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Dermatol Ther. 2018 Nov;31(6):e12692. doi: 10.1111/dth.12692. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

Short- and long-term effects of two emollients on itching and skin restoration in xerotic eczema.

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Department of Dermatology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Dermatologisches Ambulatorium, Kantonsspital Frauenfeld, Frauenfeld, Switzerland.
Dermatologisches Ambulatorium, Stadtspital Triemli, Zürich, Switzerland.
Dermatologie, Kantonsspital, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Merz Pharma (Schweiz) AG, Allschwil, Switzerland.
ClinResearch Ltd., Aesch, Switzerland.


Pruritus is associated with various skin diseases, dry skin, and with it an impaired skin barrier function. The study objective was to investigate short-term and long-term effects of two emollients on symptoms and skin barrier functions in xerotic eczema. Randomized, double-blind, study enrolling females/males, with bilateral itching. Two emollients, containing lactic acid and refined almond oil with/without polidocanol were administered on left versus right body sides. Itching severity, skin moisture, lipid content, and pH were assessed on Day 1, within 30-120 min after first administration, and on Days 7 and 14, and compared with baseline assessments. Severity of itching decreased 30 min after first administration of both emollients compared with baseline (p < .0001) and reached a maximum reduction of 63% (p < .0001) and 69% (p < .0001) on Day 14. Skin moisture and lipid content increased after first application, and further ameliorated within 14 days of treatment (p < .0001). Both emollients were tolerated well, and only a few adverse events were reported. This study confirmed the clinical efficacy of the two study emollients to substantially reduce itching already after first administration, and restore skin barrier integrity and thus should be considered as therapeutic approach for xerotic eczema.


almond oil; emollients; itching; lactic acid; skin restoration; xerotic eczema

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