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Views on unwanted effects of leave-on emollients and experiences surrounding their incidence

Oakley, Robert; Lawton, Sandra


Robert Oakley

Sandra Lawton


Background: The mainstay treatment for eczema is leave-on emollients. The aim of this study was to find out more about unwanted effects that have been reported with their use, as little is known due to a lack of formal reporting.

Aims: To gain a greater understanding of eczema patients’ experiences of unwanted effects such as stinging, what influence unwanted effects had on their therapy, why subsequent variations in leave-on emollient adherence followed and what patients desire in their emollients.

Methods: An anonymous online survey was conducted among eczema patients and their carers in March 2016 (using SurveyMonkeyTM).

Results: 210 respondents, including adults and young people with eczema plus carers of children with eczema, which included family and friends. 68% (n=126/185) reported a wide range of 38 unwanted effects. Accounts highlighted the impact on quality of life of these unwanted effects and variations to eczema management that followed. 71% (90/126) of respondents stopped a leave-on emollient due to unwanted effects. Desired characteristics in emollients related to the absence of unwanted effects and product improvements.

Conclusion: Eczema patients and their carers all reported high levels of unwanted effects from leave-on emollient use. Experiences of unwanted effects were multifactorial but common themes arose as did the desire for emollient improvements. Unwanted effects need to be considered when optimising therapy.


Oakley, R., & Lawton, S. (2016). Views on unwanted effects of leave-on emollients and experiences surrounding their incidence. Dermatological Nursing, 15(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2016
Publication Date Dec 16, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2017
Journal Dermatological Nursing
Electronic ISSN 1477-3368
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
Public URL
Publisher URL

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