute symptoms or side effects) may require a topical steroid cream or corticosteroid to bring relief. In general, these are prescription-only (unless very mild) and will require you to see your GP for advice.

Below, we reveal our selection of the best hand creams for eczema currently available. However, for those who remain unsure about eczema and suitable creams for the condition, we’ve put together a guide on how to choose the best eczema hand cream for you.

READ NEXT: Best all-round eczema creams

Best hand creams for eczema: At a glance

Best barrier creamMooGoo Eczema Cream (~£20)Check price at MooGoo
Best for itchy handsMenthoderm Cream (~£6.19)Check price at Express Chemist
Best hand cream to pop in your handbagAveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream (~£6.13)Check price at LookFantastic
Best hand cream for overnight skin repairP’URE Papaya Ointment (~£13)Check price at Amazon

How to choose the best hand creams for eczema

What is eczema and what causes it?

As we’ve already mentioned, eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes a variety of symptoms. It can begin during childhood, adolescence or adulthood, with symptoms that cover the spectrum from mild to severe. Children can grow out of it as they become older, while some adults can develop the skin condition – most commonly in their 20s or over the age of 50. No matter when your suffering starts, there’s no “one size fits all” solution.

There are seven different types of eczema, with the most common atopic dermatitis. Many different factors can contribute to eczema and these vary from person to person. They include:

  • An interaction between your environment and your genes
  • A deficiency in the genetic component filaggrin (leading to drier, itchier skin)
  • A family history of eczema
  • Extended exposure to extreme heat or cold and dry air
  • Certain types of soap, shampoos, bath and shower products, body and face washes
  • Laundry detergents and fabric softeners with chemical additives
  • Cleaners and disinfectants
  • Fabrics, such as wool or polyester
  • Nickel (a metal commonly found in jewellery and utensils)
  • Various chemicals found in household products
  • Dust mites and dirt

Things to remember when moisturising your hands

  • Apply moisturiser to your skin within three minutes of washing to lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.
  • Soften moisturiser by rubbing it in between your hands and then rub it further in with a downward stroke of the other hand.
  • Prevent contamination by using a clean implement to apply the moisturiser.
  • If the moisturiser feels tacky, don’t remove the excess. It will absorb into the skin within a couple of minutes.

What other steps can you take to help prevent eczema?

As well as moisturising, there are various other steps you can take to help reduce eczema flare-ups:

  • Use eco-friendly laundry products – If you have sensitive skin, chemicals in laundry detergents and fabric softeners can irritate and exacerbate conditions such as eczema. We’re big fans of the ecoegg, which uses mineral pellets to deliver a hypoallergenic laundry solution.
  • Use eczema-friendly shower and bath wash – Many shower and bath products contain products such as sodium lauryl sulphate that can aggravate the skin. Fortunately, there are products designed specifically for eczema sufferers. Try Aveeno’s Soothing Bath Soak or, if you’re a shower fan, Salcura’s Bioskin Body Wash.
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products – Harsh cleaning products that are full of chemicals are a complete no-no for eczema sufferers. We’d recommend always wearing gloves while cleaning, but it would also be a good move to switch to using an eco-friendly range of products that won’t hurt your skin. The heavy duty Delphis range is particularly effective.

How we test hand cream for eczema

Rather than just testing our chosen creams on one person, we enlist a variety of eczema sufferers to test their effectiveness. We first and foremost look at how well each cream treats symptoms such as redness, itching, dry skin and bumps. We also consider how thick each formula is, as some people prefer lighter creams over thicker ones. On a similar note, we look at how easily they are absorbed into the skin and whether they leave a residue on the hands. Each cream is used for two weeks to ensure users get a real picture of how well these products work, allowing us to pull together a list of genuinely effective creams for eczema sufferers.

READ NEXT: Best face creams for eczema

The best hand creams to buy for eczema in 2023

1. Eucerin Urea Repair Plus 5% Hand Cream: Best eczema hand cream for everyday use

Price when reviewed: £6.75 | Check price at Boots

The Eucerin Urea Repair Plus Hand Cream isn’t the cheapest on our list (although you’ll often find it at a reduced price), but we do think that in the world of eczema creams, it’s reasonably priced. This makes it an appealing option for everyday use, alongside it being a light, non-greasy cream that’s easily absorbed into skin.

Eucerin contains 5% urea, which helps to bind moisture to the skin and protect its natural barrier. The cream has been formulated to minimise the risk of any skin irritation and brings immediate relief to dry or chapped hands. We noticed that its benefits survived some hand washing, with our skin maintaining moisture levels to not dry out so quickly. This could be a great choice to keep by the sink, for quick and easy application after every wash. We also liked the fact that the cream has no smell.

Key details – Size: 75ml; Type: Cream; Use: Apply as often as required; Suitable for: Teenagers and adults

2. MooGoo Eczema Cream: Best barrier cream

Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price at MooGoo MooGoo’s eczema cream is a skin barrier cream, meaning that it forms a protective layer on the skin to lock in moisture and keep out impurities. The cream is infused with ceramides – naturally occurring lipids (lipids make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells) in our skin that consist of an oily wax. It’s this wax that forms the barrier.

We love MooGoo’s cream: it’s thick enough to provide instant and long-lasting relief to dry hands, but it doesn’t feel at all greasy. We found that it calmed angry skin quickly, with our hands feeling softer immediately after application. Since it’s so thick, we’d recommend it for home use; but, if you fall in love with it, then you could pick up MooGoo’s lightweight Sensitive Skin Balm, which is easier to use when you’re out and about.

For happier and healthier hands, MooGoo’s Eczema Cream comes highly rated.

Key details – Size: 120g; Type: Barrier cream; Use: Apply 2-3 times a day; Suitable for: Babies, children and adults

Check price at MooGoo

3. Menthoderm Cream: Best eczema hand cream for itchy hands

Price when reviewed: £6.19 | Check price at Express Chemist Menthoderm’s creams contain cooling and soothing menthol, which instantly calms itchy and irritated skin that feels warm to the touch. The range is available in three strengths – we’ve linked to the 2% menthol option here, which we think is the best “all-rounder”, but it’s also available in a 500g tub and a 100g tube.

Alongside menthol, Menthoderm creams also contain undecylenic acid, which helps to protect dry and irritated skin. The cream is thin enough for easy application and it isn’t greasy, although we did notice it left a slight residue on our hands. As is common with most eczema creams, this dissipated quickly.

We were impressed by how quickly Menthoderm cooled the skin, which immediately delivered relief from irritation. The slight tingling sensation of the menthol was also particularly adept at soothing and stopping the itch.

Key details – Size: 100g; Type: Menthol in aqueous cream; Use: Apply to clean, dry skin as often as required; Suitable for: Children (over 2 unless advised otherwise by a clinician) and adults

Check price at Express Chemist

4. Skin Genius ‘Cream Come True’: Best eczema hand cream for speedy absorption

Price when reviewed: £17 | Check price at Skin Genius

The Skin Genius cream arrives full of natural ingredients that are designed to help heal eczema and keep skin nourished and supple. Shea butter is well known for its healing abilities and here it sits alongside soothing starflower and calendula, chickweed to help reduce itching and irritation, and hemp for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Skin Genius’ cream can be used alongside steroid treatments, and we found the cream’s super-light texture extremely fast absorbing, with no residue or greasy finish. The cream worked particularly well to nourish hands, targeting cracks in the skin, as well as getting rid of flakes. And you won’t need much – a little of this cream goes a long way.

Key details – Size: 100ml; Type: Cream; Use: Apply as often as required; Suitable for: Babies, children and adults

Check price at Skin Genius

5. Hydrosil Turmeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve: Best eczema hand cream for red patches

Price when reviewed: £11 | Check price at Skin Shop The Hydrosil salve is made from a combination of donkey milk, turmeric butter and cardiospermum halicacabum vine extract, all of which help to soothe and heal eczema. Donkey milk is high in amino acids and antimicrobial proteins, which are known to be very beneficial for eczema-prone skin, with studies showing that the milk has a positive effect on skin allergies. Historically, turmeric has been used to treat dry skin and inflammation, while cardiospermum vine extract also has calming effects on eczema.

The combination of these unusual ingredients produces a salve that we found particularly effective to treat red and scaly patches of skin. Instantly soothing but extremely effective at deep moisturisation, the balm helped to treat these patches of eczema, reviving skin to its normal state in a very short time.

Key details – Size: 75ml; Type: Salve; Use: Once in the morning and once in the evening; Suitable for: Children and adults

Check price at Skin Shop

6. Odylique Repair Lotion: Best eczema hand lotion

Price when reviewed: £23 | Check price at Odylique If you prefer the feel of a lotion on your skin, the Odylique Repair Lotion is a lightweight and gentle alternative to some of the heavier creams on this list. Odylique’s lotion was originally developed by the company’s founder for her family’s eczema prone skin, and is gentle on itchy and irritated areas.

Made with 94% organic ingredients, these include chickweed to ease itching, anti-inflammatory chamomile, soothing calendula and aloe vera for skin repair.

Although lightweight, we did feel the lotion left a slight residue on skin, with it lingering a little longer than some products. In addition, the mild smell of aloe vera may not be to everyone’s taste. Nevertheless, Odylique’s Repair lotion might work particularly well on thin, older skin, where it will be easily absorbed.

Key details – Size: 60ml; Type: Lotion; Use: Massage into the skin as needed, little and often is best; Suitable for: Children and adults

7. InLight Turmeric & Calendula Relief Balm: Best luxury eczema hand cream

Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at Naturisimo This beautifully presented ointment comes with its own applicator, to avoid any cross contamination and help to keep skin clean and healthy. Turmeric and calendula offer soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, with the balm designed specifically for sensitive skin prone to eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

InLight combines turmeric and calendula with its blend of organic cold-pressed oils to deliver deep moisturisation. These include virgin olive, castor and black cumin, combined with other soothing and conditioning ingredients such as chickweed and mallow.

Since the balm is made with oils, it’s super-concentrated so you’ll only need a tiny amount to cover a large area. InLight says you can remove any excess with cotton wool. Do be aware that some of the ingredients in the product can cause staining, so avoid contact with clothes until the oil has fully soaked into skin.

Key details – Size: 45ml; Type: Ointment; Use: Apply as needed – a little goes a long way; Suitable for: Babies, children and adults

Check price at Naturisimo

8. P’URE Papaya Ointment: Best eczema hand cream for overnight skin repair

Price when reviewed: £13 | Check price at Amazon The first thing that will hit you about this ointment is its smell – it’s divine, yet not at all overwhelming. Papaya is known for its healing qualities for dry skin, and here it sits alongside shea butter for nourishment, macadamia oil to repair the skin’s protective layer, jojoba oil for deep moisturisation and calendula for its soothing properties and ability to reduce inflammation.

The combination of oils and fruit result in quite a thick and greasy cream, which requires some rubbing into the skin for full absorption. We would recommend working into skin at night, with some cotton gloves worn over it to allow the formula to sink fully into the skin and really get to work on any extra dry patches of eczema. Although it might seem expensive for such a small tube, the rich formula means you’ll need only the tiniest amount. And while not ideal for day-time use, you’ll wake in the morning having used it overnight with super-soft, nourished hands.

Key details – Size: 25g; Type: Ointment; Use: Apply overnight for best results, a little goes a long way; Suitable for: Children and adults

9. SOS Serum: Best soothing eczema hand cream

Price when reviewed: £16 | Check price at Amazon The SOS Serum is an incredibly gentle cream that’s particularly good at soothing the symptoms of eczema. The cream is fragrance-free and contains hyaluronic acid, which helps strengthen the skin’s elasticity and helps wounds to heal faster. Wasabi japonica root extract works by soothing irritated skin.

We’re fans of the pump action dispenser in which the product arrives, allowing you to easily control the amount of serum that comes out. The cream is quite thick, so you won’t need a lot to cover the hands, while the slight residue after application will fade quickly.

The serum proved particularly useful for reducing the itching associated with eczema, thereby quickly soothing and calming any flare-ups. SOS Serum can also be used as a support when withdrawing from using a steroid cream, maintaining moisture levels to keep skin healthy.

Key details – Size: 50ml (15ml and 200ml also available); Type: Cream; Use: Apply as needed; Suitable for: Children and adults

10. Aveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream: Best eczema hand cream to pop in your handbag

Price when reviewed: £6.13 | Check price at LookFantastic  Aveeno’s hand cream is easily absorbed and ideal for keeping hands moisturised when you’re out and about. The formula is based around oats, which brings colloidal oatmeal’s moisturising properties to prevent water loss from the skin, alongside oat extract for soothing, and ceramides and oat oil for a functioning skin barrier.

We found Aveeno’s hand cream light and non-greasy, which made it easy to apply on-the-go; you can be sure it won’t leave any residue on clothes or any items you’re handling when out. Unscented and mild, it’s gentle enough to use on patches of the skin that may already have eczema, or are simply dry and chapped. The cream makes hands softer and lasts well throughout the day. It’s extremely well priced, too, so you can apply as often as you like without fear of breaking the bank.

Key details – Size: 75ml; Type: Cream; Use: Apply as needed; Suitable for: Children and adults

11. Young Ldn Dermaceutic Panthenol Ceutic Ointment: Best eczema hand cream for supple skin

Price when reviewed: £26 | Check price at Amazon Young Ldn’s ointment does a great job of making skin more supple, helping to prevent the cracking and irritation often associated with eczema. The ointment includes 5% panthenol, which helps to immediately calm the skin and reduce redness, alongside 1% bisabolol, whose restorative properties immediately calm irritated skin.

Also included are shea butter and beeswax, both of which help to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture, as well as vitamin E for its antioxidant properties. This is a rich cream, so you don’t need masses of it, and it works best if applied once or twice a day. It’s also the most expensive cream here, so you’ll want to use it more sparingly. However, we think it’s worth the extra expense since it does such a good job of soothing the skin, which is particularly important when the temperatures drop.

Key details – Size: 30g; Type: Cream; Use: Apply twice a day; Suitable for: Adults

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