Warning: aqueous cream unsuitable for childhood eczema

Doctors prescribing inappropriate treatment for children with eczema


Almost 9 out of 10 doctors are wrongly prescribing aqueous cream to treat children with eczema, according to a poll published in the British Journal of Dermatology.


Childhood eczema is best treated by applying an emollient moisturiser. Aqueous cream is an emollient but it is designed to be washed off the skin. However, the poll by Dexeryl cream found that 85% of doctors are prescribing aqueous cream as a leave-on emollient, which can by highly irritable to children’s eczema and even make the condition worse.

“Aqueous cream, described by children as ‘the stinging cream,’ can make them cry due to its harsh formula,” says Margaret Cox, Chief Exec of the National Eczema Society. “I am shocked and disappointed that parents are being advised on this scale to apply something that is so irritant and damaging to their children’s skin, especially when there are more effective emollients on the market.”

Dr Anthony Bewley, a consultant dermatologist at Whipps Cross and Barts Hospital in London, recommends that if your child suffers form eczema, it’s best to choose an emollient that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate.


Do you suspect your child may have eczema? Check her symptoms and find out the best way to treat eczema.


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