Eczema is characterised by dry and inflamed, itchy skin and affects around 20% of children. A recent study compared the clinical effectiveness and safety of the four main emollient categories (lotions, creams, gels, and ointments).
It randomized children aged between 6 months and 12 years with eczema (Patient Orientated Eczema Measure [POEM] score >2) to lotions, creams, gels, or ointments. The initial emollient prescription included 500 g or 500 mL, to be applied twice daily and as required. The family determined subsequent prescriptions. The study then looked for parent-reported eczema severity over 16 weeks (weekly POEM) and safety.
The study observed the following-
Thus this study described no difference in effectiveness between the four main types of emollients for childhood eczema. Patients must choose from a range of emollients to find one that they are more likely to use effectively.
Ridd MJ, Santer M, MacNeill SJ, et al. effectiveness and safety of lotion, cream, gel, and ointment emollients for childhood eczema: a pragmatic, randomized, phase 4, superiority trial. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. 2022;6(8):522-532. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00146-8.
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