Helpful Eczema Vocabulary from A to Z.

Helpful Eczema Vocabulary from A to Z.

Jennie Lyon

Knowing the Words Can Help You Understand the Disease and Treat It.

There is a lot of different language associated with eczema. The following is a helpful guide explaining some of the names and remedies that we discuss regularly in our articles and in the news updates related to eczema.

Atopic Dermatitis, aka. AD:

This term is the medical name for eczema, this is the term used to describe a skin disease characterized by areas of severe itching, redness, scaling, and loss of the surface of the skin.

Bleach Baths:

Bleach baths can be effective for many children with moderate to severe eczema. Don't let the word bleach scare you - think of a swimming pool.  The bleach is always diluted in water and never applied directly to the skin. Check with your dermatologist to see if a bleach bath might be beneficial for your child’s condition, how much bleach to add to the water, and for how long to soak.  Please see this article on bleach bath recommendations for eczema


Creams contain a blend of oil and water, allowing them to combine the moisturizing nature of ointments with the light, cool feel of a lotion. However, creams often contain stabilizers and preservatives that some eczema sufferers may find irritating to the skin. Be cautious when choosing a cream and read the ingredients carefully.


Most creams, lotions, and ointments fall under the category of emollients. These helpful compounds work in three ways; providing an oily layer to help your skin hold onto valuable water, minimize friction, and help to repair surface skin cells. Types of emollients will vary greatly based on their oil-to-water ratio; the higher the oil content, the greasier the end product.  Consider reading this article on how coconut oil offers great results for eczema sufferers at


Lotions contain more water than creams and moisturizers and are light on the skin. While this makes them ideal for applying over hairier parts of the skin or under delicate clothing, they are generally less effective because the water content evaporates quickly.


Ointments are greasier than lotions, moisturizers, and creams, which helps to preserve the water content in the skin. Ointments are most effective on the driest, thickest skin, they generally do not contain preservatives, however should not be used on weeping eczema. Here is a great article on the best emollients with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance.  Ointments and emollients work the best for eczema but are also messy.  Applying eczema clothing over ointments and emollients is the best way to address this issue.  These specialty eczema garments keep the necessary treatment in place, but also provide soothing relief during treatment for excellent results.  Visit for more information on eczema garments for soothing and treating.


These are helpful microorganisms that are introduced into the body for their beneficial qualities. Good gut health promotes healthier skin and reduced eczema symptoms.  Here is a great article on gut health and eczema at

Wet Wrap Therapy:

Wet wrap therapy for eczema (wet wraps) is highly recommended to quickly reduce patients’ atopic dermatitis flares. Wet wraps increase the penetration of moisturizers and prescription topical medications, decrease water loss, and provide a physical barrier against scratching. It also calms the itch and brings down inflammation.  Wet wraps decrease the need for topical medication such as steroids that can have dangerous side effects on young children and adults.  Immediately after bathing, while the skin is still wet, apply generous amounts of emollients to the skin. Then apply a damp wet wrap eczema garment.  The term wrap comes from the use of gauze before specialty eczema garments were available.  Visit for wet wrap medical garments for wrapping eczema.