Most prescribing uses licensed medicines whose safety and efficacy are assured. For many common dermatological diseases including psoriasis and eczema, the range of licensed medicines is limited. As a result, Dermatology prescribing may rely significantly on unlicensed creams and ointments (known as ‘Specials’) containing tars, dithranol, salicylic acid, steroids and other active constituents in a range of concentrations and bases. This is of particular concern in primary care where lack of effective price controls and a mechanism to ensure independent scrutiny of product quality has increased costs and concern about standards. To address these concerns and help to optimise quality of care, adherence to the revised British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) list of preferred Specials (2014) is encouraged.