New research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology indicates that taking probiotics during pregnancy may reduce a child's likelihood of developing eczema. This skin condition is characterized by itchy rashes that appear temporarily and have a variety of triggers.
About one out of every 10 kids develop eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, according to the Nemours Foundation. It's caused by the body's sensitivity to environmental allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust, animal dander and some foods.
Researchers from the Turku University Central Hospital analyzed the collected data from more than 200 expecting moms with a history of allergies, some of whom took probiotics and others who received a placebo for the first and last two months of pregnancy. They discovered that less than 30 percent of the babies whose mom took the probiotics developed eczema, compared to 71 percent of newborns born to mothers in the placebo group.
"Prevention regimen with specific probiotics administered to the pregnant and breast-feeding mother, that is, prenatally and postnatally, is safe and effective in reducing the risk of eczema in infants with allergic mothers," concluded the researchers.
Scientists are gaining more insight on probiotics and how healthcare professionals can use them to treat certain health conditions and illnesses. Previous research has suggested that they can be used to manage diarrhea, as well as digestive conditions like Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, according to the Harvard Medical School.
Parents who observe eczema on their son or daughter should consult their child's pediatrician, who can prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms that may be causing the patient discomfort.
Has a physician ever recommended that you take probiotics? Would you be interested in taking them during pregnancy if you knew your son or daughter was predisposed to eczema? Leave your answers in the comments section!