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Research project

Bath Additives in the Treatment of childhood Eczema: BATHE Study

Project overview

The BATHE study found that the bath emollients did not help childhood eczema.

In this study children aged 1 to 11 with eczema were randomly allocated to 2 groups: (1) standard eczema treatment plus bath emollient and (2) standard eczema management without bath emollient. Parents or carers completed weekly diaries including a questionnaire about eczema severity.

Most children's eczema improved a bit over the study year but there was no real difference between the two groups in how much they improved. The paper is published in the BMJ and the full HTA report can be found on the 'Publications' tab. A video summary can be found on the Bathe website.

Although we found that pouring bath emollients into the bath water doesn't help, it is still really important to use leave-on emollient moisturisers and to use emollient products where these help to avoid soap.

We are very grateful to all the families and practices who helped us to answer this question. We hope that it will help to make sense of what treatments are worth spending time and money on.


Lead researcher

Professor Miriam Santer

Professor of Primary Care Research

Research interests

  • Self-management of long-term conditions
  • Primary Care Dermatology - particularly eczema, acne and cellulitis
  • Mixed methods research including development and evaluation of complex interventions
Connect with Miriam
Other researchers

Ms Maria (Mary) Chorozoglou Bsc (Hons), MSc

Senior Research Fellow In Health Eco

Research interests

  • Research interests
  • Analysis of individual patient data from Randomised Controlled Trials and Electronic Routinely Collected data. Methodological aspects of health technology assessment in paediatric and early life interventions, incorporating long term economic implications,The use of Patient Level Information and Costing System (PLICS) data collection alongside RCTs. Methodologies of improving health outcomes in relation to health care using routinely collected NHS electronic records data to facilitate greater integration between NHS records and applied research processes.Health policy research and healthcare systems, providing data and observations about how policy changes could contribute to better outcomes through economies of scale.  
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Professor Paul Little

Professor in Primary Care Research
Connect with Paul

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Miriam Santer, Matthew J. Ridd, Jane Harvey, Stephanie Lax, Ingrid Muller, Amanda Roberts & Kim S. Thomas, 2024, British Journal of General Practice, 74(738), 40-42
Type: article
L Howells, S Gran, J R Chalmers, B Stuart, M Santer, L. Bradshaw, D M Gaunt, M J Ridd, L A A Gerbens, P I Spuls, C Huang, N. A. Francis & K. S. Thomas, 2021, Skin Health and Disease Open Access, 1(3), e42
Type: article
Beth Stuart, Kate Rumsby, Miriam Santer, Matthew Ridd, Nick Francis, Maria Chorozoglou, Carla Spreadbury, M Steele, Claire Nollett, Lyn Liddiard, Martina Prude, Julie Hooper, Emma Thomas-Jones, Amanda Roberts, Kim Thomas, Hywel C. Williams & Paul Little, 2018, Trials, 19(1)
Type: article
Miriam Santer, Kate Rumsby, Matthew J. Ridd, Nick A. Francis, Beth Stuart, Maria Chorozoglou, Amanda Roberts, Lyn Liddiard, Claire Nollett, Julie Hooper, Martina Prude, Wendy Wood, Emma Thomas-Jones, Taeko Becque, Kim S. Thomas, Hywel C. Williams & Paul Little, 2018, Health Technology Assessment, 22(57), 1-116
Type: article
Miriam Santer, Matthew Ridd, Nick Francis, Beth Stuart, Kate Rumsby, Maria Chorozoglou, Taeko Becque, Amanda Roberts, Lyn Liddiard, Claire Nollett, Julie Hooper, Martina Prude, Wendy Wood, Kim Thomas, Emma Thomas-Jones, Hywel Williams & Paul Little, 2018, BMJ, 361(8151)
Type: article