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BATHE StudyNews

BATHE investigators publish BMJ letter

Published: 6 August 2019

The BATHE investigators have published a letter on the BMJ website to show that they do not agree with new NHS England recommendations that prescribers, “should not initiate bath and shower preparations for any new patient,” and that CCGs should support prescribers in “deprescribing bath and shower preparations.”

The BATHE trial found that pouring emollient additives into the bath provided no additional benefit over standard eczema care. Standard care in the BATHE trial included advice to use leave-on emollient as a soap substitute in order to make sure everyone in the trial was washing in the same way. The BATHE study therefore did not compare different regimens of soap substitution.

There is no strong evidence that leave-on emollients are a better wash product than emollient soap substitutes. As there is no evidence in this area, we believe that people with eczema should continue to have a choice of emollient products as soap substitutes.

To be clear, we support initiatives to reduce the prescribing of emollient bath additives poured directly into the bath water, but not a reduction in the ability of patients to obtain appropriate prescriptions for soap substitutes.

The letter can be seen on the ‘useful downloads’ section at the bottom of the ‘researchers and clinicians’ tab.

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