Fatty cream

Fatty cream is used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema. Examples of fatty cream include O/W Fatty Emulsion Cream®, healthE Fatty Cream® and Lemnis FattyCream®.

What is fatty cream?

  • Fatty cream is a non-greasy emollient or moisturiser, used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema.
  • When applied to the skin, it provides 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 doesn't contain any perfumes or sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). These can irritate the skin especially in eczema.

How to use fatty cream

How often you apply fatty cream and the amount you apply will depend on the severity of the dry skin. If you have very dry skin, you may need to apply fatty cream every few hours, while slightly dry skin may only need an application at night.

  • Wash your hands before applying fatty cream.
  • It is best to apply fatty cream immediately after drying yourself from washing, bathing or showering, while the skin is still slightly damp. 
  • Apply fatty cream in a downward motion, in the direction of hair growth and gently massage into your skin. Avoid rubbing. Apply the cream to all of your skin, not just the area with eczema.
  • Don't put your hands into the tub of cream when removing for use. This will contaminate the cream. Use a spoon or spatula to take out the correct amount each time and replace the lid of the tub after use. You can also put the cream in a pump bottle to make it easier to use and to reduce the chance of contamination.
  • If you need to apply it regularly, carry a small container of cream with you whenever you are out and about.

What are the side effects of fatty cream?

Fatty cream rarely causes side effects. If you have signs of sensitivity or an allergic reaction such as red, itchy skin, tell your doctor. This may be confused with a flare of your eczema or dermatitis.

Learn more

Emollients and moisturisers Dermnet NZ
Emollients for eczema Dermnet NZ
Emollients for eczema Patient Info, UK

References

  1. Emollient and barrier preparations NZ Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 10 Jan 2023