Topical emollients are one of a number of possible treatments for psoriasis symptoms. But which product should you choose? In this blog, we take a closer look at petroleum jelly.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects around 2% of people in the UK. It can start at any age and is thought to be caused by genetics and triggered by external factors. Psoriasis manifests as dry, itchy, scaly patches on the skin, commonly appearing on the trunk, scalp, elbows and knees. These patches are often inflamed or flushed.
A chronic and long term condition, there is no cure (as yet) for psoriasis. It tends to come and go in cycles or ‘flare ups’ then can disappear for many months. There are, however, lifestyle changes and management strategies that you can adopt for the treatment of symptoms.
Using emollients to manage psoriasis
Topical creams and ointments that improve the appearance of skin patches are often the first port of call. In fact, if you have a mild case of psoriasis, then your GP will probably recommend that you apply an emollient directly to the affected area.
Emollients are ointments that nourish and hydrate skin to trap in moisture with a water protective barrier. They help to reduce the itching and scaling caused by psoriasis. For some people, treatment by emollient is all they need to clear up their skin, although it may take applications over several weeks. There are a wide variety of emollients available over the counter or on prescription from your GP.
Petroleum is an emollient and some people may find that it is helpful in treating their psoriasis symptoms. However, it is made from a by-product of the petrochemical industry, which some can be sensitive to. Petroleum jelly can also cause allergies and may exacerbate existing skin problems.
This year, the Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance warned about the dangers of using emollients such as Vaseline that may contain ingredients that make them flammable. You can watch a video about it here.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula
Balmonds Scalp Oil
with tea tree, nettle, borage & rosemary