Eczema treatment over the counter

Updated July 19, 2017

Eczema is an allergic skin disorder that causes rough, dry spots on the skin and sometimes makes oozing blisters. This allergic condition comes in different forms and can affect people of all ages. It is a stubborn condition to treat and usually doesn't go away with only one kind of treatment. Over-the-counter treatments work for some mild cases. Most are inexpensive.

Lotions and Creams

Since eczema dries the skin, it's important to keep the skin moist. Some lotions and creams from a drugstore or grocery can be helpful. Buy the ones made especially for dry skin and apply them to the affected areas. If the eczema is on the hands, buy thin white cotton gloves at the pharmacy. Apply a lotion or cream at night and sleep in the gloves. Buy thin white socks if your feet are affected; wear them over a generous application of lotion or cream. The gloves and socks will help the lotions do their work moistening the skin while you sleep. Be aware: some lotions and creams can irritate the skin. If they do, try a different one. Keep the affected areas out of water as much as possible. Use an oil-based body wash when you shower. If your hands are affected and you must wash dishes, wear rubber gloves over the cotton ones.


Benadryl comes in liquid, capsule or pill form. It can help stop the intense itching from eczema. Check the dosage for adults and children. Check with your doctor if your infant has eczema. Benadryl acts as a sedative and can make you drowsy. Don't drive or use machinery until you know how the drug will affect you. Benadryl also comes in the form of a gel that can be applied directly to the places that itch.


Corticosteroid cream (Cortizone) comes in a tube and can be purchased over-the-counter. It comes in low doses unless prescribed by a doctor. Applied to itchy, scaly areas, however, even a low dose can sometimes relieve the itching and keep the eczema from getting worse. Again, if the eczema is on the hands or feet, gloves and socks can help keep the medicine on and speed up healing.

Herbal Treatments

Health food and vitamin stores sell several kinds of natural remedies made from herbs. These generally need to be applied several times a day. Their intent is to moisturise and hydrate the skin. They relieve dry, itchy skin and prevent a worsening of the disorder, which can result in infection. Herbal remedies in the form of creams and lotions can also be found online. Emu oil, tea tree oil, evening primrose oil and neem are a few of the herbal treatments available over-the-counter.


Eczema can cause skin to crack, blister and bleed. When these things occur, infection can set in. Watch for any worsening of the itching, cracking, blistering and bleeding. If they seem to be getting worse or do not get better, contact your doctor. You may need more aggressive treatment for your eczema.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

DeLene Sholes has written hundreds of articles for print and online books, newspapers, and magazines including Florida Wildlife, Atlanta's Points North, and Faces magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Birmingham-Southern College and a Master of Arts in elementary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.