Good bacteria has eczema on the runSeptember 10th, 2008 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Sep 10 (IANS) A probiotic supplement, applied to the affected part, significantly halted eczema in infants under two, according to a study. Researchers from Universities of Otago and Auckland investigated the use of two probiotic supplements in 446 mothers and babies.
Currently, there is no way to prevent eczema and treatment relies on skin moisturising and corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) creams.
Probiotics are microbes found in infant gut which are beneficial to humans, but their dwindling numbers may explain the increasing incidence of eczema.
“Our study has found when you give. . . probiotic supplement L. rhamnosus during the last five weeks of pregnancy, and for six months after birth while mothers are breast feeding, and then you give their infants the same probiotic up to two years of age, there is a 50 percent reduction in eczema,” said Julian Crane of Otago University, Wellington.
“This is an exciting and interesting result because we have compared the effect of two different probiotics in the same study and shown that one has an effect while the other is no different from a placebo.”
The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It found there was no similar preventive effect for eczema with the second probiotic, Bifidobacterium lactis.
Eczema affects 30 percent infants in New Zealand by the age of two. Severity varies from a small patch of scaly dry skin to large weeping areas covering much of a child’s body.