Other names: emollients, moisturizers, topical moisturizers
What are Topical emollients?
Topical emollients are creams, lotions, or ointments that contain ingredients that soothe and soften the skin. The word emollient means a preparation that softens the skin. Another name for an emollient is a moisturizer.
Occlusive emollients such as lanolin, emulsifying ointment, and liquid paraffin work by covering the skin with a protective film, preventing water loss. Humectant emollients contain ingredients such as urea, glycerol, propylene glycol or lactic acid that attract and hold water in the top layer of skin. Some emollients may contain ingredients to reduce itching or prevent infection.
Topical emollients can be used on a daily basis to improve skin hydration in people prone to dry skin. They may also be used in the treatment of skin conditions characterized by dryness or scaliness, such as eczema or psoriasis. Regular use may lessen the use of active topical treatments such as topical corticosteroids.
The choice of emollient depends on a person's skin condition and their preference for a greasy or light product.
List of Topical emollients:
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Medical conditions associated with topical emollients: