The Basics of Emollient Therapy

There is no doubt that harsh winter weather is upon us. With the cold, dry air comes itchy, irritated skin, especially for psoriasis and eczema sufferers. To avoid dryness and inflammation in the difficult winter months, it is important to find ways to keep your skin moisturized and nourished. One of the simplest and easiest ways to do this is emollient therapy.

Emollient therapy is a simple technique: bathing regularly and then applying a rich moisturizer to the skin immediately after each bath or shower. So what makes this basic routine so effective?

Eczema and psoriasis patients have difficulty retaining moisture in the skin and need moisturizers and emollients to replenish natural oils in the skin. Bathing helps to hydrate the skin and remove dirt and allergens from the skin’s surface. Applying a rich moisturizer immediately after bathing helps to seal moisture into the skin.

Here are a few important tips for effective emollient therapy:

– Use all-natural products that do not contain any artificial ingredients or harsh chemicals.

– In the bath or shower, always use a detergent-free, SLS-free soap or cleanser.

– Consider adding emollient oils to your bath water.

– Bathe in warm, not hot, water.

– Pat dry (do not rub) skin after exiting the bath or shower.

– Apply moisturizers within three minutes of exiting the bath or shower.

– Choose thick, rich moisturizers whenever possible, and apply generously.

– Reapply moisturizers often throughout the day.

– Different products and different treatments affect everyone differently. Speak with your doctor about what products and emollients are best for you and your skin before trying a new product or treatment.

Do you regularly use emollient therapy to protect your skin?


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