Eczema guidelines’ advice on emollient therapy welcomed as benefit to children and parents

January 2007, London, UK; Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturer of E45, has welcomed the recommendation by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that emollient use is the foundation of the management of atopic eczema in children and urges healthcare professionals (HCPs) to prescribe patients emollients in quantities recommended by NICE.1

Published last month (December 2007), the guidelines say children should use up to 500g of emollient a week and use it even when the skin is free of eczema. They also state that nurseries, pre-schools and schools should have easy access to emollients. E45 Cream (anhydrous lanolin, white soft paraffin and light liquid paraffin) has been available in 500g packs for many years, enabling HCPs help parents and children achieve these management goals.

Other advice in these first-ever guidelines on atopic eczema in children, call on HCPs to educate children and their parents or carers on how to use emollients properly for moisturising, washing and bathing and to use unperfumed products.

Dr Mike Cork, dermatologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, welcomed the guidelines saying: "Emollient therapy is a tried and tested part of the treatment of eczema and should form the basis of all routine clinical practice. Larger amounts of emollients need to be used for those patients with atopic eczema to achieve the maximum health benefits and healthcare professionals should be educating their patients to do this.”

Skin disease affects about 33% of the population at any one time and accounts for around 15% of a GP’s workload.2 The number of children suffering from eczema has risen dramatically, from 3% of children in the 1960s to 20% in the mid 1990s.3 Atopic eczema is a chronic inflammatory itchy skin condition that develops in early childhood in most cases. It is typically an episodic disease of exacerbation (flares, which may occur as frequently as two or three per month) and remissions. In some cases it may be continuous.

NICE’s guidelines reflect the views of many dermatologists who recommend complete emollient therapy to manage eczema, urging HCPs to recognise and promote the use of emollients for washing and moisturizing to offer patients with atopic eczema maximum benefits from their treatment regime. These views are shared by Reckitt Benckiser, which has communicated them to HCPs for many years.

Aomesh Bhatt, Medical Director for E45 added: “We are delighted that NICE has recommended emollients as the primary method for managing atopic eczema in children. We have always promoted the use of emollients to manage eczema and are pleased that the guidelines promote this and advise against the use of aqueous cream as a leave on product. The guidelines note that the use of aqueous cream is associated with adverse skin reactions in many patients. We hope the guidelines will ensure more patients have access to treatments appropriate for their skin conditions.”

E45 launched in 1953 and the company has endeavoured to meet with, and go beyond the expectations of satisfactory prescription treatment for dry skin conditions for more than 50 years.

E45 is a comprehensive range of unperfumed skincare products that enable patients to manage the common symptoms of dryness, itchiness and flakiness, and help restore/maintain healthy skin. E45 products are well known among HCPs for their effectiveness as a treatment, not only for dry skin but also for specific skin disorders, such as eczema and psoriasis, and for their cosmetic acceptability to users.

Prescribing Information E45 Cream: E45 Cream is a white smooth emollient cream containing white soft paraffin 14.5% w/w, light liquid paraffin 12.6% w/w and hypoallergenic anhydrous lanolin 1.0% w/w. Uses: For the symptomatic relief of dry skin conditions where the use of an emollient is indicated, such as flaking, chapped skin, ichthyosis, traumatic dermatitis, sunburn, the dry stage of eczema and certain dry cases of psoriasis. Dosage and administration: Adults, children and elderly: Apply to the affected part two or three times daily. Contraindications: E45 Cream should not be used by patients who are sensitive to any of the ingredients. Undesirable effects: Occasionally, hypersensitivity reactions, otherwise adverse effects are unlikely, but should they occur, may take the form of an allergic rash. Should this occur, use of the product should be discontinued. Package quantities: 50g tube, 125g tub, 350g tub, 500g pump pack. Basic NHS cost: 50g £1.40, 125g £2.55, 350g £4.46, 500g £6.20. Legal category: GSL. Product licence number: PL 0327/5904. Product licence holder: Crookes Healthcare Ltd, Nottingham NG2 3AA. Date of preparation: January 2008


Information about adverse event reporting can be found at www.yellowcard.gov.uk. Adverse events should also be reported to Medical Information Unit, Reckitt Benckiser, Hull (0500 455 456)

References:
1. National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health. Atopic eczema in children: management of atopic eczema in children from birth up to the age of 12 years clinical guidelines, 2007. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, London.
2. Dermatological Care Working Group (2001). Assessment of best practice for dermatology services in primary care. London: Ash Communications: DCWG. Available from URL: http://www.
skincarecampaign.org.
3. Cork MJ et al. The rising prevalence of atopic eczema and environmental trauma to the skin. Derm Prac. 2002;10:22-26.

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For further information contact:
Kate Howe
Telephone: 020 7467 9273
Email: kate.howe@bisslancaster.com

Notes for Editors:
For information and advice about the care and management of dry, sensitive skin or dermatological conditions such as eczema, please refer customers to www.e45.com

Ref: E451/01/08

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