Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

Fortnightly Review: Management of atopic eczema

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 01 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:843
  1. P M McHenry, clinical lecturera,
  2. H C Williams, senior lecturerb,
  3. E A Bingham a Joint Workshop of the British Association of Dermatologists and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians of London, consultant dermatologistc
  1. a Department of Dermatology, Robertson Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ
  2. b Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  3. c Department of Dermatology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast
  1. Participants in the workshop are listed at the end of the article. Correspondence to: Dr McHenry.
  • Accepted 11 January 1995


Summary points

  • Time for explanation and education is essential

  • Adequate amounts of emollients should be prescribed, and these should be used liberally and frequently

  • When prescribing topical corticosteroids the age of the patient, the site to be treated, and the extent of the disease are important considerations

  • Deterioration in previously stable eczema may be due to secondary bacterial or viral infection or to development of a contact dermatitis

  • Attempts to eradicate the house dust mite are not currently recommended

  • Dietary restriction is of little or no benefit in adults, and in children it is worth trying only in selected infants under professional supervision

  • Evidence for the therapeutic value of evening primrose oil remains inconclusive

  • PUVA or UVB may be helpful in selected patients


  • Accepted 11 January 1995
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