Recent attention has turned to ways to prevent atopic dermatitis, which is associated with significant expenditure as well as comorbidities, from developing in children.
One study indicated that daily full-body application of moisturisers in high-risk infants results in a 50% reduction in the relative risk of the disease. Based on these data, researchers calculated the cost-effectiveness of seven different types of moisturiser when used daily in infants for six months.
They found that petroleum jelly (Vaseline) was the most affordable, at US$7.30 (£6.00) for six months’ use, equating to a cost of $353 (£290) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Sunflower oil was the second most cost-effective treatment.
Reporting in JAMA Pediatrics
(online, 5 December 2016), the researchers say that given that treating a child with atopic dermatitis can cost several thousand dollars per year, prophylactic ‘moisturisation’ could be an attractive and cost-effective option.