Eczema Medicines, Prescriptions and Drugs

eczema medicationsYour skin is so itchy and inflamed that sometimes you scratch until it bleeds. You’re embarrassed to ever wear a swimsuit or show some skin because your body is covered in patches of redness and flaky skin. You have eczema and you’re not alone.

31.6 million Americans, that’s over 10 percent of the population have some form of eczema. Of those people, 18 million are adults, and 9.6 million are children under the age of 18.

If you are one of these 31.6 million American unsure of what to do about your eczema, here is a comprehensive guide to eczema medications. But first a little more background on this skin condition.

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What is Eczema?

Eczema a group of conditions in which the skin becomes red, itchy and inflamed. There are different types of eczema.

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. There are several types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, which is long lasting and can flare up periodically, contact dermatitis, a skin rash that is caused by contact with certain substances, dyshidrotic eczema, where tiny blisters filled with fluid appear on the palms and fingers.

There’s also nummular eczema, coin-shaped rashes, and sores, seborrheic dermatitis scaly patches, and red skin, mainly on the scalp, and stasis dermatitis, inflamed lower legs caused by fluid buildup.

All of these types of eczema can range from mild, moderate to severe and can be treated with the proper eczema medications. But living with eczema can be uncomfortable and challenging. The word “eczema” comes from a Greek word that means “to boil over” which describes how patches can look during a flare-up.

It’s very common for babies and children to develop eczema on cheeks and chin, but it can appear anywhere on their body, and symptoms vary with each child. In most cases, eczema goes away as the child gets older, but some will carry it on through adulthood. Adults can also develop eczema later in life, even if they never had it as a child.

Is Eczema Contagious?

Eczema is not contagious and you can’t catch it by being in contact with someone who has it. However, researchers have found that people who have eczema develop it due to a combination of genetic makeup and environmental triggers.

Eczema does run in the family, so if a relative has eczema, there’s a good chance you could develop it too.

What Causes Eczema?

While doctor’s don’t know what exactly causes eczema, they do know the most common type, atopic dermatitis act like an allergy. Doctors can see that eczema flare-ups are caused when an allergen turns on in the immune system and skin cells do not react as they should.

However, the skin irritation that’s caused by eczema is not an allergic reaction. Doctors do think eczema may be caused by a combination of your genetic makeup, immune system, environment, activities that can lead to skin sensitivity, a skin defect that doesn’t allow moisture out or germs in.


It’s important to remember that eczema symptoms vary from person to person. It can even pop up in different areas of your body at different times. Here are some comm symptoms for eczema.

Eczema is usually itchy and in some cases, your skin can become so inflamed and itch so badly that people scratch it until it bleeds. This is not advised as it only makes eczema worse.

Common symptoms of eczema include; dry, sensitive, red and inflamed skin. Other symptoms are painful itching, dark colored patches of skin or rough, leathery, scaly patches of skin. You might also experience oozing, crusting and areas of swelling.

People with eczema might have all of these symptoms or just a few. These symptoms can vary from periodic flare-ups or could go away entirely. The only way to know for sure if you have eczema is to go see your doctor.


There is no lab test needed to identify eczema. Your doctor can determine if you have it by simply examining your skin and looking at your medical history. In some cases, your doctor might also do a patch text to rule out other skin diseases or to determine any conditions that might be triggering your eczema.

If you suspect a certain food caused your child’s rash, tell the doctor and ask about identifying potential food allergies.

Eczema Medications

eczema drugsYou may find yourself needing to try various treatments before you find one that works for you. It’s best to recognize your eczema as early as possible so you can start treatment immediately. If regular moisturizing doesn’t help, your doctor may suggest one or more the following prescription eczema medications:


Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment. Use this as directed, as overuse may cause side effects like thinning skin.

Other creams may contain calcineurin inhibitors like tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel). These can affect your immune system and should not be used on children under the age of two. It’s important to avoid sunlight with these topical treatments.

You also might be prescribed an antibiotic cream if your skin has a bacterial infection, open sores or cracks. You may also be advised to take oral antibiotics along with the cream to treat the infection.

Oral Drugs

In more severe cases, your doctor might prescribe oral corticosteroids like prednisone. While this is effective, it cannot be used long-term due to possible serious side effects.

There’s a newer drug called dupilumab (Dupixent) for people with severe cases who are not responding to other eczema medications. While it has tested safe so far, dupilumab doesn’t have a track record to see how effective it really is, and it’s very expensive.


If medications aren’t working, you may want to look into therapies. Such a wet dressings treatment for severe atopic dermatitis that wraps the area with topical corticosteroids and wet bandages. This sometimes has to be done at a hospital because it is labor intensive, but your doctor may be able to show you how to do this at home.

There’s also light therapy, which can be done if topical treatments aren’t working or if you flare up again rapidly after treatments. Light therapy exposes the skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight, UVA or UVB rays either alone or with medication.

While light therapy can be effective, there are side effects such as premature aging skin and increased risk of skin cancer. Therefore, light therapy is not recommended for young children or infants. Check with your doctor if light therapy is right for you.

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Top 25 Most Popular Drugs Used to Treat Eczema

The eczema drugs listed below are arranged by patient popularity, #1 being the most popular.

For your convenience we have linked to all prescription drug prices (shown below) within our database so you can quickly compare and find the lowest prices on most eczema medications.

  1. triamcinolone
  2. mometasone
  3. Elidel
  4. hydrocortisone
  5. Elocon cream
  6. desonide
  7. clobetasol
  8. prednisone
  9. Aclovate cream
  10. Topicort cream
  11. ranitidine 
  12. Cortizone-10
  13. desoximetasone
  14. fluocinonide
  15. pimecrolimus
  16. methotrexate 
  17. Westcort cream
  18. dexamethasone
  19. halobetasol propionate
  20. Cloderm
  21. Dexamethasone Intensol
  22. fluocinolone acetonide
  23. alclometasone
  24. Decadron
  25. azathioprine

At Home Treatment

There are also at home treatments you can do to help reduce itching and soothe inflamed skin. These treatments are good to do in addition to your prescriptions or if you’re waiting to see your doctor. If flare-ups are worsening with any of these treatments immediately stop and consult your doctor.

It is advised that people suffering from eczema should moisturize their skin at least twice a day. You may need to try different body washes, bath oils, creams, ointments, and sprays until you find a combination that works for you.

You also can try an over the counter anti-itch or hydrocortisone cream that has at least one percent hydrocortisone. This can help temporarily relieve the itch until you can get your proper prescription eczema medications.

Over the counter, oral allergy (antihistamines) or anti-itch medications can also help subside the discomfort, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or fexofenadine (Allegra). If itching is severe you can try a diphenhydramine like Benadryl, but it causes drowsiness so it’s best to take before bedtime.

Bandages covering the affected area can also help prevent scratching. Or soaking a warm bath with baking soda, and uncooked oatmeal for 10 to 15 minutes and patting the body dry can help. Be sure to apply moisturizer while the skin is still damp.

Also, check to make sure your soaps are dye and perfume free, it’s best to use soaps that are superfatted and non-alkaline. And always wash off your soap completely.

Investing in a portable humidifier can help your condition as hot, dry indoor air can worsen itching and flaking. Also wearing cool, smooth textured clothing instead of garments that are rough, tight and scratchy can help your skin heal.

Feel Better

Now that you understand your eczema, you should be able to control the itching and pain. Be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure you have eczema and find out how severe your condition is.

Know that you are not alone with your skin condition, and there are a plethora of treatments that can help. Accept that everybody is different and be patent with the time it might take to find the treatment that works best for you and your lifestyle.

It might be a combination of prescribed eczema medications, therapies and at home treatments that will finally give your skin that soothing comfort you’ve been longing for.

For more information on affordable eczema, medications check out our blog and contact us today.