ADVISING YOUR CUSTOMERS
Think about the following customers you may encounter in your pharmacy looking for a product recommendation and advice for dry skin. What would you recommend for each customer?
Click on each customer image to reveal what advice and product recommendations you could offer.
A customer buying an emollient for the first time and asking for a recommendation
There are different types of emollient products available to suit different needs. Humectants can help the skin to retain moisture. Examples include glycerin, urea and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).4
Creams are good for daytime use as they are not very greasy and are absorbed quickly.
Lotions are good for hairy or very dry areas of skin. This is because they are thin and spread easily, but they are not as moisturising as creams or ointments.
Ointments are good for very dry, thickened skin and night-time use as they are greasy, rich and very moisturising.5
A customer already using an emollient and wanting to know if there is anything else they can do to alleviate their dry skin
Ask them how frequently they are applying it and how much they are using. Emollients should be applied liberally, ideally at least three or four times a day.5
To give an idea of the amount of product a customer may need to use, NICE recommends that adults with eczema should apply 250-500g of emollient every week.7
If they are using their emollient regularly, you could suggest they try using a different formulation or using an emollient soap substitute instead of their usual washing products.
A customer who is concerned that their usual washing products may be causing their dry skin
Everyday soaps, shampoos and shower gels can dry out the skin and can make skin conditions such as eczema worse.
Using an emollient-based wash product instead of normal soap for handwashing and bathing can help improve skin.5 These help to cleanse without drying the skin, leaving it feeling comfortable and moisturised.
Remind your customer to use lukewarm, not hot, water to avoid removing oils from their skin.6
A customer experiencing a flare-up of dry skin, whose usual emollient doesn't seem to be helping
You could suggest they perhaps try a different formulation or using an emollient-based wash product for handwashing and bathing.
Everyone's skin is different and what products work for one customer may not work for another. It is important that customers find products that work best for their skin.
If symptoms worsen or persist, they may need to see their GP.