Psoriasis topical treatments: leave-on emollients (moisturisers)
Many people said moisturising helped keep their psoriasis ‘under control’. Emollients were enough for Sofia’s skin when she was younger but she needed steroid creams when it became worse. Russell hopes moisturising will prevent another flare-up. Lucy can “definitely see the difference” if she doesn’t moisturise every day. Ella says her emollient helps her psoriasis and makes her “normal skin… nice and smooth”. A few people said they didn’t use moisturisers much. Jack has a prescribed emollient but doesn’t use it often because he says his skin isn’t very dry. Simon finds steroid creams are enough to keep his skin moisturised without emollients. Adam doesn’t use moisturiser often but feels he should do more. Some people found emollients soothed their skin and helped stop itchiness. This provided “symptom relief” for Carys while waiting to start phototherapy. Ella and Louie said moisturising reduced skin flaking. Lucy’s dermatologist recommended using emollient for shaving her legs. Some people liked thick emollients, but others found these could add to itchiness. Abbie says it’s difficult not to pick at the skin on her ears when she’s put moisturiser on it because it’s “thick and horrible”.
Many difficulties with using emollients are covered in the overview section on topical treatments. This includes the time taken to apply and wait for emollients to dry. Another big issue for many was feeling sticky or oily. Carys felt “covered” in “grease” and the emollients got on her clothes, which led to “a never ending circle of washing”. Emollients make Adam and Zara feel ‘sweaty’. Abbie’s skin feels oily when she moisturises after showering with soap substitutes. Many people put on emollients before going to sleep but disliked pyjamas and bedding sticking to the skin.