There are no differences in effectiveness between the four main types of moisturizers for childhood eczema, according to a study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Matthew J. Ridd, PhD, and colleagues randomly assigned children (aged 6 months to 12 years) with eczema to lotions (N=137), creams (N=140), gels
(N=135), and ointments (N=138). No differences were observed in eczema severity between emollient types over 16 weeks. Results remained unchanged even with multiple imputation, sensitivity, and subgroup analyses. There were also no substantial differences seen in total number of adverse events between the treatment groups (36%, 39%, 40%, and 35% for lotions, creams, gels, and ointments, respectively). However, stinging was less common with ointments (9%) compared with lotions (20%), creams (17%), and gels (19%). “Our findings challenge conventions about how often moisturizers need to be applied, which types are less likely to cause problems, and which patients should be recommended certain types,” the authors said in a statement.