Aqueous cream

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Aqueous Cream BP is a medicinal substance officially registered in the British Pharmacopoeia.

It is a light, paraffin-based emulsion used as a topical external medicine.

Its uses include:

  • Emollient (Moisturiser)
  • Soap-substitute - a gentle alternative for sensitive skin

The British National Formulary categorises it as:

13 Skin
> 13.2 Emollient and barrier preparations
> 13.2.1 Emollients
> Non-proprietary emollient preparations
> Aqueous Cream, BP



It is commonly prescribed in the United Kingdom for conditions such as Eczema or Atopic dermatitis [2]. Whilst undergoing the cancer treatment Radiotherapy, the skin erythema caused as a result of treatment patients are advised to use Aqueous Cream as part of a skin care regime.


Some sources indicate that it is not always suitable for use as an emollient, because the preservatives (such as phenoxyethanol) used to prolong the cream's shelf life may cause a reaction (National Eczema Society article with citations). Boots(the chemist)UK use an alternative preservative viz. Chlorocresol which is said to cause less reaction.


  1. BNF index
  2. 'Emollients' the NHS Direct Health Encylopaedia

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