Bathing and Moisturizing Guidelines
moisturizing are essential for healthy skin. Bathing can hydrate skin,
remove dirt and germs, and promote relaxation. It also can loosen crusts
from inflamed skin. However, hot water, drying soaps and rubbing to get
skin clean or dry can aggravate eczema and cause a flare-up. These
guidelines can help you reap the benefits of bathing and moisturizing:
lukewarm water for bathing and washing hands.
The water should not feel hot nor redden the skin because hot water
dries skin. Dry, irritated skin can cause a flare-up and worsen existing
bathing. Bathing too frequently can dry skin. A short lukewarm
shower, tepid bath or sponge bath once a day for 5 to 10 minutes can
hydrate skin effectively.
For anyone with an inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema, it is
essential that a personal cleaning agent cleanse without causing
excessive skin dryness or roughness. Look for a mild cleanser that is
free of fragrances, antibacterial agents and other chemicals, which can
irritate the skin.
Equally important is how the cleanser makes the skin feel. Does the skin
feel dry or slightly irritated? Even mild cleansers can irritate. If the
cleanser dries or irritates, stop using it immediately. Cleansers should
not be used on skin that has flared as even the mildest cleanser can be
Soap up only as
not too dirty or sweaty, use soap only on the genitals, armpits, feet
clear of body sponges and washcloths.
The friction caused by using a body sponge or washcloth can irritate
skin and lead to a flare-up. Use your hands to lather up, and never rub
partially dry with a towel.
Do not rub the skin dry. Rubbing skin dry with a towel removes important
natural oils, which dries skin. Instead of rubbing the skin dry, use the
towel to pat the skin partially dry and then apply moisturizer.
moisturizer while the skin is damp.
while the skin is damp, usually within 3 minutes of bathing, locks in
the moisture from the bath. In the winter, or any time the air is dry,
apply a heavy layer of moisturizer to the face, hands and other skin
that will be exposed.
Select moisturizers with care.
When selecting moisturizers, it is important to know a bit
about them so that you can select the ones that best fit your needs.
One of the biggest misconceptions about moisturizers is that these
products hydrate the skin. The truth is that moisturizers
lock in the skin’s own moisture to prevent dryness and
cracking. The more oil a moisturizer contains the more effectively it
protects against moisture loss. Moisturizers that come in ointment form
contain the most oil because an ointment, by definition, consists of 80%
oil and 20% water. This water-in-oil emulsion forms a protective layer
on the skin and makes it more “moisturizing” than creams and lotions.
Ointments are especially beneficial when humidity is low. Ointments
should not be used on areas of the body that tend to get hot and sweaty.
Creams contain 50% oil and 50% water. Water is the primary ingredient in
lotions, so lotions do not provide as great a barrier against moisture
loss as do ointments and creams.
When selecting a moisturizer, be sure to keep in mind:
relative humidity drops below 60%, skin begins to lose
moisture and greater protection against
moisture loss is needed.
When humidity is low, look for moisturizers
petrolatum, mineral oil, linoleic acid,
ceramides, dimethicone or
conditions, the skin can replenish itself by soaking up
moisture from the air so a lotion may be
all that is needed.
moisturizers that feel pleasing to the skin as this will
products that contain fragrances, preservatives and other
chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Around the Home
What you can
do around the home that may help relieve the signs and symptoms of
Stress Reduction Techniques
found these methods effective
Tips for preventing dry skin when the humidity drops