Which Balm Is Best for Childhood Eczema?
Four common emollients — lotions, creams, gels, and ointments — are equally effective in treating childhood eczema, a randomized trial in the United Kingdom found. Daily use of emollients along with topical anti-inflammatory agents such as corticosteroids is widely recommended for eczema, which affects about 13% of children in the United States. Previous research showed emollients can reduce flare-ups of eczema but did not establish that one product works better than another, according to a Cochrane review published in 2017. For the new study, researchers at the University of Bristol, Bristol, England, and their colleagues randomly assigned 550 children aged 6 months to 12 years with mild or worse eczema to use one of four types of emollients for 16 weeks. Each child’s general practitioner selected a specific medication from local formularies.
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@aalam Changes in disease severity reported by parents were similar among the treatment groups, according to the researchers. Over 16 weeks, mean POEM scores improved by 1.9 for those using lotion, 1.7 for cream, 2.2 for gel, and 2.5 for ointment. Also, scores on the Eczema Area Severity Index collected by blinded evaluators at 16 weeks did not vary among the groups.