How often should I apply emollients?

Apply as often as needed to keep the skin supple and moist. This varies from person to person and from time to time in the same person, depending on how bad the skin dryness has become. A good starting point is to apply 2-3 times a day but some people need to increase this to up to every hour if the skin is very dry.
If you have eczema, you should keep on applying emollients every day, even when you do not have any areas of inflamed skin. The emollients prevent the skin from drying and can help to prevent eczema from flaring up. Where appropriate, to help some people to apply emollients frequently, it may be best to keep separate packs of emollients at work or school.

Tips on using Emollients

Emollients are moisturisers that prevent water loss from your skin and can also help repair your skin. They reduce the dryness of your skin and ease itching. Emollients also help to prevent your skin becoming infected. Emollients are most effective at preventing eczema when they are used frequently, even when you don’t have eczema symptoms.

These tips will help you use your emollient more effectively:

  • Apply your emollient to your skin as often and as much as you need
  • To reduce the risk of infection always wash your hands before applying your emollient.
  • To prevent the skin drying out apply your emollient immediately after drying the skin.
  • To minimise skin irritation and increased itching always rub emollients in the direction of the hair growth.
  • To decrease the risk of cross infection, never share your emollient with other people.
  • To moisturise your skin overnight, apply an emollient or moisturiser to your whole body before going to bed.
  • To minimise skin irritation, apply moisturising creams gently.
  • Carry a small amount of moisturiser with you so you can keep your skin moisturised at all times