You heard it here first (yet again)…

Great article I stumbled on recently from The Independent.  As I have said for years:

In a typical household today, the following products are almost always detergent-based or contain detergents: laundry products, including “hypoallergenic” ones for babies … dishwashing liquid; dishwasher powder; liquid and many bar “soaps”; kitchen, bathroom and other household surface cleansers; shampoo and body washes; toothpastes (including “natural” ones); many cosmetic products, creams, and moisturizers; and many processed foods.

One of the researchers of the study mentioned below is quoted as saying:
“Our study suggests that it might be better for eczema patients to use oil-based ointments on damaged skin.”

Yay!  While I’m glad to finally see this realization printed in a medical journal, they are still missing a key piece.  While it’s really important to use ointment-like moisturizers — what I call “barrier moisturizers” — it’s just as important to remove detergent residues from the skin before applying them.  If not, eczema can develop from sealing in the detergent, even very small traces on the skin of susceptible infants.

Normally I’d leave a link for the research, but this article summarizes very nicely.  Note that the journalist/British must use the word “ointment” differently than we do in the US — Aqueous cream BP is, I believe, an emollient-type moisturize.  When I say “ointment-like”, I mean barrier-type rather than emollient.

Moisturisers ‘can aggravate eczema’

By Rod Minchin, Press Association

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Using moisturiser to treat eczema could make the condition worse, scientists have claimed. Ointments such as aqueous cream BP reduce the thickness of healthy skin, aiding irritation, research from Bath University found.

Aqueous cream BP is the most widely prescribed moisturiser for the treatment of dry skin conditions. However, it contains a detergent, sodium lauryl sulphate, which can increase the permeability of the skin barrier.

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