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Clin Exp Dermatol. 2005 Jul;30(4):351-4.

A survey of bathing and showering practices in children with atopic eczema.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, China.


We evaluated the emollient use and bathing habits of children with atopic eczema (AE) managed at the paediatric dermatology clinic of a university teaching hospital, using children with noneczematous skin diseases as controls. Disease severity of AE in the preceding 12 months was evaluated by the Nottingham Eczema Severity Score. Three-quarters of patients with or without eczema preferred showering to bathing. Patients with AE were more likely to use bath oils than soap and to use emollients after a bath/shower. Review cases, however, were more likely to take a shower and for a longer time (10-30 min) than first-visit eczema patients. These habits did not vary with season or disease severity. Emulsifying ointment was the most commonly used agent for the bath/shower. Most patients applied emollient immediately after a bath/shower. However there were still significant proportions of AE patients who used soap (40% of first-visit vs. 27% of review cases) and who did not apply emollients after a bath/shower (25% of first-visit vs. 23% of review cases). It is important to determine whether this problem is due to inadequate patient education or whether other factors lead to poor compliance.

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