Nurses need clearer guidance on the best advice to give parents who have children with atopic eczema, research suggests.
Stiefel Laboratories and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have joined together to assess how much nurses know of eczema treatments.
The survey of 126 nurses found that while 93% of nurses correctly recommend the use of a bath emollient and cream and 75% of nurses correctly recommend an emmolient as the first line of treatment, not enough nurses advise parents to use the correct amounts.
The sufficient amount of emollient cream required per week is 250g per child, to ensure maximum hydration, but only 25% of nurses recommend using this amount.
Only half of nurses said they advised parents to use emollients to prevent eczema flare ups while just 40% showed parents how to apply the emollient.
Sandra Lawton, dermatology nurse consultant, said: "The burden of eczema on parents, infants and young people should never be underestimated; nurses play an extremely important role in giving them the best opportunity to use their emollient treatments effectively."
The RCN believe the research highlights the urgent need for educational tools and information that nurses can use to help them comply with current guidelines on the management of eczema and to better meet the treatment needs of their patients.
Sandra Lawton adds: "As the role of the nurse expands and more nurses prescribe it is important that they have an understanding of the problems associated with atopic eczema and how emollients can be used effectively in this age group."
"No. These guidelines will not make anyone's eczema treatment easier, as some people's eczema is so severe they should know when to apply a steroid cream or ointment and then when the skin settles down they can apply their moisturiser" - Sally, Leeds