Hey guys, I have been using some new creams [don't recoil at the word "cream", these ones are different!], and thought this info might help someone. Some of you may recall I have recently developed sensitivity to vaseline after using it as my main stand-by for decades, so I have been trying a lot of different stuff and doing a lot of research, there is some exciting new stuff out there, [thank God!], so here are some personal reviews from yours truly:
Cerave is a ceramide based, glycerine cream that is available over the counter at many drug stores in the US, and probably elsewhere. It has been known for a decade or two that one of the problems in atopic skin is a lack of these molecules called ceramides, and during the past several years there have been some really good studies showing the efficacy of ceramide based creams in treating atopic dermatitis, generally showing signifigantly improved outcomes when compared to traditional emollient treatments. Cerave is the only ceramide based cream, afaik, that is widely available over the counter in the US, and it doesn't even cost you an arm and a leg "only" $15 per 16oz tub, which if you look at the price for some other ceramide creams out there is very cheap.
After having to stop using the vaseline, my life turned into a real nightmare for a while, and this Cerave has really turned things around for me. Superficially, it doesn't seem to do as much as the vaseline, like after I get out of the shower for example, but after a week or two the state of my skin is at least as good as it was while using the vaseline [this corresponds with what was said in one of those studies I mentioned, that the ceramides might not seem as good at first, but in the long term they had great impacts on the state of the skin]. The Cerave is also very mild; I was pretty skeptical about it, but the ingredients are pretty benign, and it's not caused me any trouble with skin irritation at all. I use it head to toe, two or three times a day. Besides the ceramides, Cerave is basically just a glycerine cream, glycerine and water are the main ingredients, and glycerine+water itself has been shown to have a long term moisturizing effect [i.e. not merely superficial] in one study that I saw, so overall this is a great product.
The weird thing is that even though the vaseline and Cerave both seem to have great benefit in moisturizing the skin, they work in different ways. It is hard for me to put this into words, but if the vaseline would get my skin a little bit more moisturized than the Cerave, the Cerave gets my skin a little bit more "normal". My skin is smoother and has more of a natural feel to it when using the Cerave than it did with the vaseline.
Also, Cerave is not greasy! Using vaseline at night, and then Cerave during the day [non-greasy! yay!] would be a really powerful moisturizing solution for atopic derm sufferers. Depending on your skin, or situation, you might even want to do a straight switch. I reccomend everyone to try Cerave as an additional tool in your treatment arsenal, I've been using it for a few weeks now and it's good stuff!
ATOPICLAIR and MIMYX:
Atopiclair and Mimyx are two new non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory creams that have been developed for treatment of atopic dermatitis. My derm described these as "sort of the latest and greatest, cutting edge kind of thing". These are quite expensive [~$100 per tube I think, but a little bit seems to go a long way], and available in the US by prescription only. I have also read both of these drugs described as ceramide based creams, but neither drug advertises itself as such or has "ceramide" in the ingredients list, so I'm not sure if that is true or not.
Apparently atopiclair and mimyx are a bit of a mystery. It is not clear how they work, or even what the active ingredients are [according to an excellent doctor I spoke to]. These drugs seem to be geared towards repairing some of the specific abnormalities or deficiencies present in atopic skin. They might just have flown under the radar, but both companies were so convinced of their product that they went through the whole expensive FDA process for prescription qualification, with rigorous, mainstream medical studies performed to demonstrate the drugs' efficacy. Also, these drugs have almost no side-affects or contraindications at all.
I was EXTREMELY skeptical about both atopiclair and mimyx, but found both of them to have dramatic affects on my eczema. They both decrease inflammation and itching signifigantly for me [at least in the short term, I have only had them for a week]. Even recalcitrant eczema on my feet that was not responding to much of anything except prednisone seems to be responding well to these creams. It is hard for me to say which is better, but the mimyx seemed to irritate my skin sometimes when I used it [not 100% sure], so I am preferring the atopiclair currently.
Both the Atopiclair and Mimyx look like big new guns in the atopic dermatitis sufferer's arsenal. After not being able to use my traditional ointments anymore, because of the vaseline sensitivity, these drugs have been a Godsend to me, and even just in one week have really helped to clear my skin up a lot. I reccomend them highly to any atopic derm sufferer who is looking for a new treatment option.