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Locking in Moisture

Filed Under: Personal Care at 4:19 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
EczemaAs soon as the temperature begins to drop, I preemptively locate every bottle of moisturizer in my house and place them strategically throughout my life. There’s one in my bedroom, one in my purse, one in my bathroom, one in my car etc. etc. I know that it is only a matter of time before the dry skin associated with the arid air of late fall/winter renders me desperate for lotion. Fortunately, a simple squeeze-and-rub is all it takes to re-hydrate my hands. But for many, particularly children, dry, itchy skin isn’t simply dry, itchy skin. It is eczema and it isn’t cured quite so easily.

Over the past several years, doctors have seen an increase in the number of eczema-related appointments. It seems that more children are having problems or children are having more problems with their skin.  When they get to the pediatrician, they may be prescribed a topical steroid to manage flare ups, or the doctor may recommend emollients. Emollients come in a multitude of forms: topical ointments, lotions and moisturizers, or as soap substitutes and bath additives. For the most part, determining what will work best is trial and error.  However, when testing the various products, it may save you time to skip the bath treatments completely. Several researchers in the United Kingdom recently announced that too much money was being wasted on a remedy that has never been proven to work. No clinical evidence supports that soaking in a basin, full of emollients, provides you with anything other than a slippery tub.  But what if the topical ointments aren’t working either? Are there other ways to fight flare ups without a prescription or are you destined to itch your way through life?

Keeping your skin moist isn’t impossible without emollients (Although, they are the most common and best ways to fight incessant dryness). If you take a few preventive steps, you can help avoid eczema inflammation. Start by staying hydrated. It’s not just summer heat that will sap the moisture from your body. Dry air does the same thing, so continue drinking fluids, lots and lots of fluids. And while you’re drinking, make sure you’re also maintaining a balanced pH level. Don’t create a diet that will make you overly acidic or overly alkaline. Both will increase the likelihood of a flare up. A diet that will decrease it, on the other hand, is one pumped with essential fatty acids. In fact, prior to the development of today’s common medications, doctors prescribed fish oil and evening primrose to treat eczema. So, have some. You may also want to look into which fabrics will protect your skin the most (silk) and what other risk factors add to flare ups.  Your dry skin shouldn’t last until spring. Add moisture to your life, and you’ll be scratching the itch without scratching.

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2 Responses to “Locking in Moisture”

  1. Gwen says:

    Another great thing to use on excema or simply dry skin is Aveeno Oatmeal Bath, it works wonders!

  2. Gaboo says:

    Try pure vegatable oil, olive, jojoba, almond, on wet skin. It’s less clogging then store bought lotions.

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