Let's Define Words - Emollient, Eczema, Humectant, Atopic Dermatitis, Keratosis Pilaris, Infant etc

Glossary of Terms

Order and definitions copied and adapted from Cochrane Review 2020:      Kelleher MM, Cro S, Cornelius V, et al. Skincare interventions in infants for preventing eczema and food allergy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;2020(2):CD013534. Published 2020 Feb 10.  (text is verbatim with modifications and edits made by Anar)
Term Definition
Adolescence A period in development, roughly between ages 10 and 19 years, between the onset of puberty and the acceptability of adult identity and behavior.   This age group commonly develops Keratosis Pilaris.
Allergic (atopic) march The typical pattern of onset of allergic disease from eczema, to food allergy, to asthma and allergic rhinitis.  Food allergy is not required, but if you have Asthma + Eczema + Seasonal Allergies (allergic rhinitis) then you have met the March.
Allergic rhinitis Rhinitis is a group of symptoms affecting the nose, typically sneezing, itching or congestion. Allergic rhinitis is when these symptoms are due to environmental allergies.  Runny nose!
Allergic sensitization Demonstrated by a positive skin prick test of specific IgE to a known allergen
Anaphylaxis An acute, potentially life‐threatening immediate reaction to an allergen.  This is an ER Visit.
Angioedema Pronounced swelling of the deep dermis, subcutaneous or submucosal tissue.  This is very dangerous swelling, often of the face of neck area.
Atopic dermatitis
(atopic eczema)
Interchangeably used terms. Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis - complex chronic skin condition characterized by itch. Often individuals develop this in infancy.  Often, individuals also have allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Atopy A genetic predisposition to develop allergic diseases such as eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis.
Ceramides Lipid (fatty) molecules found in the lipid bilayer of the intercellular matrix
Filaggrin gene (FLG) Gene encoding for filaggrin which is a filament binding protein in the skin.   This is often DEFICIENT or "not working" in people with Keratosis Pilaris and/or Eczema.
Flare In eczema, a period of worsening of signs and symptoms of eczema
Food sensitization Production of IgE to a food, in the form of a positive skin prick test or Immunoglobulin E, may not equate to food allergy
Humectant

Substance or product that draws water towards it - VERY important to see this in your creams. Great for Oily or Acne Prone skin.

  • Urea
  • Glycerol / glycerin (found in plants such as coconut)
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Sorbitol
  • Propylene glycol (avoid this ingredient due to risk of contact dermatitis)
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (low concentration)
Emollients

Moisturizers that are typically oil-base such as Coconut oil or Jojoba oil. Fatty acids / lipids are also ingredients or components hat restore the Natural barrier of skin

  • KPAway Daily Moisturizer is an emollient
  • CeraVe Moisturizer in a jar is another great emollient
  • Cream is much more effective than lotions or gels (much too thin / watery)
Occlusive

These products, such as Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly, act as almost a second layer of skin to prevent loss of water from skin. These products are typically ointments that sit on the skin surface rather than absorb.  Great for diaper care and wound care.  Avoid products like Neosporin and instead use Vaseline for almost all cuts / abrasions.

  • Petroleum Jelly (I prefer this instead of Aquaphor due to lack of Lanolin)
  • Aquaphor brand (has Lanolin)
  • Silicone
  • Beeswax
  • Lanolin
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) A class of antibody that plays a key role in allergic disease. Signs and symptoms of IgE‐mediated disease include urticaria, angioedema, wheeze, anaphylaxis
Infant

A baby in the first year of life.  Birth to 12mo.

Marcela as an infant: (our first brand ambassador)

 keratosis pilaris infant

Nara as an infant (much worse eczema than Marcela): infant keratosis pilaris eczema

Inhalant allergen An allergen that typically enters the immune system via the respiratory tract and is airborne, such as house dust mite or pollen
Mast cells A granular basophil cell present in connective tissue, that releases histamine and other mediators in allergic reactions.  Causes HIVES and Urticaria and Angioedema
Neonate A baby in the first 28 days of life
Phenotype Observable characteristics from an interaction between genes and the environment
Prevalence In statistics, refers to the number of cases of a disease, present in a particular population at a given time
Quality of life Defined by WHO as individual's perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns
Transepidermal water loss (TEWL)

A non‐invasive measurement of water loss across the epidermis used as a measure of skin barrier function

- Occlusive products (See above) are the best at preventing TEWL

Urticaria Rash which is a transient erythematous itchy swelling of skin