Daily Vaseline use could be cost-effective way to prevent eczema

Researchers recommend daily moisturisation with Vaseline to stop eczema developing in high-risk infants.

Close up of Vaseline tubs in store

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.


[1] Xu S, Immaneni S, Hazen GB et al. Cost-effectiveness of prophylactic moisturization for atopic dermatitis. JAMA Pediatrics 2016; doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3909

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, February 2017, Vol 9, No 2;9(2):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202256

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