| COMPLIANCE is the most important factor when prescribing emollients.
Choice of emollient should be a cost effective joint decision by between the prescriber and the patient. Prescribing should fit the individual and their lifestyle.
Any initiation product should be given in the smallest appropriate pack size to allow the product to be trialled.
This is to reduce waste should the chosen product not be suitable.
Emollients should not be prescribed for non-clinical, cosmetic purposes at NHS expense. Emollients for these purposes can be readily purchased from retail outlets.
- DO: Apply emollients regularly as possible (At least twice a day, more frequently if very dry skin). Carry some with you when you are out and about. Keep fingernails short and smooth
- DO NOT: Rub into the skin. Put fingers in a tub product. Smoke or be near flames or fire when using paraffin-based emollients (see below).
Soap Substitutes -
- Can be prescribed for individuals whose condition is worsened by traditional soap products.
- Soap, liquid cleansers and perfumed products can be very drying.
- Any cream emollient can be used as a soap substitute. They will not foam but are as effective as cleaning with soap
- They can be applied before bathing/ showering or washing, or while in the water
- As with other emollients these should be trialled in small quantities until a suitable product is established.
Paraffin based products – WARNING
Gov.UK weblink: Paraffin Safety Information
NPSA Paraffin Based Skin Products Fire Hazard Leaflet
- Dressings and clothing that have contact with paraffin based emollients are known to easily ignite near a naked flame.
- Patients should be advised of this and that they should keep away from fire or flames and not smoke when using them.
- The risk tends to be associated with the use of large quantities of these products.
- It is important to consider someone’s profession when selecting these items.
Please see IOW Emollient Prescribing Guidelines for further information