Regression of cutaneous xerosis with emollient treatment in sub-Saharan African patients.
Emollients have proven effective in improving cutaneous xerosis in various populations; however, no clinical data are available for African patients. The observational study "Xerafrica" was conducted by dermatologists in seven sub-Saharan countries to assess the evolution of xerosis after an 8-week treatment with an emollient. Patients were children above 3 years or adults. Secondary objectives were to assess pruritus, improvement in symptoms, quality of life, satisfaction, and tolerance. An analysis of 185 patients was made. After 8 weeks of emollient treatment, the relative reduction of the "Scaling Roughness Redness Cracks" (SRRC) score was -83.9% and -80.4% in children and adults, respectively. The effect was significantly stronger when topical steroids were co-prescribed with the emollient and in patients with co-dermatosis. To a lesser extent, the effect of emollient was also observed at week 4. Similarly, pruritus and quality of life strongly improved during follow-up. Skin lesions improved in almost all patients, with a high level of satisfaction noted by both dermatologists and patients. The "Xerafrica" study addressed, for the first time, the treatment of xerosis by emollients in an African population. In this specific context, the emollient markedly reduced xerosis as soon as 4 weeks and resolved it almost totally by 8 weeks. The study confirms, under real-life conditions, the efficacy and tolerability of an emollient in improving xerosis.