III. Mechanism

  1. Ointments, Lotions and creams trap existing moisture in skin
  2. Moisturizing is a misnomer
    1. Skin Emollients do not add moisture to skin
  3. Hypoallergenic agents are preferred
    1. Fragrance free
    2. Dye free
  4. Moisture trapping effectiveness (highest lipid or oil content)
    1. Best moisture trapping: Oils or Ointments (e.g. Petroleum Jelly)
    2. Moderate moisture trapping: Creams
    3. Least moisture trapping: Lotions

IV. Technique

  1. Apply to affected area immediately after bathing
    1. Pat dry and apply lotion or cream
  2. Apply periodically throughout day
  3. Apply each time skin is washed

V. Preparations

  1. Most effective agents are Bland Emollients with high oil and low water content (but least tolerated)
    1. Mineral Oil
    2. Vegetable shortening (Crisco)
    3. Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
      1. Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
      2. Oils
  2. Moderately effective agents (ointment better than cream better than lotion)
    1. Vanicream
    2. Eucerin
    3. Lubriderm
    4. Aveeno lotion
    5. Moisturel
    6. Curel
    7. Neutrogena

VI. Preparations: Second generation Emollients add ceramide lipids (barrier repair therapies)

  1. Agents (most require a prescription)
    1. Cerave
    2. Restoraderm
    3. Mymix
    4. Atopiclair
    5. EpiCeram
    6. Eletone
    7. NeoSalus
  2. Efficacy
    1. Much more costly and no significant advantage when compared to standard Emollients
    2. Draelos (2009) J Cosmet Dermatol 8(1): 40-3 [PubMed]
    3. Miller (2011) J Drugs Dermatol 10(5): 531-7 +PMID: 21533301 [PubMed]

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Ontology: Emollients (C0013983)

Definition (MSH) Oleagenous substances used topically to soothe, soften or protect skin or mucous membranes. They are used also as vehicles for other dermatologic agents.
Concepts Biomedical or Dental Material (T122)
MSH D004643
SnomedCT 373380003, 48279009
English Emollients, Emollient - Misc, EMOLLIENTS, emollients, [DE350] EMOLLIENTS, emollient, Emollient, Emollient product, Emollient (product), Emollient (substance), Emollient, NOS
French Agents émollients, Produits émollients, Émollient
Swedish Huduppmjukande medel
Finnish Ihoa pehmittävät aineet
Polish Środki zmiękczające, Emolienty
Czech látky hydratující kůži, emoliencia, přípravky změkčující kůži
Spanish emoliente (producto), emoliente (sustancia), emoliente, Emolientes
German Emollientia
Italian Emollienti
Portuguese Emolientes