Dermasoft Skin Care and Dry Skin Conditions

Our aim is to provide information together with a high quality range of specialised Skin Care products which will provide unique benefits to those people who suffer from Dry, Sensitive Skin conditions. In particular, Dermasoft products are formulated for those who suffer from dry, cracked or flaky skin, atopic eczema and ichthyosis (itchy skin).

What Causes Dry Skin?

Dry Skin is the result of a lack of water in the outer layer (stratum corneum) of your skin, and the breakdown of your skin’s natural ability to retain this moisture.
The main contributing factors to dry skin are:

  • Exposure to dry environmental conditions eg sun, cold, dry winter air, wind, central heating, and air conditioning
  • Excessive washing and especially the use of normal soap bars and “soap based” washes and gels
  • Use of household detergents
  • Exposure to chemical agents
  • Aging skin
  • Use of specific medications

Why use Dermasoft Products?

Dermasoft products differ from other products because they are Glycerin based. Glycerin provides maximum moisturising properties together with minimum irritation to dry, sensitive skins. Our products have mild formulas containing no fragrance, colouring, lanolin or propylene glycol all of which can irritate sensitive skins. All Dermasoft skin care products are balanced to the natural pH 5.5 of normal healthy skin. This is important because the normal pH value of your skin provides a protective acid mantle, which helps protect it from environmental damage and dryness.

Why use Glycerin based products?

All moisturisers contain moisturising agents, which are called ” humectants”. These humectants will attract water and also help the skin’s ability to hold moisture.
Glycerin is a more effective humectant (moisturising agent) than other commonly used ingredients, namely Propylene Glycol and Sorbitol.
As well, Glycerin is better tolerated and less irritating to your skin than these other humectants and this is important if you have sensitive skin. Skin care specialists often will recommend Glycerin based products for these reasons.

Key features of Glycerin are:

  • A very effective moisturising agent
  • Less likely to cause irritation to sensitive skin
  • Water soluble

Key features of Dermasoft® Skin Care products are:

  • Glycerin based for superior moisturising properties
  • Special formulations which are soothing and help relieve itching
  • Low irritant formulas
  • pH balanced to 5.5
  • Propylene Glycol free
  • Lanolin free
  • Fragrance free
  • Colouring free
    • A very effective moisturising agent
    • Less likely to cause irritation to sensitive skin
    • Water soluble

    Atopic Dermatitis and the Care of Sensitive Skins

    The terms dermatitis and eczema are synonymous. Confusion should not arise when they are used interchangeably.

    Atopic dermatitis is an itchy rash which sometimes affects people with sensitive skins.
    It is a familiar condition with those who have a personal or family history of asthma and hay fever.
    Atopic dermatitis may begin at any age, but 75% of people show the first signs by age six months.

    Clinical Picture

    The skin is dry and irritable all over. The dermatitis affects any area but the main areas of involvement can vary at different stages. In early childhood the face and over the knees and fronts of the ankles are commonly involved. In older children, the predominant area of involvement is often the inside of the elbows and behind the knees. The dermatitis may be of an acute weeping type or chronic and thickened. Scratch marks are always seen.


    Impetigo, a bacterial infection, can commonly complicate atopic dermatitis. Everyone has organisms on their skin and these organisms are introduced by scratching thus allowing the infection to be established. This infection shows itself as a pus formation or sometimes just a worsening of the eczema. Antibiotics are required. A swab should always be taken before the antibiotics are prescribed.

    Patients with atopic dermatitis are also more at risk of developing severe widespread infections with the herpes simplex (cold sore) virus, so anyone with an active cold sore should be very careful not to have close contact with an atopic dermatitis person.

    Management of Atopic Dermatitis

    There is unfortunately no miracle cure. A good skin care maintenance programme is very important.

    It is also important to appreciate that these patients have been born with a dry, irritable skin. This skin will remain irritable often throughout the patient’s life. The degree of irritability may lessen with time. It must be appreciated that if certain environmental factors act upon the skin, whatever the age of the patient, eczema will ensue. Therefore the tendency to eczema is life long but the fact of the eczema may not be life long. The important thing to grasp is that this skin will have to be understood and cared for, for life. If this is done often, the development of eczema remains a rare event.

    The patient then has a dry, irritable skin on which various environmental precipitants will impinge to produce itching. The itching provokes scratching and this in turn helps to produce eczema. The eczematous skin is itself itchy, so that further scratching sets off the vicious cycle.

    Care of the Irritable skin and Avoidance of Precipitants

    The following should be avoided:

    1. Rough clothing – as in coarse materials or unfinished seams.
    2. Wool and nylon in direct contact with the skin. As well as the patients own clothing, remember the mother’s clothes, carpets, blankets, toys and so on.
    3. Dusty conditions
    4. Sand. Especially for children, playing in a sandpit or sand at the beach can be very irritating. The mother should always have a non- sandy towel to rub the child down with. A pair of dry pants put on when the child comes out of the water will prevent the irritation of wet sand inside a wet swimming costume.
    5. Water without oil in it. Chlorine in pools occasionally will irritate but often if the child is rinsed off as soon as they come out of the water, this can be tolerated.
    6. Use of Soap. This is important. Normal soaps, shampoos and biological cleansers found in the household are high in alkaline pH value, and they will upset the normal balance of the skin, which should be slightly acidic, and also strip the skin of its protective oils. A quality soap substitute such as “Dermasoft” is recommended.
    7. Use of perfumed products.
    8. Use of household antiseptic products (liquids, creams).

    All this should be tempered with letting the child have as normal life as possible. Not all of these things may irritate the skin of each child but if parents are aware of the possible sources of irritation, then they can assess their relevance to their own child.

    Patch Testing for Sensitive Skins

    When using a skin care product for the first time, wether it is a bath oil, moisturiser, cleanser, or shampoo etc., do a patch test first. Just apply a little of the product to an area of sensitive skin about the size of a ten cent piece. If the skin is sensitive, it will normally react with redness within the first two to three hours. Do this patch test twice over a period of 24 hours to be sure.

    Dealing with Dryness

    1. Moisturising.
      Use emollients such as 10% Glycerin in Sorbolene Cream – “Dermasoft” Sorbolene cream is an example. The moisturiser should be used on a long- term basis. It should be used after the bath, and at the other end of the day. Moisturising the skin should be regarded as long-term maintenance treatment, even when there is no active eczema.
    2. Antipruritic (Anti itching) Creams.
      A few creams and lotions have soothing antipruritic or anti itching qualities. “Dermasoft” Sorbolene Cream has a mild soothing agent.
      “Dermasoft” Dry skin Lotion (pH 5.5) has a higher level of this agent to relieve itching.

    Cortisone Preparations (Steroids)

    If it is necessary to use these preparations, then Cortisone ointments are better than Cortisone creams. Nothing stronger than Hydrocortisone should be used on the face, under the arms or in the groin.

    Cortisone preparations should be used only where there is active eczema and only until the eczema settles. After this they should be ceased.

    Wet Dressings

    If a child has very severe eczema that is not responding to treatment at home, they can be treated in hospital with the use of wet dressings. Here the patient has an oil bath and moisturiser / emollient is applied all over. A steroid preparation (in this case a cream because it mixes better with water) is applied to the areas of eczema. Sheeting soaked in tap water is applied and held in place by crepe bandages and outside this a net material that holds the bandages in place. The whole procedure is repeated three times a day.


    For affected young children night sedation is sometimes necessary. It is always best to consult your GP or specialist.

    Dietary Considerations

    Dietary factors are usually of no significance, and it is quite exceptional for a food allergy to cause atopic dermatitis lesions directly. Unless there is a history of hives with food, a normal diet is indicated.

    Some research however, points to cow’s milk being linked to eczema. Using a soy milk for a few months may be worth trying. However there are nutritional hazards in putting a growing child on an elimination diet. There is also the possibility of an increased reaction when a food is reintroduced to the diet, and dietary changes should be closely supervised.


    1. The Royal Children’s Hospital, VIC, Australia
    2. Buxton PK. ABC of dermatology: London BMJ Publishing. 1992
    3. Health Visitor. UK. volume 67 / Number 7 July 1994
    4. Nicol NH. Atopic dermatitis: the wet wrap up. American Journal of Nursing 1987