How To Moisturize Your Skin If You Have Eczema
10 Tips To Beautiful Non-Itchy Skin
Moisturizers (also called emollients) do 2 things:
1. They increase the amount of water in your skin, and
2. They lubricate (moisten) the skin, making it less brittle and less likely to break.
A moisturizer is designed to leave an oily layer on the surface of the skin which stops the skin's natural moisture from escaping. The most effective products from this point of view, are ointments made from white paraffin, such as Vaseline, which form an uninterrupted waterproof layer: these are sometimes called occlusives. They contain no water, unlike creams. Although a cream forms a less thorough barrier to the escape of moisture from the skin, it does provide some moisture itself, which can soak into the skin.
The most important thing is to use something that you like using, that way you'll apply it regularly. There are lots of moisturizers available, you can talk to your doctor about a good one for you, also check out our list of recommended products here:
What is the best moisturizer for eczema?
10 Tips For Applying Moisturizer
Knowing how to apply your moisturizer correctly is crucial. The following tips apply to anyone with irritable skin, eczema or dermatitis.
1. Apply moisturizer before your skin gets dry, as a preventive treatment.
2. Do not rub your moisturizer in too much as this can be a form of scratching. Just apply it very lightly.
3. A thin layer is all that's needed. A thick layer keeps in heat which aggravates the skin.
4. Always apply within 3 minutes of a bath or shower.
5. In addition, apply every 3-4 hours during the day. Carry moisturizer around with you in a small tube for this purpose.
6. Always use a handcream after washing your hands.
7. If you buy a moisturizer in a large quantity, choose one with a pump-action dispenser. Big pots without pumps can become infected with Staphylococcus bacteria which could re-infect your skin.
8. Moisturizer can be smeared onto bandages which are then wound around the affected areas at night to reduce the itch - or you can use ready-made 'wet-wraps' (ask your pharmacist about these). As long as the bandages/wraps are immovable, they will reduce night-time rubbing and scratching.
9. Avoid lotions, and any non-prescribed creams, as they could irritate the skin.
10. Choose bath oils with care - some contain alcohol which is an irritant.
More Questions About Eczema
Do I Have Eczema?
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What Is Eczema?
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