Using emollients to promote safe and effective skin care for patients
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using emollients to promote safe and effective skin care for patients

Heather Newton Consultant nurse tissue viability, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Cornwall, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the skin barrier function

  • To familiarise yourself with the mode of action of emollients and how they can improve dry skin conditions

  • To understand the optimal methods of emollient application

The role of emollients in the treatment of dry skin conditions is often underestimated. Emollients promote optimal skin health and prevent skin breakdown, and their use can improve patients’ quality of life. However, when advising patients on emollient use, nurses must consider the challenges involved such as the extensive choice of products and the necessity of regular applications. This article explores the development of dry skin conditions and outlines the role of emollients in maintaining the skin barrier function. The author also details optimal nursing practice in areas such as emollient prescribing and application.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11687

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Newton H (2021) Using emollients to promote safe and effective skin care for patients. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11687

Published online: 09 August 2021

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