Q: Why is moisturizing so important for eczema?

A: Eczema is a skin condition in which the body’s own skin barrier is compromised and cannot appropriately hold water for hydration. As such, beyond the use of medications, the regular, liberal use of moisturizers is imperative in not only the treatment, but also, the prevention of eczema flares.

Moisturizer not only hydrates the skin, it helps to reduce itching and creates a barrier on the skin. Most moisturizers formulated for eczema have a class of ingredients know as “humectants” which draw moisture from the environment to the skin.

Incorporating regular moisturizing as part of one’s routine (applying throughout the day and following bathing) can help prevent eczema flares. Furthermore, the avoidance of chemical (e.g. perfumes, detergents), physical (e.g. wool), and environmental (extreme hot or cold) irritants that could trigger facial eczema flares is very important.

About Dr. Wong: Dr. Ian Tin Yue Wong is a Dermatology Resident Physician training at the University of British Columbia where he will undergo an intensive five-year program of advanced medical and surgical training in the prevention,  recognition and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. Before medical school, Ian also trained and practiced as a community pharmacist. Today, he integrates his knowledge of pharmacology and pharmaceutical care to optimize medical care for the skin patient community.