What are Emollients?

Emollients are often prescribed by doctors or dermatologists for people suffering with eczema or from other skin ailments. The purpose of emollients is to provide a waterproof barrier to the skin, add moisture and prevent the skin from becoming dehydrated. They leave the skin feeling smooth and moisturised.

There are various types of emollients e.g. cream, lotions, ointments and soap substitutes.
Some emollients contain paraffins, silicones and sulfates.

Emollients should not be used in the sun as they contain paraffin and during the hot weather it can fry your skin.

It blocks your pores which in turn prevents your skin from breathing and as your skin is the biggest organ this may have a detrimental affect on your health, general well-being and long-term.

Throughout the time of having chronic severe eczema I used various emollients and soap substitutes : Aqueous Cream, Hydromol Ointment, 50-50, Epaderm Ointment, Diprobase, Dermol Lotion and Aveeno.

Whilst using emollients it made me feel extremely uncomfortable as my skin was very greasy and my clothes stuck to my skin. I continued using these at the time as I was desperate for some relief but couldn’t find anything else to use. It blocked my pores which caused discomfort and I developed Folliculitis.

My skin no longer had its normal smell but rather the smell of the emollients which I tried to mask, it was awful not only did my skin hurt, I just didn’t feel normal.

As the eczema worsened, I would have to use different emollients which made me feel helpless, until I found one that was more bearable. The last one I used was Aveeno lotion, this was lighter than all the others. However, I discovered that although Aveeno lotion contains oats which can be soothing to the skin it contained silicone which isn’t good for your skin or well-being.

I have my own skincare range which is more gentle to the skin, it has improved my skin dramatically and it also has therapeutic properties, which can improve your well-being.

Here are some other concerns around using emollients which I have researched and I’ve included the links.

Baby Eczema Creams and your Washing Machine

Greasy, paraffin based, eczema creams can damage the rubber seals in your washing machine. To minimise the build-up of damaging residues just fill your machine with old towels or sheets and run it on the hottest cycle with plenty of detergent every 2-3 weeks.

Greasy eczema creams get smeared over everything, especially when children are young and active. Getting the residue of these creams out of clothing can be difficult. What isn’t so obvious is that over time these creams, particularly the paraffin based ones, can also damage the rubber seals inside your washing machine and if you use a tumble-drier, residues can gradually block up the pipes inside that too. Worst of all, this damage may not be covered by your insurance company, especially it if happens more than once. Read more on the Scratch Sleeves Blog.

Follow this general safety advice when using emollients:

Keep away from fire, flames and cigarettes when using all types of emollients (both paraffin-based and paraffin-free). Dressings, clothing and bedding that have been in contact with an emollient can easily catch fire. Washing fabrics at high temperatures may reduce the build-up of emollients but does not remove it entirely. (NHS website)

click here to go to visit NHS Emollients

If you want to find out any more details on this topic, don’t hesitate to contact me on Instagram or Facebook on Icylda_skincare.

Posted by Amanda Roberts on 13th April 2020

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