Information & Guide
What are the characteristics of dry skin?
When your skin is dry, it is not because it lacks grease or oil, but because it fails to retain water. For this reason, a good daily skin care regimen focuses on the basics of bathing and moisturizing.
What other factors create dry skin?
Wind, low humidity, cold temperature, excessive washing without use of moisturisers, and use of harsh, drying soaps can all cause dry skin and aggravate eczema.
How do I take care of my dry skin?
The most important treatment for dry skin is to put water back in it. The best way to get water into your skin is to briefly soak in a bath or shower and to moisturise immediately afterwards.
Use of an effective moisturiser several times every day improves skin hydration and barrier function. Moisturiser should be applied to the hands every time they are washed or in contact with water.
The goal of bathing and moisturising is to help heal the skin. To repair the skin, it is necessary to decrease water loss.
We recommend that you perform your bathing and moisturising regime at night just before going to bed. You are unlikely to further dry out or irritate your skin while sleeping, so the water can be more thoroughly absorbed into your skin.
If you have hand eczema we recommend that you soak your hands in water, apply prescription medications and moisturiser, and put on pure cotton gloves before going to sleep.
What are the basics of Bathing & Moisturising?
Take at least one bath or shower per day. Use warm, not hot, water for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid scrubbing your skin with a washcloth.
Use a gentle cleansing bar, Grahams Natural Soap or Grahams Natural Body Wash, not chemical based soap. During a severe flare, you may choose to limit the use of cleansers to avoid possible irritation.
While your skin is still wet (within three minutes of taking a bath or shower), apply any special skin medications prescribed for you and then liberally apply a moisturiser. This will seal in the water and make the skin less dry and itchy.
Be sure to apply any special skin medications to areas affected with eczema before moisturising.
Be sure to apply moisturisers on all areas of your skin whether it has or has not been treated with medication. Specific occlusives or moisturizers may be individually recommended for you.
How does water help my skin?
• Water hydrates the stratum corneum (the top layer of skin).
• Water softens skin so the topical medications and moisturizers can be absorbed.
• Water removes allergens and irritants.
• Water cleanses, debrides, and removes crusted tissue.
• Water is relaxing and reduces stress.
What is preferable, a bath or a shower? For how long?
Either a bath or shower (about 10 – 15 minutes long) will keep the skin from drying out.
DO NOT rub your skin.
DO NOT completely dry your skin after your shower or bath. Instead, pat yourself lightly with a towel if needed.
What type of bath should I take?
A soak in a tub of lukewarm water for 10 – 15 minutes will help the skin absorb water. You may wish to try one of the following for specific treatment:
What does moisturising do?
Moisturising improves skin hydration and barrier function.
Moisturisers are more effective when applied to skin that has been soaked in water.
Apply moisturiser to your skin immediately after your bath or shower and throughout the day whenever your skin feels dry or itchy.
What are proper moisturising techniques?
• Just as it is important to use proper bathing techniques, it is important to properly apply moisturisers to your skin within three minutes of showering or bathing.
• While your skin is still wet apply a moisturiser to all your skin.
• A thick ointment is best such as Grahams Sooth-it Balm.
• Dispense the moisturiser from large jars with a clean spoon, butter knife to avoid contamination.
• Take a dollop of moisturiser from the jar, soften it by rubbing it between your hands, and apply it using the palm of your hand stroking in a downward direction.
• Do NOT rub by stroking up and down or around in circles.
• Leave a tacky film of moisturiser on your skin; it will be absorbed in a few minutes.
Everyone has different preferences concerning how products feel on their skin, so try different products until you find one that feels comfortable. Continue use of the moisturiser(s) even after the affected area heals to prevent recurrence.
FAQ & Quick Tips
How can I reduce skin irritation?
After bathing and moisturising, the next important step is to attempt to reduce skin irritation.
Do not scratch or rub the skin.
These actions can worsen any itch. Instead, apply a moisturizer whenever the skin feels dry or itchy. A cool gel pack can provide some relief from itch.
Wash all new clothes before wearing them
This removes formaldehyde and other potentially irritating chemicals which are used during production and packing.
Add a second rinse cycle to ensure the removal of all sopa if you are concerned.
Use a mild detergent that is dye-free and fragrance-free.
Wear garments that allow air to pass freely to your skin.
Open-weave, loose-fitting, cotton-blend clothing may be most comfortable. Avoid wearing wool.
Work and sleep in comfortable surroundings
Fairly constant temperature and humidity level. Cooler temperatures are preferred but not so cool as to initiate chilling.
Keep fingernails very short and smooth
Filing them daily to help prevent damage due to scratching.
Make use of antihistamines
They which may reduce itching to some degree through their tranquilizing and sedative effects.
Use sunscreen on a regular basis and always avoid gettiing sunburned.
Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sunscreens made for the face are often less irritating than regular sunscreens. Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide–based products are less irritating such as our SunClear natural sunscreen.
Go for a swim
Swimming canan provide good hydration. Chlorine can also decrease bacteria on the skin that can cause itching or develop into an infection. Of course, residual chlorine or bromine left on the skin after swimming in a pool or hot tub may be irritating, so take a quick shower or bath immediately after swimming, washing with a mild cleanser from head to toe, and then apply an appropriate moisturizer while still wet.