If you have eczema or psoriasis you need to take special care of your skin. The skin’s ability to protect you is reduced. Healthy skin is designed to
withstand external attack, but the skin of the eczema or psoriasis sufferer is more sensitive and vulnerable.
A proper medical diagnosis is important, and occasional medical checks especially during an outbreak may be necessary to bring the condition under control. However most of the time the steps you will need to take to protect your skin you will be able to do yourself.
The most fundamental measure you can take to protect your skin and keep it as healthy as possible is to moisturise your skin. The skin’s ability to produce sebum is affected when you have eczema. Since sebum is the natural moisturising oil that keeps the skin supple, a lack of sebum will result in dry, fragile skin.
The natural oils need to be replaced with moisturising products called emollients. Emollients are oil or fat based moisturisers and softening agents.
Emollients work in two ways
Emollients work in two ways. Firstly, they form a protective waterproof barrier over the skin which helps trap moisture in and prevents irritating substances contacting the skin.
Secondly, emollients will help to ‘stick’ the skin surface cells together similar to how the skin’s own natural oils do. This will help to make the skin feel smoother and improve its appearance. Emollients will also help to decrease the itch, thereby making the skin more comfortable.
Emollients are available in many different forms. They include bath oils, shower gels, soap substitutes, lotions, creams and ointments. Emollients are most effective when used on a regular basis. A daily routine needs to be established.
However, choosing the right emollient can be difficult. The best method really is a matter of trial and error. By trying a variety of emollients, you will be able to determine which combination and types of emollients works best for your skin and your lifestyle.