“With eczema, the skin is usually dry, which makes it an attractive home for bacteria to live,” says pharmacist Julia Simmonds, who founded Itchy Baby Co after her own child battled the condition. “The skin also does not function as it would normally as a protective barrier. Regularly moisturising the skin keeps it well hydrated, which stops bacteria living on the skin’s surface and causing infection. Moisturising will also provide a surface barrier to prevent allergens and triggers irritating the skin’s surface and causing itching and redness.”
Are all moisturisers for eczema the same?
“Thick ointments are generally more effective for eczema. This is because, unlike creams – which can be made up of up to 50 per cent water – ointments do not contain water. Water evaporates quickly from the skin, taking hydration with it. Creams are also more likely than ointments to contain harsh preservatives, which can more easily irritate eczema skin.
“The best time to moisturise is straight after the bath and while the skin is still a bit damp, because this is when the pores of the skin are open and can absorb the most hydration from moisturising. You should also moisturise at least two to four other times during the day.”