Emollient creams are skin products used to treat dry skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
They can also be used for some patients who may be in bed for lengthy periods due to illness or impaired mobility, as they are at risk of bed sores or ulcers.
Emollient products come in a variety of forms – creams, lotions or gels. All cover the skin with a protective film to reduce water loss. They can be very flammable, so are a fire safety concern.
If you care for someone who needs emollient creams, lotions or gels, you can help to keep them safe by understanding and reducing the related risks.
- Emollient creams should be kept away from fire or flames. A build-up of residue on bedding, clothing and dressings can increase flammability, so wash affected fabrics daily at the highest temperature recommended by the manufacturer with plenty of detergent.
- Smokers should be made aware of the added fire risk associated with using the creams, as clothing is likely to be readily ignited by a dropped cigarette.
- Switch to emollient products which have the lowest possible petroleum or paraffin content. Speak to the GP or pharmacist for advice about what’s right for the person.
For further information and governmental guidance, please see: https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/emollients-new-information-about-risk-of-severe-and-fatal-burns-with-paraffin-containing-and-paraffin-free-emollients
We offer free Safe & Well visits, where we come to the home at a convenient time to see what we can do together to make you or the person you care for safer. We will fit free smoke alarms where required.
To request a free Safe and Well Visit, please call 0800 038 2323 or click here.