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Topical Tip #1: Apply emollient sparingly!
Those who swim long distances in cold water cover themselves with grease to keep warm
This is not a good idea when applying a moisturiser to eczema. Then the purpose of the moisturiser, or emollient, is to provide insulation against water loss - otherwise the skin dries too quickly. A very thin layer of grease on the surface of the skin slows down water loss, which occurs normally all the time through healthy skin, but occurs too quickly through inflamed and damaged skin. This slowing down of water loss keeps the skin hydrated: the moisturiser does not add significant water to the skin from the outside.
Also passing out through skin is heat. With eczema the deeper skin is hot - inflammation - and if the emollient is applied too thickly heat is trapped in the skin. A thin layer of moisturiser allows the skin to cool, but remain hydrated - just right!
"Only a shine required"
Interested? Read more in
Atopic Skin Disease
A Manual for Practitioners
The best results with moisturisers, or emollients, in the treatment of eczema are obtained by applying the cream or ointment thinly. Thick applications trap heat in the skin: thin applications allow the heat out, but keep the water in.
PRINCIPLE: Optimal topical treatment gives best results