Anna was diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis as a young child. She has always hated applying lotion but is now determined to make it a part of her daily routine.
Browsing the grocery aisles for a moisturizer, she was overwhelmed with all the different variants. There were anti-aging lotions, firming lotions, lotions for dry skin, lotions for sensitive skin, aloe lotions, oatmeal lotions, and so much more. “Which one’s the best for my skin?” she wondered. Aside from lotions, she also saw creams and ointments, and she didn’t understand the difference. “When do you use one over the other?” she asked. She was so confused that she went home with several lotions and creams and decided she’d try them all to see which one would be best for her skin.
It’s easy to understand why Anna was overwhelmed with all the different moisturizing products available in the market. There are different products for all kinds of skin types, with various scents and flavors. It can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The following tips on moisturizing will help you make smart choices in your fight against eczema.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE MOISTURIZERS
Eczema is caused by an impaired skin barrier which prevents moisture from being locked in, thus producing dry skin. Dryness then leads to itching. And, if the temptation is too hard to resist, it eventually leads to scratching. Eczema patients know this “itch-scratch” cycle all too well. In order to effectively manage your eczema, you have to control dry skin through proper bathing and moisturizing.
Bathing hydrates your skin. However, bathing alone is not enough to keep your skin hydrated. This should be followed by the proper application of a moisturizer to lock in the water in your skin. Bathing and moisturizing go hand in hand in treating patients with eczema.
WHICH MOISTURIZER TO USE
There are three forms of moisturizers:
Ointments consist of grease with little or no water. They are translucent and generally free of preservatives. They are occlusive and effectively seal in moisture. However, many people dislike ointments because they leave a greasy feeling on the skin, making it difficult to tolerate in our tropical weather. A good example is petroleum jelly. This is best used for severely dry skin.
Creams are thick mixtures of grease in water. It usually contains a preservative to prevent the grease and water from separating, which may cause allergies or skin irritation. Creams are white in color and are less greasy than ointments. Creams are best used for moderate to severely dry skin.
Lotions are mixtures of oil and water, with water as the main ingredient. Since water in the lotion evaporates quickly, it is the least moisturizing of the three forms of moisturizers. This is best used for mild to moderately dry skin.
Say good-bye to scented moisturizers! Use moisturizers that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. A bland moisturizer is best for your skin. Among the safest and most effective moisturizers (and simplest!) are petroleum jelly and mineral oil.
WHEN TO APPLY MOISTURIZERS
Apply your moisturizer right after bathing when your skin is still damp or wet. Ideally, this is within three minutes after bathing. You should apply moisturizer at least once a day. Continue applying your moisturizer liberally throughout the day, as often as needed, when your skin feels dry or itchy. When your rashes have cleared, you should continue applying moisturizer everyday. Make this a part of your regular routine to keep dry skin away!
HOW TO APPLY MOISTURIZERS
After bathing, apply your prescribed topical medication to the affected areas. Then apply the moisturizer on top of the medicine. Be sure to apply the moisturizer on your whole body and not only to the affected areas. Apply the moisturizer gently to your skin.