Epaderm Ointment doesn't contain any active ingredients as such. It is a mixture of yellow soft paraffin, liquid paraffin and emulsifying wax that produces a greasy moisturiser. It works by providing a layer of oil on the surface of the skin to prevent water evaporating from the skin surface.
Dry skin results from lack of water in the outer layer of skin cells known as the stratum corneum. When this layer becomes dehydrated it loses its flexibility and becomes cracked, scaly and sometimes itchy. This increases as we get older and is made worse by washing, because hot water and soap remove the layer of natural oil on the skin surface.
Moisturisers are helpful for dry skin conditions, particularly eczema and dermatitis, which get worse when the skin is allowed to dry out. Used regularly they help restore the skin's smoothness, softness and flexibility by helping the skin retain moisture. They should be applied frequently to prevent the skin drying out.
This ointment can also be used in place of soap when washing to prevent drying of the skin, and as a moisturising bath additive. After washing, the skin should be patted rather than rubbed dry to avoid rubbing the oil off the skin.