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Medical News Today: Can Noxzema help with eczema?

Noxzema is primarily a treatment for acne and pimples, but it may also help with symptoms of eczema.

Eczema causes patches of dry, cracked, itchy skin, and sometimes fluid-filled blisters. There are many treatment options, which work in different ways — some aim to hydrate the skin, while others aim to reduce inflammation.

Noxzema is designed to treat acne and pimples. It contains salicylic acid, which is also an ingredient in some eczema treatments.

This article will look at the science behind using Noxzema for eczema in adults and babies, along with possible risks and alternative eczema treatments.

What does the science say?

Noxzema is an acne treatment that may also help improve eczema symptoms.

Noxzema is a commercial, over-the-counter cosmetics brand that sells anti-acne products, such as creams, cleansers, and anti-blemish wipes.

Noxzema does not sell eczema-specific products, and no research has investigated the effects of Noxzema products on eczema.

Some Noxzema products contain 2 percent salicylic acid as their active ingredient. The National Eczema Association recommend using a cream containing salicylic acid and sulfur or coal tar as part of the treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, a form of eczema that primarily affects the upper back, nose, and scalp.

Salicylic acid gets rid of pimples by clearing debris from the pores. It is also a keratolytic agent, meaning that it can help remove outer layers of skin. Products containing salicylic acid may help to soften hard, cracked layers of skin caused by eczema.

As salicylic acid is the active ingredient, it is possible that Noxzema can treat eczema. However, the official uses of Noxzema currently only include the treatment of acne and pimples.

Is Noxzema safe for eczema?

Scientists have conducted no research into the effects of Noxzema on eczema. This means that there is little information about its effectiveness and safety, and how best to use it.

It is possible that other ingredients in Noxzema could worsen symptoms of eczema or cause harm in a different way.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services consider Noxzema safe when used as directed and for a “reasonably foreseeable” period. However, they do not provide safety recommendations for using Noxzema on eczema — this is an off-label use.

As with many medications, Noxzema can cause side effects. These may include skin irritation, but this is likely to be mild and temporary.

Accidentally ingesting Noxzema can cause:

  • gastrointestinal problems
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

However, this information is specific to its use as an acne treatment. There are no official safety guidelines for using Noxzema to treat eczema in adults or babies.

Always speak to a doctor before using any new medication for children or babies.

Noxzema ingredients

Camphor in a bowl amongst roots and plants on wooden table
Camphor is an ingredient in some Noxzema products.

The active ingredient in Noxzema is salicylic acid. The other ingredients may vary, depending on the specific product.

For example, Noxzema Ultimate Clear Anti-Blemish Pads contain the following ingredients:

  • salicylic acid (2 percent)
  • denatured alcohol
  • water
  • PEG-4
  • PPG-11 stearyl ether
  • Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil
  • camphor
  • menthol
  • disodium EDTA
  • fragrance

Other uses for Noxzema

People usually use Noxzema to treat acne and pimples. It might help other health issues because it contains salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid has shown promise as a treatment for psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes the overproduction of skin cells.

Because, as a keratolytic, salicylic acid can help remove buildups of these cells, it may soften the skin and reduce inflammation in areas of psoriasis.

However, fully understanding the effects of Noxzema on psoriasis will require more research.

Alternative eczema treatments

Woman in pharmacy speaking to pharmacist about medication
A range of over-the-counter products can treat eczema.

The range of treatment options for eczema includes medical therapies, over-the-counter products, and natural remedies. The best treatment may depend on the type and severity of the condition.

Over-the-counter eczema medications can moisturize the skin, reduce itchiness, and soothe pain. Emollients, for example, are common non-cosmetic creams, ointments, and lotions. They can help reduce irritation by keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.

A doctor may prescribe corticosteroids for more severe eczema or for cases that do not respond to regular-strength moisturizers. Corticosteroids reduce redness and inflammation. There are several types of these creams, and they vary in strength.

Possible side effects of corticosteroid creams include:

  • thinning or thickening of the skin
  • stretch marks
  • discoloration of the skin

Use corticosteroids as directed by the doctor, and always consult a healthcare professional before using new medications for babies and children.

Doctors often use topical immunomodulators to treat eczema that does not respond to other types of treatment. These drugs suppress the body’s immune system, and this can reduce inflammation.

People can also try natural remedies for eczema, which can soothe and prevent itchiness and moisturize the skin. These include:

  • aloe vera gel
  • coconut oil
  • colloidal oatmeal baths
  • apple cider vinegar wraps or baths


Eczema is a common skin condition. People may experience periods of flares and remission, and symptoms are likely to worsen in cold, dry weather.

It is more common in children and often disappears in adulthood. When eczema develops later in life, it is typically more severe.

People can manage eczema symptoms with over-the-counter, prescription, or natural treatments. In the future, researchers may find Noxzema to be an effective option.

Lifestyle factors, such as exercise and the diet, can also affect the symptoms and outlook of eczema.

Some of the eczema treatments listed in this article are available for purchase online.