Moisturizers, which include lotions, creams, and ointments, are an important part of psoriasis treatment. These over-the-counter products soothe itching, redness, and dryness and can help prevent your psoriasis from getting worse. Moisturizers work by trapping water in the skin and maintaining the skin’s natural barrier. The regular application of moisturizers can promote healing in skin affected by psoriasis.
It is especially important to apply regularly moisturizers if your psoriasis affects areas where the skin folds, on babies in diaper areas, or if you are a pregnant woman.
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Lotion is the lightest type of moisturizer, and the quickest and easiest for your skin to absorb. Many doctors recommend heavier products such as creams and ointments to effectively lock moisture into your skin; however, these products are more likely to be greasier and take longer to absorb.
To minimize irritation to your skin, choose moisturizing products that are free of alcohol, artificial preservatives, and fragrances. Some moisturizers contain ingredients such as salicylic acid or coal tar to help remove scales, or colloidal oatmeal or petrolatum to repair the skin’s moisture barrier. If applied regularly, some products containing beneficial ingredients can help limit your use of prescription topical medications.
There is no need to purchase expensive products to moisturize your skin. Petroleum jelly and oils or shortening used for cooking make effective and cheaper substitutes.
Apply a moisturizer to your skin at least once a day following a warm bath or shower. Avoid bathing in hot water, since it can dry out your skin. Keep baths and showers short, under 10 minutes, for the same reason. Choose moisturizing soap for the gentlest effect on your skin.
You may get the best results when you apply moisturizer multiple times a day, for instance, whenever you change clothes. You may need to apply moisturizer more frequently during dry or cold weather.
Ask your doctor about using occlusion, or wrapping the area with bandages or plastic wrap, after applying moisturizers. Do not use occlusion after applying steroidal medications.
Moisturizers can help reduce itching, redness, and dryness and promote healing in skin affected by psoriasis.
In a 2009 article, researchers suggested that moisturizers are an important and valuable aspect of psoriasis treatment.
In an article published in 2014, researchers concluded that the regular use of moisturizers can help limit the long-term, continuous use of topical prescription medications.
Some moisturizers are expensive.
Some moisturizers may be oily, greasy, or slow to absorb into the skin.
It may be difficult to remember to apply moisturizers regularly.