What are emollients?

What are emollients?

Emollients (also known as moisturisers) are very important for promoting and maintaining healthy skin and for managing dry, itchy, flaky, and cracked skin. Emollients can be either water- or oil-based products that trap natural moisture in the skin and simply soften, smooth and rehydrate dry skin and can help to decrease the unpleasant sensations associated with itching. Emollients come in different formulations including cleansing products and leave-on products and are generally, considered effective and safe.

Emollients should be:

  • Used more often and in larger amounts than other treatments

  • Used on the whole body even when atopic eczema is clear

  • Used while using other treatments

  • Used instead of soaps and detergent-based wash products

  • Used instead of shampoos for children aged under 12 months

  • Offered as a single product for all purposes or a combination (offer alternatives if one emollient causes irritation or is not acceptable)

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