There is a kind of faith that moisturizing is absolutely good for the skin. Do you think it is right?
There is an article about the relation between the environmental humidity and the mice skin.
Abrupt Decreases in Environmental Humidity Induce Abnormalities in Permeability Barrier Homeostasis. J Sato et al. J Invest Dermatol. 2002 Oct;119(4):900-4
In the study, mice were divided to two groups. One was kept under a humid environment (relative humidity (RH) >80%) and the other under normal environment (40%<RH<70%) for the first two weeks. Then both were moved to a dry environment (RH<10%) for the subsequent one week. TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss: the indication of epidermal barrier vulnerability) was measured every day after moving to the dry environment.
The skin barrier function was better in the normal to dry group than in the humid to dry group. Especially for the early three days TEWL of the latter increased extraordinary.
The above graph shows DNA synthesis of epidermis which means keratinocyte proliferation in the early three days of both groups. The humid to dry group was delayed for one day in DNA synthesis compared with the normal to dry group.
Moisturizing increases the micro-environmental humidity very near to the skin surface. It means the protection by moisturizer works to delay the barrier function recovery.
There is another study. It is about premature baby and incubator humidity. Nurture in the humid environment (RH75) delayed the maturation of infantile skin compared with the normal environment (RH50).
Ambient humidity influences the rate of skin barrier maturation in extremely preterm infants. J Ågren et al, The Journal of Pediatrics,Volume 148, Issue 5 , Pages 613-617, May 2006
So excessive moisturizing do harm to skin recovery by delaying keratinocyte proliferation. I reccomend you should use no or less moisturizer if you want to advance recovery of the skin barrier.
If fact in Japan some of my friendly dermatologists adopt this strategy for patients with TSA. They recommend not use any moisturizer though they know the method is really a hard-landing.
They even advise not to drink too much water because exudation from the eczema itself makes the skin surface humid and it can be decreased by restricting drinking water. The method is not easily recommended because there is a risk of dehydration. But as far as from the viewpoint of accelerating recovery of the skin barrier, the method is right.
On the other hand, some patients with TSA prefer soaking in the bath for a long time. They spend several hours a day in the bath-tub. It is because they feel comfortable only in the hot water (=RH 100% environment). They even sleep in the bath-tub because they can’t sleep at all in the bed because of severe itching.
Such patients are not absolutely wrong. Their way might delay the skin barrier to recover. But they only selected less severer method which they can stand on the way to withdrawal.
So if utilizing any moisturizer is comfortable for your skin, it is not necesarily wrong to apply it. However, it is not a right idea if you think moisturizing is absolutely useful or necessary for the damaged skin.
Note: It is exceptional about 100 thousand Da hyaluronic acid.
You will understand by using it. It never is a moisturizer but a kind of nutrient for keratinocytes. Viscosity is lower than usual hyaluronic acid lotion. Efficacy as a moisturizer is low.
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