Why Moisturise Psoriasis?
Regular moisturising is key to living with psoriasis on a day-to-day basis. This is because moisturising makes the skin much more comfortable; it reduces itching and soreness and, by making the skin less dry, can reduce scaling and flaking. So, a good regime can make you feel better and make your psoriasis look a bit better too. Moisturisers can also help active treatments to be absorbed more effectively, and so many doctors suggest that you moisturise around half an hour before applying treatments. This is the ideal, but we’re aware it can sometimes be hard to do.
What’s the difference between lotions, creams and ointments?
The difference between these three types of moisturiser is the consistency. Lotions are quite thin and runny, making them easy to apply and quickly absorbed. However, this means they’re not particularly good at moisturising skin that is very dry. Creams are a bit thicker and often come in a tube or pump dispenser. Ointments are very thick and - as they are oil based - quite greasy. These are best at moisturising skin that is very dry, although some people don’t like them much as they are sticky and take a while to sink in.
Which should I use?
It really is a personal choice, and you must find a balance between the best moisturiser for your skin, and being able to go about your day-to-day life. It wouldn’t be very good for your skin to just use a lotion all the time, as it wouldn’t be moisturising enough. Your skin would be really well moisturised if you used an ointment all the time, but you wouldn’t much like looking and feeling greasy all day!
Many people find that a combination of the three is best. You might want to put a cream or lotion on first thing in the morning, so that you don’t feel greasy all day, and then switch to a thicker ointment before bed, so it moisturises all night. You could also carry a small pot of cream in your bag during the day, so you can top up your moisturiser if your skin starts to feel sore.
Different parts of the body require different levels of moisture. So, skin that touches other skin, such as your armpits or between your bum cheeks might be OK with a lotion, whereas hands and feet probably need a thicker cream or ointment.
TOP TIP: Try putting on cotton socks or gloves after you’ve moisturised and are just sitting watching telly - it helps the moisturiser to sink in. Even beauticians recommend this, so your friends without psoriasis might be interested in giving it a try too! You can get spa gloves and socks from places like Boots or the Body Shop.