Eczema & dry skin
Creams, emollients, and emulsifiers on prescription for dry skin and eczema treatment.
Eczema and other skin conditions are associated with dry skin. Moisturising type treatments often settle inflammation and can be used to treat a variety dry skin conditions.
Eczema (or dermatitis) are terms referring to inflamed skin. There are various symptoms. Commonly there is an itchy red rash, possibly with swollen skin and blisters. Longer standing eczema is also itchy but is often dry and thickened. Either may have scratch marks. About 3 in 10 people who visit their GP with a skin problem are diagnosed with eczema. The number is increasing.
Atopic eczema, the commonest form of eczema, occurs in 'atopic' individuals. This means that they, or a close relation, may also have asthma or hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Atopic eczema can start in childhood, before the age of 1 year. The symptoms can be anything from small patches of minor irritation to a severe rash covering the whole body. The underlying cause is altered barrier function of the skin. There is a lack of protective oils in the skin to keep irritants out, hence the beneficial use of moisturisers.
Treatment of eczema
There are numerous dry skin treatments available on prescription and over the counter. We have selected some which are routinely prescribed by NHS skin specialists.
Active patches of inflamed skin are usually treated by GPs with steroid ointments. These come in different strengths. Stronger steroids are used only where inflammation is very active. Steroid ointments are effective, but excessive long-term use can damage the skin. We do not supply steroids.
After active eczema has been reduced using steroid ointments, it can usually be kept under control by keeping the skin hydrated (moist and oily).
Keeping the skin hydrated with medical moisturisers called emollients often prevents flare-ups of eczema and dry skin conditions and can reduce the need to use steroids. Oil has a protective effect on the skin.
Eczema usually comes and goes. Patches of skin inflammation, particularly if new, that do not go after a few weeks or are spreading may not be eczema.
Some emollients contain antiseptics or perfumes to which some people are sensitive. If the skin stings after an emollient is applied and stinging does not settle in a half an hour, it is best avoided using the emollient again.
Calmurid 10% contains urea 10%, a skin softener and exfoliant which can 'burn' sensitive skin.
Calmurid (Galderma) 10% is prescription only medicine – our doctors will issue the prescription online direct to our pharmacy.
Other dry skin conditions
Other dry skin conditions for which moisturising treatments are suitable include; psoriasis, ichthyosis, mild actinic keratosis and skin that is dry for many reasons, such as age, cold weather or air conditioning, use of detergents or solvents, excessive bathing or swimming.
Types of emollients
- Soap, shower gel and bubbles baths all dry the skin. We supply alternative soap substitutes on prescription.
- When rubbed over the skin in a bath or shower they both clean the skin and leave it slightly greasy. Moisturising creams can be mixed with a little warm water and used as a shaving cream. Moisturising creams are also a useful alternative to soap for hand washing.
- Soap substitutes do not produce lather and take some getting used to.
Emollient bath additives
- The simple act of wetting the skin can dry it out. Adding small amounts of emollient oil to the bath water prevents this drying. Some bath emollients contain an antiseptic that can be useful where a person is prone to infections of their eczema. Caution: adding oil to the water makes a bath slippery.
Emollient creams and lotions
- Emollients, creams and lotions, supplied here on prescription, are applied to dry areas of skin either occasionally or up to many times daily, depending on need. The drier the skin the more oil needs replacing and the greasier the emollient the better. Ointments are greasy, creams can be pumped and lotions can be poured. The thinner the preparation the higher the water content. The more water; the easier to spread, but more preservative needs to be added to stop bacterial growth and these can cause irritation.
- Used regularly or occasionally, when the skin is starting to dry out, they can prevent a flare up of eczema and reduce the need for steroids.
Dr Fox supplies eczema treatment on prescription – you are required to answer a short medical questionnaire before your order can be completed.
Comparing dry skin treatments
|Aveeno cream||Calmurid||Dermol 500||Dermamist spray||Doublebase gel||Hydromol ointment||QV bath oil|
|Colloidal oatmeal, glycerine||Urea 10%, lactic acid 5%||Liquid paraffin, isopropyl myristate, benzalkonium chloride, chlorhexidine hydrochloride||White soft paraffin, liquid paraffin, fractionated coconut oil||Isopropyl myristate, liquid paraffin||Yellow soft paraffin, emulsifying wax, liquid paraffin||Light liquid paraffin|
|How it works|
|Oatmeal is naturally anti-irritant and also aids the skin's barrier function. Glycerin is absorbed into the top layer of skin where it traps water thus hydrating the skin.||Urea is absorbed into the top layer or skin where it traps water thus hydrating the skin. Lactic acid breaks down thick dry scaly skin, normalising it and allowing urea to work more effectively.||The 1st two ingredients are moisturisers: they replace skin oils and form a barrier over the skin surface preventing water from evaporating. The 2nd two ingredients are antiseptics that decrease the number of bacteria on the skin. Bacteria can worsen eczema by producing irritants and by causing skin infection.||Forms a barrier over the skin surface preventing water from evaporating.||Forms a barrier over the skin surface preventing water from evaporating.||Forms a barrier over the skin surface preventing water from evaporating.||When leaving the bath a layer of oil is left on the skin, forming a barrier.|
|A cream – it is light and absorbs quickly into the skin. It can be used as often as required.||A cream – it is non-greasy, and rapidly penetrates the skin. It should be applied twice a day. Especially formulated for dry or scaly skin.||A lotion – thinner than creams making it easy to spread and therefore good for covering large areas. The anti-bacterial properties make this a good choice as a soap alternative.||A spray – easily covers large areas, even ones that are not reachable, e.g. small of back.||Gel – spreads easily like a cream, but works like an ointment.||An ointment – the most moisturising of the preparations; soft, too thick to be pumped, and least irritant as there are no preservatives.||Add to bath or to wet skin and rinse.|
|Designed for use as a body wash|
|Designed for use in bath|
|No||No||No||No||No||Yes, place under running hot tap||Yes|
|Eczema and dry skin treatment||Quantity||Cost|
|Calmurid (Galderma) contains urea 10%||100 grams||£14.70|
|Calmurid (Galderma) contains urea 10%||500 grams (large)||£53.00|
|Dermol 500 lotion||500mls||£16.50|
|Doublebase gel||500 grams||£17.40|
|Doublebase gel||100 grams||£8.40|
|Hydromol ointment||500 grams||£14.50|
|QV bath oil||500mls||£16.20|
Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.
Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.
If you have your own private or NHS paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).
Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.
|Order value||Prescription fee|
|up to £10||£1.00|
|up to £20||£2.00|
|up to £40||£3.00|
UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).
Parcel forwarding services are not permitted. Use only UK home or work delivery address.
Returns and refunds - unwanted items can be returned within 14 working days for a full refund.
The order process
Answer short medical questionnaire
Choose treatment, register, and pay
Doctor issues prescription online
Medicine posted direct from pharmacy
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