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Parents have been advised not to use high street allergy tests to help manage children's eczema under new guidelines published by the government's health watchdog.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) claims that there is 'no evidence' that they are a valuable tool for the management of eczema.

In addition, the guidance recommends that doctors offer children a range of un-perfumed emollients for use while bathing and moisturising and suggests that schools and nurseries should be provided with leave-on emollients.

The guidance states: 'Healthcare professionals should inform children with atopic eczema and their parents or carers that they should use emollients in larger amounts and more often than other treatments.

'Emollients should be used on the whole body, both when the atopic eczema is clear and while using all other treatments.'

The recommendations have been welcomed by the British Association of Dermatologists, which claims emollients are 'a tried and tested part of the treatment of eczema'.

Spokeswoman Nina Goad said: 'Their use is recommended in all guidelines for the treatment of eczema to date, and it is reassuring that their benefit has been recognised in the new guidance.'

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