Dermatologists and Skin Care

Role of Moisturizer in Various Skin Illnesses

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jun 18, 2016 and last reviewed on Nov 25, 2019   -  2 min read

Abstract

Abstract

As there is increasing trend of dryness related problems, in this article we focus on the knowledge and use of moisturizers.

Role of Moisturizer in Various Skin Illnesses

Dryness of the skin is mainly due to reduced water content of the superficial layer of skin. Usually water gets lost due to evaporation and so maintenance of water content is dependent on the lipid and natural moisturizing factor in the superficial layer of skin. Natural moisturizing factor of superficial layer of the skin are water soluble chemicals which adsorb large amount of water even when the environmental humidity is low. These natural moisturizing factors reduce with aging and after washing with normal soap.

What Is the Role of Moisturizer?

Moisturizer forms an impervious lipid barrier which prevents evaporation of water from the skin, so it increases the water contents. Hydration smoothens the skin surface by flattening out the valleys between the skin surfaces. It also makes the skin surface soft and more extensible. This moisturizing action is visible after 30 minutes to 1 hour of use and lasts for about 4 hours.

Actions of Moisturizer:

  1. Anti-inflammatory action by inhibiting the proinflammatory products.
  2. Antifungal action of mineral oils, which have low antifungal actions.
  3. Antipruritic actions by regulation of itching and producing chemical in our body.
  4. Photo protective action by various sunscreening agents incorporated in the moisturizers photo products.

Method of Application of Moisturizer:

  • More commonly occlusive oils like coconut oils and other mineral oils should be applied to a dry skin for beneficial effects.
  • After rubbing the moisturizers in both palms it should be applied along the direction of the hairs, otherwise it can cause oil folliculitis.
  • Depending on the severity of dryness, the frequency of application of moisturizer can vary from once to thrice daily.
  • Sunscreens have to be applied in sun exposed areas half an hour prior to going out of the house for its sun protection action. It should be applied if the areas are washed, unless water resistant creams are used.
  • The choice of emollient depends upon the area of the body and the degree of dryness of the skin. Lotions are used on the scalp and other hairy areas. Creams are used on face, trunk and limbs and ointments for drier, thicker and more scaly areas.

Excessive dryness is also a common complaint in persons who come in contact with highly alkaline soaps and detergents (housewives, dishwashers, launderers, etc.,). Reduction of exposure to the irritants, the use of protective gloves and the application of emollient ointments and creams are the important part of the treatment for the healthy skin of an individual.

To gather more knowledge on the use of moisturizer, consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Last reviewed at:
25 Nov 2019  -  2 min read

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