We’ve previously discussed the use of skin protectants and ointments for irritated skin such as eczema skin. One of my favorites is Vaniply ointment. One frequent complaint I hear from patients about ointment is that it leaves the skin and clothing sticky and goopy, and that it’s difficult to apply. Vaniply is somehow much smoother and much easier to spread. It also doesn’t leave that really sticky feel behind.
Vaniply is made by the same company that makes Vanicream. All of their products are meant to be hypoallergenic. Specifically, Vaniply is free of fragrance, preservatives, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, sulfates, gluten, and chemical irritants. Patients with eczema are more likely to develop contact dermatitis so it’s good that Vaniply has taken out all the above offenders.
So what does Vaniply contain? 1% dimethicone, C30-45 alkyl methicone, C30-45 olefin, hydrogenated polydecene, microcrystalline wax, polyethylene, silica dimethyl silylate
What are the uses of Vaniply?
It can function as a skin protectant — serving as an extra barrier between the skin and the outside world. As such, you can use it over chapped lips, hands, feet, and elsewhere. You can also use it in areas that develop a rash from constant moisture (think babies’ bottoms or skin folds). It helps “seal” in the water content of the skin, so you could use it as part of the “soak and smear” method if you’re trying to hydrate the skin and then trap the moisture in (e.g. for those with eczema). It can also be used as part of the wet wrapping procedure (again, often used in eczema patients).
Vaniply is “kid friendly” and has also received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.
Take a look at your local supermarket/pharmacy’s skin care section and you can easily get overwhelmed by the different moisturizer options. There are many different brands, and formulations. Creams, lotions, and ointments, oh my!
So what are some guidelines to follow when choosing a moisturizer for eczema?
Your moisturizer should be hypoallergenic. The last thing you want is for your moisturizer to give you an allergic reaction on your skin.
- Your moisturizer should be fragrance-free. Fragrances are a leading cause of skin contact allergies.
- Look for creams or ointments. Your moisturizer should not be thin and watery. It should be thick. Why? because then it can seal and lock in your skin’s moisture. If your moisturizer is thin and watery, the water will evaporate off, leaving little protectant on your skin. Ointments are great, but some people don’t like the oily feel.
Here are some of my favorite moisturizers (and no! I have no conflicts of interest and am not paid by these companies!):
- Vanicream moisturizing cream – This one is hypoallergenic and fragrance free and comes in a big tub.
- Cerave moisturizing cream – This cream includes ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid which help protect the skin and seal in moisture.
- Aveeno eczema therapy – The moisturizing cream contains colloidal oatmeal. It is not as thick as the above creams, but many patients have found this to be a very pleasant cream
- Vaniply ointment – I like how this one comes in a travel size which I can stick in my purse to moisturize my hands or lips on the go.
- Aveeno healing ointment or Aquaphor healing ointment – I’ve also found this very handy for the hands or lips on the go.
- Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream – This is slightly less greasy than other ointment but thicker than a cream. It also comes in a size that is easy to throw in my purse or keep at the desk. I frequently use this after washing my hands or when I don’t have a separate chap stick around.
- Plain old Vaseline petroleum jelly – Inexpensive and a great sealant! The skin will feel a little greasy afterwards, but it’s supposed to!
What are some of your favorite moisturizers?
Want to learn about the proper way to apply moisturizer? The answer is HERE.
Sadly, I managed to catch another cold this winter season last week. I guess it’s hard to avoid when you’re outnumbered by sniffly, sneezing kids at family holiday gatherings. Unfortunately, the skin can take a beating from the frequent nose blowing, leading to a chafed, red, raw nose and making the cold even more unbearable!
Well, don’t fret, here are some tips to help prevent the Rudolph nose:
1. Use tissue that is soft and lotion infused. No nose blowing with paper towels or rough toilet paper! (Not that you would right?)
2. Protect your skin with petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline ointment) or an ointment like Aveeno healing ointment, Aquaphor Healing ointment, or Vaniply Ointment after blowing your nose or whenever it starts to feel dry and raw. These double as good lip protectants since your lips might get dried out from all that mouth breathing when you’re sick.
3. After washing your face, also protect the affected areas around your nose with the above ointments.
Hang in there! Colds usually go away on their own in 1-2 weeks.