Daily emollient in infancy: increased skin infection rates, no effect on eczema risk

  • Chalmers JR & al.
  • Lancet
  • 19 feb. 2020

  • de Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
El acceso al contenido completo es sólo para profesionales sanitarios registrados. El acceso al contenido completo es sólo para profesionales sanitarios registrados.

Takeaway

  • In this randomized controlled trial, daily emollient use seemed to have no preventive power against eczema in high-risk infants and may be tied to increased skin infection risk.

Why this matters

  • These authors say that the results are unexpected, given “strong signal” in pilot studies.

Key results

  • At age 2 years, eczema was diagnosed in:
    • 23% of infants in the emollient group.
    • 25% of infants in the control group.
    • Adjusted relative risk: 0.95 (95% CI, 0.78-1.16).
  • Washing practices were similar across groups.
  • 15% in the emollient group developed skin infections vs 11% in the control group.
    • These infections included impetigo and unspecified infections.

Study design

  • Multicenter, randomized controlled parallel-group trial, 12 UK hospitals and 4 primary care sites with 1394 infants randomly allocated to emollient (n=693) or control (n=701) groups.
  • Funding: National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment.

Limitations

  • Results for an oral food challenge that was also included were difficult to analyze because of low participation.