Treatment of Dry Skin Conditions Exceptional healthcare, personally delivered

Treatment of
Dry Skin
Exceptional healthcare, personally delivered
This leaflet is designed to help parents understand and
treat minor dry skin conditions.
Skin Care
Oil based ointments (eg Epaderm, Hydromol
Diprobase, emulsifying ointment and 50/50 paraffin
mix) are currently recommended for treating dry skin
instead of olive or grape seed oil. They can be bought
over the counter at your chemist. These are used as a
moisturiser, bath additive, and soap substitute for dry
skin conditions.
Use a spoon to get the ointment out of the pot to
reduce contamination.
The skin care routine needs to be done at least
twice daily, more if baby’s skin is very dry or causing
distress to the baby. Baby needs a bath once a day and
moisturising the other end of the day.
Skin care routine
To use the ointment as a bath additive, dissolve 1
teaspoon of the ointment in 1 cupful of hot water, and
then add to bath water.
As a soap substitute to cleanse skin, rub a spoonful
in your hands to soften it down, it can then be used to
wash baby. Be careful that baby will be slippery! After
the bath, pat baby dry.
As a moisturiser after/between bath time, rub a
spoonful of ointment on your hands. Apply onto baby
in single downward strokes. Do not rub in. There
should be a visible layer of ointment, dress baby after
Treatment of dry skin conditions
Hints to reduce chances of baby’s skin becoming sore.
Only use water to clean the baby’s bottom, or an emollient cream and water if the ‘poo’ is sticky.
Do not use baby wipes, this will undo all the good you
have done during the moisturising routine.
Sometimes baby may have soreness on their face,
this could be because baby is sensitive to perfume/
aftershave, air fresheners, perfumed candles etc.
Use non biological washing powder for the whole
There are many reasons why a baby may develop areas of
dry skin and there may not always be a cause. If you see a
pattern emerging when your childs’ skin flares up, make a
note and discuss it with your Health Visitor or GP.
References and further information
Atopic Eczema in Children up to 12 Years. NICE Guidance
57 Available at
[Last Accessed October 2011]
NHS Constitution. Information on your rights and
responsibilities. Available at
constitution [Last Accessed March 2010]
Treatment of dry skin conditions
How to contact us:
If you or the individual you are caring for need support reading
this leaflet please ask a member of staff for advice.
© North Bristol NHS Trust. First Published December 2011. Review due December 2013.