Frequently Asked Questions



 Where should I avoid applying Orliderm Ointment?

  • Do not apply Orliderm ointment to a child who has active asthma or is wheezing.
  • Do not apply Orliderm ointment to eyelids or other areas around the eyes.
  • Do not apply Orliderm ointment to the delicate skin around the genital area.


How do I get the most benefit from the Orliderm method?

The Orliderm method is more than just an ointment. The dressing and bathing steps are just as important as the ointment.   That means:


For the 1% hyrocortisone, why do I have to use ointment and not cream?

An ointment is completely different from a cream.  If you use cream, your child will experience painful stinging and the treatment will fail. You must use hydrocortisone ointment.  

Do I have to use Purell® Advanced Hand Sanitizer pump with Aloe to mix Orliderm ointment?

Yes. All hand sanitizers are not the same! They have different ingredients. You must use Purell® Advanced Hand Sanitizer pump with Aloe. If you use a different hand sanitizer, the treatment may fail. 


Why do I need the pump bottle of Purell Gel?  

When you mix the ointment you will count the “squirts” to measure the right amount of Purell® hand sanitizer. Thus you need the pump bottle. 


What is the amount of Purell hand sanitizer in 1 squirt?

1 teaspoon or 5 ml.


Can adults with eczema benefit from Orliderm appointment?

In Dr. Pearlman’s clinical experience, adults with adult eczema (nummular dermatitis) saw benefits similar to the results seen in children with atopic dermatitis.


How long do I use Orliderm Ointment?

Typically, patients use Orliderm ointment for up to two weeks of treatment.  When eczema recurs, patients can repeat the treatment. 


How much Orliderm Ointment should I expect to apply?

The amount of Orliderm ointment you need to treat your child’s eczema is determined by the number of eczema areas on your child: 

  • For limited areas (just folds of elbows and knees, or cheeks, or ankles), you will need two containers of Orliderm ointment for a two week treatment.  The Limited Area Starter kit on the Materials page shows you the quantites of ingredients need to mix two containers of ointment.
  • For many areas (large areas of arms, legs, feet, chest, back, face, neck), you will need four containers of Orliderm ointment for two weeks. The Many Areas Starter kit on the Materials page shows you the quantities of ingredients needed to mix four containers of ointment.


Does Orliderm Ointment always work?

No. Unfortunately, eczema can be a very challenging problem to treat.  Always consult your doctor for advice. 


Will the eczema recur after successful treatment?

Yes. Eczema tends to be a recurrent problem until children grow up. Orliderm ointment can help clear up the rash, but it does not prevent future outbreaks.


At what age can children be treated with Orliderm Ointment?

The FDA states that a physician should be consulted before using 1% hydrocortisone ointment to treat children younger than two years old.  


What if my child is using other eczema treatments?

Dr. Pearlman usually asks his patients to stop all other eczema treatments. Using only Orliderm ointment simplifies treatment and allows parents to easily determine if Orliderm is effective for their child’s rash.  We recommend that you consult your doctor. 


What should I do if my child experiences stinging?

Occasionally, the Orliderm ointment can cause stinging. If this happens: 

  • Remove the ointment with a paper towel or cloth, cleanse the area with gentle soap and water, and dry with a towel.

Stinging usually occurs because the ointment has not been properly prepared or applied. Review the written and video instructions on how to prepare it, how to determine if the ointment is properly mixed, and how to apply it. Consider: 


How do I store my Orliderm ointment?

Seal the container with the lid in between uses.  Store the ointment at room temperature during the two week period of use.  Store the ointment in a refrigerator when it is no longer in daily use.


Does Orliderm ointment have an expiration date?

 You may store the ointment up to one year after mixing it. After one year, discard it. 


Does my child need to use additional moisturizers during Orliderm treatment?

Some physicians advise using moisturizing creams twice a day on normal skin to prevent the spread of eczema.  Dr. Pearlman usually leaves the decision about using moisturizing creams to the parents. 



Does my child need to use moisturizers after the rash clears up?

Some physicians advise eczema patients to use moisturizers every day. But it is unclear whether moisturizers are needed after treatment with Orliderm Ointment. Some parents think moisturizers help, while others see no difference. 


Who is Dr. Dale Pearlman?

Dr. Dale Pearlman, a board-certified dermatologist, has practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1976. After graduating from Stanford University Medical School, Dr. Pearlman continued at Stanford for his dermatology specialty training. He has been a member of the clinical faculty of the Stanford Department of Dermatology for 32 years.

An avid researcher, Dr. Pearlman is a nationally recognized expert in a number of areas, including treatment of head lice, actinic keratoses (pre-cancerous growths) and psoriasis. His research has been published in the leading medical journals, including PediatricsArchives of Dermatology and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The head lice therapy that he invented is recommended by many pediatricians nationwide.  You can learn more about the head lice therapy at


What clothes should I choose to help my child’s eczema?

T-shirts and short pants or dresses are fine indoors. When outside in cold weather, choose a minimum of warm clothes. Promptly switch back to cool clothes indoors. For sleeping, avoid onesies made of thick fabric and sleep sacks. See clothing page. 



What’s the best way to bathe my child?

Minimize use of soap and shampoo; plain water is fine for bathing. Bathe in plain water as often and as long as you like.   See bathing page.


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An Example of Eczema Treated with Orliderm Ointment

Before therapy

After 1 week of therapy

After 2 weeks of therapy

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