Practical issues for emollient therapy in dry and itchy skin

Br J Nurs. 2009 Sep 10-23;18(16):978-84. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2009.18.16.43964.


Managing atopic eczema and other dry and itchy skin conditions is a skill required in all nursing specialties. Nurses need to assess and address their patients' skin-care needs. Atopic eczema and all dry and itchy skin conditions require emollient therapy to restore the skin barrier. Nurses are ideally placed to educate patients in the importance of emollient therapy and provide practical information on the individual selection of bath additives, soap substitutes and moisturizers, as well as education on application and self-management. Nurse prescribers will benefit from understanding specific individual patient needs and individual emollient properties to enable them to make informed prescribing decisions and foster patient choice in selecting the best emollient therapy for the individual. This will restore the skin barrier function, reduce itch and suit the patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / nursing*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / therapy
  • Emollients / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pruritus / nursing*
  • Pruritus / therapy
  • Skin Care / nursing*


  • Emollients