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The Irritation of Aqueous Cream


What is Aqueous Cream?

Aqueous Cream BP is an emollient cream recommended as a moisturiser and as an alternative to soap to relieve skin dryness.  It it prescribed to patients with eczema (including babies and children) and is widely available in every pharmacy.

What does Aqueous Cream contain?

Aqueous cream contains Cetostearyl Alcohol (emulsion stabiliser) Sodium lauryl sulphate (detergent), Liquid paraffin (mineral oil:highly refined waste product of the petrol industry), White Soft Paraffin, Phenoxyethanol (preservative) and purified water.  Sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) is an artificial chemical known to irritate skin.  SLS is a detergent commonly used in cleaning and hygiene products. SLS is a highly effective surfactant and is used to remove oil stains and residues.  It is found in higher concentrations, for example, in engine degreasers and floor cleaners.

Aqueous Cream trial

Scientists at Bath University, Tsang M & Guy RH, conducted a trial to study the effect of Aqueous cream on healthy volunteers.  The volunteers used the cream twice a day, for 4 weeks.  Their findings were published in the British Journal of Dermatology (1).

Aqueous cream caused skin to become 12% thinner and 20% dryer due to increased transepidermal water loss (permeability to water loss).  The scientists concluded that the application of Aqueous cream BP, containing around 1% SLS, reduced skin thickness of healthy skin and increased its permeability to water loss.  These observations call into question the continued use of this emollient on the already compromised barrier of eczematous skin.

(1) British Journal of Dermatology, November 2010; 163 (5) pages 954-8.

Abstract article:


The Filthy Reality of Eczema


Is over-cleaning causing your child to develop eczema? New Research suggests the eczema epidemic, affecting 1 in 5 children, may be linked to our obsessive efforts to prevent our children coming into contact with micro-organisms.

The new findings, by the Wellcome Trust published  in the journal 'Pediatric Allergy and Immunology' on 23/01/2011, supports the 'hygiene hypothesis', which proposes that exposure to micro-organisms & infections in early childhood can develop the immune system and protect the child from allergies later in life. 


Elynium® Product Trials 2011


Introducing a New Trial to study the efficacy of Elynium® in eczema and psoriasis treatments, is to commence May 2011.

Volunteers and assessors interested in taking part please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for further details.


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