Several over-the-counter eczema treatments are safe and effective, according to WebMD, including topical corticosteroids and barrier repair moisturizers. Topical corticosteroids are available in creams and ointments containing hydrocortisone. They relieve inflammation and itching. Barrier receptor moisturizers can also be obtained over the counter and repair damaged skin, reduce swelling and itchiness and seal moisture into the skin.
Some products used for eczema contain ceramide, which is a fat that is naturally part of the skin's upper-most layer. Other products, however, contain ingredients such as fragrances that can be harmful or irritating to the skin. Consequently, WebMD recommends consulting with a health care provider to develop a personalized plan for treating eczema. Specialized treatments can help to sooth the skin while healing it. Specific doctor recommendations likely depend on the severity of the condition, the person's age and other health factors.
Some eczema may require more aggressive treatments than over-the-counter medications can provide. Doctors may recommend prescription drugs, shots, liquids or topical steroids to treat more severe cases of the condition. Eczema often causes sufferers to scratch their skin excessively, leaving the skin prone to bacterial infections. In such cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection, according to WebMD.