Atopic eczema is a common, chronic inflammatory skin disorder, with 50% of cases occurring before the age of one year, and the remainder typically developing by the age of five.
Triggers can include: Pet dander, old mattresses and carpets such as dust mites, central heating, and grass pollen, contacts with soaps and detergents, Staphylococcus and food allergy.
Restoring the lipid barrier of the skin forms a cornerstone of Atopic Eczema treatment. This is basically achieved through avoidance of soap (which strips the lipids from the skin) and the use of emollients to restore moisture and repair the lipid barrier. Emollients work to reduce eczema symptoms by creating a protective barrier on the top layer of the skin, moisturising it and reducing water loss
There are many emollients available, on and off prescription. The choice of an appropriate emollient will depend on the severity of the condition, patient preference, and the site of application.
Prescriptions for emollients can be given by a Health Visitor or a GP.
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