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Consultation on emollient wash products and silk garments

Have you or your child ever had emollient wash products or silk garments on NHS prescription? Have they helped and do you live in England?


If so, we encourage you to respond to an NHS England consultation, ‘Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: an update and a consultation on further guidance for CCGs’.

This consultation covers nine medicines and medical products, including bath/shower preparations for eczema and silk garments. NHS England and CCGs (NHS organisations that plan and organise medical services in a local area) consider that bath/shower preparations and silk garments should no longer be prescribed. They think there is not enough evidence to support prescribing them, and that prescribing them is therefore a poor use of NHS money.

If the changes put forward in this consultation go ahead, you will no longer be able to get bath/shower preparations or silk garments on prescription, even if they were prescribed for you by a dermatologist.

How can you respond to the consultation?


We strongly encourage you to respond to the consultation, sharing your experiences of bath/shower emollients and/or silk garments, describing how they have helped your own or your child’s eczema. Every individual response will make a difference! The consultation closes on 28 February 2019. You can:

• Respond to the standard consultation here

• Respond to an easy read version of the consultation here

• Send your views by e-mail to this address: england.medicines@nhs.net

• Send your views by post to this address: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

For a step-by-step guide on responding to the consultation online, please download the document on the right hand side of this page.

What is National Eczema Society’s position on this?


Bath/shower preparations

We believe that GPs should be able to continue prescribing bath/shower preparations for eczema when prescribing them is in the patient’s best interests. It’s extremely important for people with eczema to avoid all soap and harsh detergents, and to use an emollient soap substitute instead. We have heard from numerous people who prefer to use bath/shower preparations to wash with than leave-on emollients because they find them easier to use. For example:

• It can be easier to wash a young child in a bath filled with bath emollient than apply a leave-on emollient before they get into the bath. Busy parents struggle to find the time to apply leave-on emollients to their children and may rely on bath emollient to help manage their child’s eczema.

• Some less physically flexible adults prefer bath emollients because they reach parts of the body to which it can be difficult to apply cream (e.g. the back, soles of feet).

Silk garments

We believe that GPs should be able to continue prescribing silk garments for eczema when a dermatologist has recommended that a patient uses them. For some people with moderate to severe eczema, or varicose eczema, silk garments are an essential part of their eczema management.