Using emollients to promote safe and effective skin care for patients

Nurs Stand. 2021 Oct 6;36(10):77-82. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11687. Epub 2021 Aug 9.


The role of emollients in the treatment of dry skin conditions is often underestimated. Emollients promote optimal skin health and prevent skin breakdown, and their use can improve patients' quality of life. However, when advising patients on emollient use, nurses must consider the challenges involved such as the extensive choice of products and the necessity of regular applications. This article explores the development of dry skin conditions and outlines the role of emollients in maintaining the skin barrier function. The author also details optimal nursing practice in areas such as emollient prescribing and application.

Keywords: dry skin; eczema; emollients; skin; skin barrier function; skin conditions; skin disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Emollients* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Skin
  • Skin Care
  • Skin Diseases* / drug therapy


  • Emollients