21.09.2020

NHS spends £23million a year on ‘useless’ eczema lotion

The NHS is wasting more than £23million a year on anti-eczema products that do not make any difference, a study has suggested.

Emollient bath additives are estimated to make up as much as a third of the cost of treating eczema in the UK, according to the report in the BMJ. But researchers found ‘no evidence of clinical benefit’ when they were used in addition to standard care for the condition.

The common skin problem is often treated by emollients, which come in the form of products such as creams, soap substitutes and bath additives. Researchers, led by Miriam Santer at the University of Southampton, studied nearly 500 children who mostly suffered from moderate eczema.

Emollient bath additives are estimated to make up as much as a third of the cost of treating eczema in the UK, according to the report in the BMJ. But researchers found ‘no evidence of clinical benefit’ when they were used in addition to standard care for the condition

One group used the bath additives in conjunction with other treatment types over a 16-week period, while another did not.No statistically significant difference in eczema control was noticed between the two groups, the report said.

Researchers could not rule out that the additives may offer small benefits to children bathing more than five times a week or among children under five.

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