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Ceramides are one of three types of lipids (fats) along with cholesterol and free fatty acids that are found in the stratum corneum, the top layer of the epidermis, the skin's covering. These three lipids have many different functions in the body. In addition to helping to maintain the skin's protective barrier, ceramides also function as cell signaling agents.

There are nine different types of ceramides in the stratum corneum, named ceramide 1 to ceramide 9 and they make up between 40-50% of the lipids in the stratum corneum. Studies have shown that individuals with dry skin conditions such as eczema have significantly fewer ceramides in their stratum corneum. Interestingly, individuals with psoriasis have been found to have normal numbers of ceramides, but fewer of some types and more of others.

Ceramides Can Improve Eczema  

We know that lipids in the stratum corneum can be replaced with topical preparations. And best results are achieved when lipids are applied in certain ratios to restore the skin's barrier function. The use of ceramides in the treatment of eczema has demonstrated good results.

While ceramides aren’t the only component to the management of dry skin, you may want to consider incorporating a ceramide containing formulation if you have dry skin or eczema. Here are two to consider:

[Link Removed] or 5% - Natural biolipids mimic the skin’s ceramides to restore the skin’s barrier function.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].

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