Yesterday our writer Jean Robinson covered emollients, join us today as we look at the adverse effects of aqueous cream and olive oil in treating eczema.

Aqueous cream

Aqueous cream was originally designed as an emollient wash product but is widely used as a leave- on emollient although this has been advised against for some time as it was known to cause irritant reactions.

Further work showed that its use lead to worsening skin barrier function due to the presence of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), which probably leads to corneocyte swelling, elevation of pH and changes in lipid synthesis.

The use of Aqueous cream is therefore not recommended for any skin condition where skin barrier function is defective.

Olive oil

Natural oils and in particular olive oil are widely recommended by healthcare professionals in the management of cradle cap, dry skin and eczema.

However, it was found in 2012 that a topical application of olive oil caused a significant reduction in stratum corneum integrity and induced mild erythema in people with and without a history of eczema.

The use of olive oil should therefore be discouraged in the treatment of dry skin and infant massage, and mineral-based products used instead.

Topical corticosteroids are an effective treatment against eczema, come back tomorrow to find out more.