18/09/2012 18:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Childhood Eczema: Parents Not Applying Skin Creams Correctly Says National Eczema Society

Use oils in bath water and apply cream all over body, parents with kids with eczema advised PA

A survey has found that many parents with children who suffer from eczema are not applying their emollient creams correctly to their skin.

The study, conducted by the National Eczema Society (NES) and skincare brand E45, found that 49 per cent of mums said they only apply the creams and lotions to the affected areas of their child's body, despite NHS guidance stating they should be used all over.

And although advice usually states that the creams should not be rubbed in, 53 per cent of parents said they did apply them this way, even though, the researchers say, this can irritate the skin and exacerbate the child's problem.

The chief executive of the NES, Margaret Cox, said that emollients can be 'very effective' at keeping eczema under control and reducing the need for stronger steroid creams – but they need to be applied properly.

"The problem is, emollients must be used correctly and parents don't always get the support and education they need to do this, meaning many parents don't achieve the full benefits," she said.

A three-step treatment plan devised by the NES and E45 advises parents to apply emollients all over their child's body two to three times a day, using gentle strokes in the direction of the hair growth, and to bath their children using soap substitutes with an emollient oil in the bath water.

Do you have a child with eczema? Do you struggle to apply their creams correctly?