Prebiotics and Probiotics Protect Against Childhood Eczema

prebiotics infant preventing eczemaInfant eczema is a common skin condition, affecting around 1 in 5 young children. Eczema is linked to childhood asthma and food allergies and many theories have been proposed to explain the development of atopic eczema.

One of these theories suggests that the microflora in the gastrointestinal system of infants influences immune system activity, thereby triggering or contributing to skin reactions and allergy symptoms. A significant amount of research backs up this theory, including a recent review that adds weight to the idea that prebiotic supplementation of infant formula or breast milk can help in preventing eczema in infants up to 2 years old. Continue reading

Baby Eczema and Smoking in Pregnancy

baby eczema smoking in pregnancyInfants born to mothers who smoked in pregnancy are at an increased risk of baby eczema according to research presented at a recent conference. The scientists presented their findings at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology following investigation into smoking in pregnancy and passive smoking in pregnancy and the association with baby eczema.

Both atopic eczema and dermatitis are thought to be increased risks as smoking in pregnancy impairs the immune response of the growing foetus. It is not yet clear why this happens, or why babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more susceptible to atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS), but the researchers suggest that oxidative stress may play a role in the condition. Continue reading

Skin Allergies May Help Fight Skin Cancer

A new study suggests that those who suffer from skin allergies may have a lower risk of skin cancer, and those suffering from other types of allergy may have a reduced cancer risk overall. Conditions such as contact dermatitis can make life miserable for many sufferers who can spend considerable amounts of time identifying skin allergens and working to reduce or eliminate their exposure to them. A study by Danish researchers has identified an association however between contact allergies and cancer risk, although the link is not direct. Continue reading