This article presents an evidence-supported clinical pathway for dry skin prevention and treatment.
The development of the pathway involved the following: a literature review was conducted and demonstrated that literature on dry skin is scarce. To compensate for the gap in the available literature, a modified Delphi method was used to collect information on prevention and treatment practice through a panel, which included 10 selected dermatologists who currently provide medical care for dermatology patients in Ontario. An advisor experienced in this therapeutic area guided the process, including a central meeting. Panel members completed a questionnaire regarding their individual practice in caring for these patients and responded to questions on assessment of dry skin etiology, frequency of skin care visits for consultation and follow-up, assessment, and referral to other specialties. The panel members reviewed a summary of all responses and reached a consensus. The result was presented as a clinical pathway.
The panel concluded that our current awareness of dry skin and therefore prevention and effective treatment is limited; that identifying dry skin and its clinical issues requires tools such as clinical pathways, which may improve patient outcomes; and that additional research on dry skin etiology, prevention, and treatment is necessary.