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Effects upon: Skin

Many types of PEM effect the skin. Blisters may be treated with topical steroids and advice on itching is available, in addition to the disease being treated systemically. It is important to be able to wash the skin and to try and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Many members have reported that they felt their skin becomes drier and more sensitive, and the information below addresses these concerns. 

Use products that are free from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES). SLS/SLES chemicals are known skin irritants and commonly used in personal care and household products. Please also see our mouth page for other products where SLS/SLES is commonly found.


SLS/SLES-free moisturisers suggestions include emollients in various formulations can be used as substitutes for soap, moisturising creams, ointments and bath additives. Examples suggested by the British Association of Dermatologists include:

  • Cetraben

  • Diprobase cream

  • E45 cream

  • Oilatum

  • Aveeno bath oil

​amongst other products.


Reading the Norfolk and Waveney Primary Care Emollient Pathway may also be useful.


Some people have reported allergic reactions to formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers. If you feel you may be susceptible, care should be taken when choosing skin products.

Other product suggestions by fellow patients include:


Baby lotion from Green People

Biotherm Aquasource skin perfection

Dermol 500 lotion (can be used a soap substitute and is antiseptic)

Dr Hauschka Rose day cream or Moisturising day cream

Faith In Nature replenishing moisturising cream

Jason Aloe Vera Ultra-Comforting Moisturizing Crème

L’Occitane Shea butter

Lavera Basis Sensitive : Organic Moisturising Cream

Lavera Naked Skin Thirst Aid 12 Hour Moisturiser

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser

Miracell serious skin support cream

PEM Friends does not endorse any of the items shown above. These items have been suggested by individual members because they have found them useful.

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