Moisturizing Tips for Eczema Patients
Moisturizing is one of the key components of proper skin care, the others being cleansing and use of sunscreens. Moisturizing is especially critical for patients with any form of eczema to combat drying.
Eczema and dryness of the skin often go hand in hand, causing a cascading effect of dryness, irritation, scratching, and itching, which results in severely damaged skin if it is not stopped.
Effective moisturizing can halt the negative feedback loop, and both minimize the occurrence of flares as well as the severity of the flares when they do occur.
Benefits of Moisturizing
- Restores moisture to your skin. This is important as eczema patients have chronic dry skin at the affected sites.
- Moisturizing protects your skin from being affected by irritants and allergens in the environment. As patients with eczema are often predisposed to having sensitive skin, it is important that they protect their skin barrier.
- Moisturizing attacks the heart of the problem in eczema: Itching. Dryness prompts irritation and itching, which causes scratching and leads to a degenerative process called the itch-scratch cycle. By controlling dryness, itchiness is controlled before it starts.
- Moisturizing strengthens the skin structure, leaving it less likely to be affected by damage that is unrelated to eczema such as blunt trauma.
- Moisturizing leaves the skin feeling supple and soft. This alone can be enough reason to moisturize.
How to Moisturize Effectively
- Eczema patients should use thicker or creamier moisturizers. Although some people dislike the consistency of thicker creams on their skin they lock in moisture better and do a better job at protecting the skin.
- Moisturize regularly, several times a day. This should be a part of your regular skincare routine. This improves the quality of your skin as well as protecting you from eczema flares.
- Bathing and showering can strip the skin of moisture. This effect is pronounced if the water is very hot or if you bathe for a long time. Moisturizing immediately after bathing or showering can help protect your skin.
- Bathe in lukewarm water, and for shorter periods of time. Don't scrub with a towel as this will further irritate the skin. Instead pat your skin gently so that the skin still feels moist. Apply moisturizers at this point, as the skin is prepared to benefit the most from moisturizers.
- Moisturizers work well with other topical treatments for eczema. Remember to moisturize both as a regular part of skincare as well as during flare-ups.
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