Eczema skin needs emollients every single day – without exception. It is vital to keep the skin moisturised and provide a barrier.
Eczema skin has a shortage of fats and oils surrounding the skin cells, the cells shrink which forms cracks and allows moisture to escape and irritants to enter. The skin reacts, causing redness and inflammation and makes it very itchy. Scratching damages the skin, letting in further inflammation which causes more scratching, and the cycle continues.
But using emollients forms a layer of oil which traps the moisture in the skin, allowing the skin to swell and the cracks to close.
Emollients should be applied thickly, in a downwards motion and at least twice a day – more often if needed – and should be used even if the skin starts to improve or other creams or medications are prescribed. If using along with another treatment, space the cream use out, allowing one to be fully soaked in before applying the other.
Eczema clothing like soft seamless vests and leggings as well as scratch mitts can stop babies and young children from scratching themselves too much and you can look into practices like wet wrapping to help the skin.