How can we use Emollients:
Emollients, or moisturizers, do indeed help keep one’s skin moist as well as supple by reducing water loss from the epidermis, the outer layer of one’s skin.
They do indeed provide a protective film. For patients with conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, emollients are an essential part of daily skincare.
Emollients are indeed found in several skin and beauty applications, such as lipsticks, lotions, and a wide range of cosmetic products. People who do use moisturizers and emollients for eczema or psoriasis need to avoid perfumed products.
An emollient is a humectant, a lubricant, and an occluder. Occlusion does put a layer of oil on the skin’s surface, slowing down water loss. A humectant does enhance the surface of the skin’s capacity to hold water. A lubricant does reduce friction when anything rubs against the skin.
This triple function does help skin cells on the surface of the skin to repair.
Emollients can usually be applied as often as necessary.
Emollients can indeed reduce symptoms of cracked and dry skin.
Emollients may be medicated or non-medicated.
Non-medicated topical moisturizers do contain occlusive agents, emollients, as well as humectants.
Occlusive agents coat the skin, forming a physical barrier that does prevent the loss of water. Petrolatum, waxes, oils, as well as silicones, are examples. They can indeed be uncomfortable on the skin, so they may rather be combined with an emollient.
Emollients do offer an occlusive barrier and they do smooth flaky skin cells, to make the skin look smoother. Some do tend to spread more easily than others. Esters and oils can be used.
Humectants include ingredients such as glycerin, urea, and pyrrolidine carboxylic acid. They do attract water from the atmosphere and from the lower layers of skin to moisturize the surface of one’s skin. They can feel sticky, so they will be combined with other elements.
The balance of these three elements will indeed determine the type of moisturizer and its purpose.
Emollients also do vary according to the ratio of oil, or lipid, to water. Lotions have a low lipid content, and but the lipid content of ointments. Emollients with high lipid contents are rather greasier as well as stickier. They also make skin shinier.
Aloe vera gel has indeed been found to help some people with mild to moderate psoriasis, but not all. The coating effect of the gel on one’s skin may provide benefits.
Some people are allergic to the ingredients in products, including aloe vera. To check for allergies, it is indeed a good idea to apply some of the product to a dime-sized section of the arm, and wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction, before applying it more widely.
For eczema and psoriasis:
Moisturizers, as well as emollients, are recommended for people with eczema and psoriasis, at any age.
People with eczema or psoriasis can also find soap too drying to the skin. Many bar soaps, liquid soaps, and cleansers and perfume products can also irritate the skin.
Emollient soaps substitutes do not foam but they do clean the hands and skin. They can be applied before washing or in the water.
A range of emollients is rather available, and a doctor can recommend the best option for an individual’s condition.
Aqueous creams or emulsifying ointments are no doubt good alternatives for hand and bath soaps because they do not strip the skin of its surface layer, as often soap does. Aqueous creams can rather be made use of instead of shaving foam.
Some aqueous creams may indeed also cause stinging. If this continues, a pharmacist or doctor will be able to suggest an alternative product.
Bubble baths can also dry and irritate the skin, but bathing does help to remove the skin as well as dirt that could contribute to infection. Emollient bath additives or bath oils added to bathwater can help prevent the loss of moisture from one’s skin.
They can also make the bathtub slippery, so it is important to be careful when getting in and out of the bath. A non-stick mat might also help.
Emollients can also be applied on a sponge either before or during a shower.
For children who are at risk of developing infected eczema, bath oils with an antiseptic may offer protection, but these should be made use of occasionally. The label will state the recommended amount that should be used. A high concentration may indeed cause skin irritation.
Emollient creams and ointments are less greasy than ointments, but they might sting after the first application, especially if one’s skin is very dry. Symptoms normally do settle down within a few days. If the stinging persists, one can see a qualified pharmacist or a doctor. Some people do experience persistent stinging because of the preservatives that are used or because of an allergic reaction.
The type of emollient to use will much depend on how dry one’s skin is, and where the emollient will be applied.
Emollients can do come in bottles, large pump dispensers, tubes, tubs, as well as jars. They are indeed mainly sold over-the-counter, without a prescription, but some products do need a prescription.
Patients with psoriasis or eczema do have extremely dry skin, so they will also need to apply emollients more frequently. They may indeed benefit more from medicated emollients which do help prevent flare-ups, inflammation, and infection.
These products may in fact be more effective if applied after washing or bathing when one’s skin is in need of moisturizing.
Medicated emollients for psoriasis and eczema may indeed contain corticosteroids, salicylic acid, vitamin D analogs, coal tar, tazarotene, anthralin, tacrolimus, and pimecrolimus.
These should be made use of on a doctor’s recommendation, as some of them do cause itching or irritation, and also extensive steroid use can have serious side effects.