NHS Dudley Health Economy Medicines Formulary
Home > 13 Skin > 13.5 Preparations for eczema and psoriasis > 13.5.1 Preparations for eczema

13.5.1 Preparations for eczema

General Guidance

  • General measures should include avoidance of provoking factors such as soap and detergents, irritating clothing and extremes of temperature.
  • In mild eczema, bland emollients are often all that are needed to reduce irritation and permit healing.
  • In general, potent steroids should be avoided in children.
  • Corticosteroids under occlusive dressings may be useful in lesions resistant to topical corticosteroids.
  • Systemic antibiotics should be considered when managing acute exacerbations of eczema.
  • Coal tar has anti-inflammatory, antipruritic and keratolytic properties.
  • Sedating systemic antihistamines may be useful in combating itching.
  • In crusting and wheeping eczema, the crust should be removed using tepid water baths and bath oil.
  • In weeping eczema, wet dressings of potassium permanganate (0.01%) should be applied.

Recommended drugs

Emollients - see 13.2 - click here

Topical corticosteroids - see 13.4 - click here

Coal tar preparations

Skin Psoriderm

Capasal shampoo (coal tar 1%, coconut oil 1%, salicylic acid 0.5%)


Alphosyl HC cream


Wet dressings (under specialist advice)

Potassium Permanganate solution 0.01%


Drug Traffic Light Key:

Green – On Formulary

Amber – Restricted use, see local guidelines      

Purple – Specialist use/initiation

Red – Non Formulary


Relative Costs Key (where indicated):

£££££ - high

£££ - moderate

£ - low


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