(HealthDay News) — For children with eczema, there is no clinical benefit for adding emollient bath additives, according to a study published online May 2 in The BMJ.

Miriam Santer, M.B.B.Chir., Ph.D., from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of emollient bath additives in the management of childhood eczema. A total of 482 children aged 1 to 11 years from 96 general practices who met the U.K. diagnostic criteria for atopic dermatitis were included in the study and randomized to receive emollient bath additives to be used regularly for 12 months or no bath additives for 12 months. Both groups continued with their standard eczema management.

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The researchers found that the mean baseline patient-oriented eczema measure (POEM) score was 9.5 and 10.1 in the bath additives and no additives groups, respectively. Over a 16-week period, the mean POEM score was 7.5 and 8.4 in the bath additives and no additives groups, respectively. The weekly POEM scores did not differ significantly between the groups over 16 weeks. POEM scores were 0.41 points higher in the no bath additives group versus the bath additives group, after controlling for baseline severity and confounders, which was below the published minimal clinically important difference for POEM of 3 points.

“This trial found no evidence of clinical benefit from including emollient bath additives in the standard management of eczema in children,” the authors write.

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