Moisturizers are classified based on their
oil and water content. The more oil a moisturizer has the more effective it is
in treating dry skin. Ointments have the greatest oil content, followed by creams,
and then lotions. Creams and lotions also often have added preservatives that
may burn when applied to scratched open skin. Ointments usually do not burn
when applied. Ointment-based emollients and medications are generally preferred
over creams for these reasons. Lotions are not generally recommended for people
with eczema. During the summer a cream may be preferable to an ointment to
prevent miliaria (prickly heat), which can occur after application of an
ointment in the summer heat and humidity.
To prevent skin irritation seek out
moisturizers that are fragrance- and dye-free.
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