Fatty cream

Fatty cream is an emollient or moisturiser, used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema. Find out how to apply it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Emollient
  • Moisturiser
  • Oil in water emulsion
  • O/W Fatty Emulsion Cream®
  • healthE Fatty Cream®
  • Lemnis FattyCream®

What is fatty cream?

  • Fatty cream is a non-greasy emollient or moisturiser, used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema.  It is a water in oil emulsion.
  • When applied to the skin it works by providing a layer of oil on the surface of the skin, which traps water beneath it and prevents water evaporating from the skin surface. In this way it helps to retain moisture on the skin and reduce dryness. Read more about emollients and moisturisers.
  • Fatty cream does not contain any perfumes, or sodium lauryl sulphate which can irritate the skin.     

How to use fatty cream

  • Wash your hands before applying fatty cream.
  • Apply generous amounts of fatty cream on the skin several (at least 3 to 4) times a day or as required.
  • Apply fatty cream all over the body, including the face.
  • It is best to apply fatty cream immediately after washing, bathing or showering, while the skin is still damp. 
  • Apply fatty cream in a downward motion, in the direction of hair growth and gently massage into your skin. Avoid rubbing. 
  • Do not put your hands into the pot, tub or jar of cream when removing for use. This will contaminate the cream. Instead, use a clean spoon or spatula to scoop out the required amount of cream and place onto a clean plate or paper towel. Some people put the cream in a pump bottle to reduce contamination. 

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, fatty cream can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Signs of sensitivity or an allergic reaction such as red, itchy skin. This may be confused with a flare up of the eczema or dermatitis
  • Tell your doctor  

Learn more

Emollients and moisturisers Dermnet NZ
Emollients for eczema Patient Info, UK
Emollient and barrier preparations NZ Formulary

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft, GP Last reviewed: 09 Feb 2016