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Dry skin conditions

Dry skin is characterised by flaking, scaling, itching and cracking. Dry skin occurs when the skin has a deficiency in the natural oils that help to maintain moisture within the skin, or when the skin is exposed to environmental factors such as cold weather, central heating, air conditioning and use of soaps, which are all drying to the skin. Older people are prone to developing dry skin as the skin becomes thinner and less efficient at producing natural oils (sebum). Dry skin conditions can affect people of any ethnic origin and any age group from the very young to the elderly.

People with dry skin conditions, such as eczema or dermatitis, psoriasis and ichthyosis, have an impaired skin barrier.

Eczema causes the skin to become dry, itchy, sore, cracked and red. It is a highly individual condition which varies from person to person and has many different forms. It can be widespread or confined to areas such as the inside of elbows and backs of knees, on the face, or on hands or feet.

Psoriasis is a dry and inflamed skin condition where a build-up of skin cells causes red, flaky patches of skin covered with silvery scales. Psoriasis is not usually as itchy as eczema but can become uncomfortable, and can easily crack and bleed. Psoriasis patches often appear on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on the body.

Emollients (also known as moisturisers) are a core treatment for dry skin conditions. They help to rehydrate the skin, and prevent further water loss from the epidermis. The consistency of an emollient varies with the amount of oil it contains and the formulation. Emollients are available in many different forms such as lotions, creams, ointments, gels, soap substitutes and bath additives. Emollients should be used routinely and frequently, and when required.

Some emollients may have ancillary ingredients for specific purposes e.g. the Dermol range of products all have antimicrobial action which may be beneficial for those prone to infection or those who have itchy eczema. Adex Gel is a new and different emollient which has an ancillary anti-inflammatory action which may be beneficial for those with dry skin conditions that are prone to inflammation such as eczema and psoriasis.

Topical steroids are sometimes recommended to control eczema and dermatitis flare-ups. Topical steroids reduce itching, redness and inflammation. They are available in different strengths, hydrocortisone being the mildest. Steroids should only be used on the affected areas and for a limited amount of time.

Adex Gel

Adex Gel is a highly moisturising and protective emollient which has an ancillary
anti-inflammatory medicinal substance. Adex Gel may be helpful in the treatment and routine management of dry and/or inflamed skin conditions such as mild to moderate atopic dermatitis, various forms of eczema, contact dermatitis and psoriasis where the anti-inflammatory action added to the emollient action may be beneficial e.g. during flares of eczema. Adex Gel does not contain steroids. For further information visit AdexSmall

Key Information
Patient information leaflet


Dermalo Bath Emollient
An emollient bath additive to relieve dry skin conditions, such as contact dermatitis, atopic eczema and elderly pruritus.
Summary of Product Characteristics and Patient information leaflet


Dermol Range
Dermol antimicrobial emollients are recommended for the management of dry and pruritic skin conditions, especially eczema and dermatitis.

The Dermol range offers five different choices:


Topical steroid cream containing hydrocortisone, a mild steroid, which is recommended for the treatment of eczema and dermatitis.
Summary of Product Characteristics and Patient information leaflet


Doublebase Emollient Gel
Highly moisturising and protective hydrating gel for regular and frequent use in the management of dry or chapped skin conditions which may also be itchy or inflamed such as eczema, psoriasis or ichthyosis.

Doublebase Emollient Gel is available in 100g tubes and 250g pump packs and can be purchased from UK Pharmacies. For further information visit MyDoublebase logo

Key Information
Patient Information Leaflet


Doublebase Range
Highly moisturising and protective emollients for regular treatment of dry or chapped skin conditions, which may also be itchy or inflamed. The Doublebase range is suitable for ‘Complete Emollient Therapy'.

The Doublebase range offers five different choices:

For further information visit Doublebase logo

Emulsiderm Emollient
Antimicrobial bath additive for dry and pruritic skin conditions.
Summary of Product Characteristics and Patient information leaflet