One thing that my husband and I can’t quite agree on is how much to moisturize – I like to slather huge amounts (think pressing the bottle pump vigorously, and just applying VERY liberally) while my husband prefers to pump with measured control as he feels that too much moisturizer get wasted on the clothing and when my baby hides under the blanket to escape from us). So how much is enough? And when to moisturize?
Let’s first establish that moisturizing is a must; it’s the one advice that I had from Marcie’s doctor Prof Hugo Van Bever, and in his words “You Can’t Moisturize Enough”. In a later follow-up consultation even after Marcie’s eczema is under control, his advice is still to continue moisturizing.Moisturizing helps to restore the skin barrier which is typically broken/thin in eczema skin, and that allows irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin. Moisturizer helps to trap water (after a bath) and also retain moisture in the skin. As you can see in the chart, people who moisturize more had to pay less visits to the doctor. I also read that the more moisturizer one uses, the less severe the eczema is.
So, how much to Moisturize? From what I’ve read is 400-500 grams per week, that’s one bottle of QV 500ml lotion or 2 bottles of Physiogel lotion, which is also the amount that I’ve been applying for Marcie. If you read my budgeting post, you will know how much it cost.
Steroid first or Moisturizer first? That’s another item that my hubby and I can’t agree on, but I think he’s right. Steroid first, then moisturizer.
When to Moisturize? Immediately after shower, and roughly at every diaper change/ 2-3 times per day. Moisturize even when the eczema is under control and for whole body, not just the rash area.
What Moisturizer to choose? I’ve tried to decipher the ingredients with not much success, but have posted here on what to generally look out for.I’ve later read that silicone is to protect the skin, butylene to re-hydrate and prolipids to restore. I know that propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate may irritate the skin. You can also refer to this link for more on the ingredients (I didn’t summarize them ‘cos I’d tried for 2 days to compare ingredients across brands and they just don’t label them the same way…)Whatever it is, don’t give up on moisturizing! Anyone has any brands that worked for your child? Do post in the comments, thanks! Update on How Much to Moisturize – read this Q&A with dermatologist Dr Jeff Benabio hereOn Steroid or Moisturizer first – read this Q&A with Dr Bridgett hereOn which ingredients to avoid in skincare production – read this Q&A with Dr Verallo-Rowell here