This topic strikes a hard chord for me because I belonged to the previous camp of “constant moisturizing”. I stopped, took a leap of faith based on countless research on the cons of moisturizing and have experienced the benefits of doing so. I’ll be posting a series of posts with regards to moisturizing and this will be the crux of I what I believe will lead to speedier recovery, as experienced by myself.
Disclaimer : Please don’t believe everything I write or say here. I’ll be glad to be proved wrong more than anything. If I’m wrong, I don’t gain anything as I have already stopped moisturizing. If I’m right, the readers will stand to benefit. Please do your own due diligence and make your own decision. I’ll not be responsible for your personal choices.
I refer to this link (Dr. Fukaya’s: Is moisturizing really a help to cure?) for further discussion:
To simplify for the readers on what happened in the research: there are 2 groups:
1) Group A mice was kept in humid environment (RH 80%) for 2 weeks.
2) Group B mice was kept in dry environment (RH b/w 40-70%) for 2 weeks.
Both groups are then moved to a dry environment (RH<10%) for 1 week.
What is measured: trans-epidermal water loss: the indication of epidermal barrier vulnerability) was measured every day after moving to the dry environment.The more water loss, the greater epidermal barrier vulnerability.
What is discovered:
1) Group B showed faster keratoncyte proliferation upon transiting into new environment.
2) Group A showed a delay in keratonycte proliferation upon transiting into new environment.
What this study can do at most is that we can draw parallels to moisturizing. For those who constantly moisturize, you are subjecting your skin to higher RH levels at the epidermal layer. The research shows a delayed skin epidermal recovery for this group of mice. It also implies that when the skin is used to high humidity, they “forget” how to retain moisture and it requires a period of time to recover that ability.
Of course you are human and not a mouse, but you can draw parallels from this study and make your decision.
Secondly, I quote Dr Fukaya,
“So excessive moisturizing do harm to skin recovery by delaying keratinocyte proliferation. I recommend you should use no or less moisturizer if you want to advance recovery of the skin barrier.”
Coming from a well respected Doctor in the field of TSW, this advice should be taken with greater credibility.
Many in ITSAN forums continue to moisturize with impunity. Yes it does provide comfort. I know. I’ve been through that. It just makes recovery longer and you will have to deal with the pain for longer period of time. I’ve been through this too, and have seen my recovery speed increase in leaps and bounds. If I need to suffer for two weeks from moisturizer to speed up my recovery from years to months, I’ll do it. It is my personal decision and so far it has been working well.
For those who feel this post is relevant and have made a difference to your skin, do help to share this research around.