Ask your pharmacist
Prevention and treatment of dry skin
Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St and Clonmore Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many causes of dry skin; common causes include conditions like eczema, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Last week I discussed their causes and symptoms. This week I discuss basic options for prevention and treatment
Maintaining adequate skin hydration
Evaporation of water on the skin leads to dry skin, especially in people suffering from dry skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis; skin hydration is a key component of their overall management. Thick creams (e.g. Calmurid®, Whelehans Intensive Moisturising Cream, Diprobase®) which have a low water content, or ointments (eg. petroleum jelly, Emulsifying Ointment), which have zero water content will better protect against dry skin than lotions. Hydration is best applied immediately after bathing when skin is hydrated. Improve hydration by soaking in a bath containing a bath additive such as Oilatum® for 10 to 20 minutes.
Moisturising creams containing the natural moisturizing ingredient, urea, tend to give a deep penetrating moisturising effect. Brands include Calmurid® cream and Whelehans own brand moisturising cream. Whelehans Intensive Moisturising Cream has been developed for face, hands and body. We aim to give an extra smooth feeling on your skin.
Use of steroids
Topical corticosteroid such as hydrocortisone 1% cream may be required for flare ups of some dry skin conditions. The face and skin folds are areas that are at high risk of thinning and marking with corticosteroids so care and moderation is important. The GP may prescribe more potent corticosteroid creams such as Eumovate®, Betnovate® or Dermovate® for short periods during bad flare ups of eczema. A person may need to be referred to a skin specialist in more severe cases. When using a corticosteroid and a moisturiser, it is good practice to use the corticosteroid first and to put on the moisturiser after half an hour to allow the skin time to absorb the corticosteroid. In more severe cases of psoriasis, treatment may include tacrolimus (Protopic® Ointment) for eczema or UVB phototherapy and Psoralean plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy. Steroid skins creams should only be used short term as longer use can cause skin thinning and skin marks.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Find us on Facebook.
This article is shortened to fit within Newspaper space limits. More detailed information and leaflets is available in Whelehans