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November 19, 2012


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There was also a similar study to this one I looked at recently in which the researchers used Lactobacillus GG supplementation in pregnant mothers to see if there was a reduction in incidence of the three big atopic diseases (dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis). The results showed a statistically significant reduction in dermatitis in the newborns at the 4 year follow up period. Just adding to the benefits of probiotics.

This is a very interesting article. This is my first time reading about a possible link between probiotics and eczema. Usually, probiotics are known for maintaining health in the intestinal tract and enhancing digestion. If probiotics do indeed improve eczema, mothers should be highly encouraged to consume probiotics during pregnancy. I would like to see more research being done to ensure its efficacy.

The gut flora are responsible for stimulating the production of the intestinal mucosa which protects the body from pathogens, a first-line step in the human immune system. If there isn't a strong gut mucosa due to an imbalance in the normal flora, there is going to be a gap in the immune system, potentially allowing for pathogens to enter the systemic flow which could stimulate the immune response that is responsible for causing eczema. Replenishing the normal flora can prevent against this. This idea makes sense, I'm excited to see future research on this, especially because I have a 3 year old niece who is miserable from this from time to time.

Probiotics are incredibly useful for many conditions. I was surprised to see them used for eczema, but it's really interesting that it was effective. The gastrointestinal tract plays a huge role in immune function, so I could see how probiotics may help in cases of eczema.

I am relatively skeptical of the findings here because having an effect so far away from the stomach does not seem as logical as I would like. I could see the possibility of this effect if people were to rub probiotics on their skin because it is would cause a very proximal effect. If this does have scientific merit, I think it would be caused by an indirect effect of these bacteria such as a byproduct they may produce that is used by the body to lessen an immune response or something of the sort. Even if this small study does show a trend, it could also be due to the possibility that the effect was due to chance. This is why it is so important to randomize studies appropriately so the risk of an effect being caused by chance is decreased.

I like the article a lot and given that there seems to be a trend to the use of probotics given that the population was small was intriguing. Alternatives such as corticosteroids and UV light have drawbacks. Given that Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in terms of growth of the number of new cases over the last twenty years, coupled with what seems to be an average age entering clinical trials that is dropping, this situation leaves some concerns.

This would be a wonderful approach for parents to be able to take. Whenever you apply something topically to a child, you always worry about them rubbing it in their eyes, or onto a friend, or them ingesting it somehow. And yogurt is something most children enjoy eating.

It is great to see that research is finding more uses for products that are already on the market. While in the pharmacy, I find so many patients who decide to forgo the benefits of probiotics for their children who are about to start an antibiotics course, despite their physician's advice. Perhaps in the future this new knowledge will help patients who are also suffering from eczema since many times they struggle to find a regimen that works effectively.

I think this a great approach to take. It's always worrysome to parents to have to give a child medication, even topically. Plus you are always concerned they are going to ingest it, or it's going to get all over their clothes.
I wonder if it would also have an effect on cradle cap, since the two conditions often go hand in hand?

This is so interesting that probiotics may improve eczema in children. This is very interesting because so many babies and children are affected with eczema. I am a supporter of probiotics as well so I am glad that they have found this. Having alternative therapies is always a great thing and provides options to parents for their children.

This is a very interesting article promoting disease prevention rather than management. I do see many health conscious people purchasing probiotics in retail setting. One yogurt a day is most likely be harmless and may benefits children that are in the growing processes since it contain other nutrition values such as calcium and vitamins. However, consumers should be advised of the appropriate dose especially when administer to young children.

As others have said, it's great that probiotics are gaining wider acceptance as being healthy. I think there should be some caution in these statements though. The most accessible (and cheapest!) source of live cultures is from yogurt, which is loaded with fat and sugar. I think that with anything, these statements should be taken in moderation. I say this especially because of the obesity epidemic in the United States.

I am happy to see that probiotics have been becoming more and more popular in recent years. I have been a long time supporter of probiotic use, especially when taking antibiotics. The benefits to the GI track when using probiotics during a course of antibiotics are much greater than the risks of GI upset and diarrhea associated with antibiotic use. I haven't seen them used for eczema before, but perhaps they provide the immune stimulation needed to prevent major eczema outbreaks.

I looked on Natural Standard to find a comparative therapy for eczema. I stumbled on one that I have never heard of. Autogenic therapy has a NS scientific evidence grade of C. This therapy causes relaxation through visual imagery and body awareness. Through this therapy the patient is self-healing and reducing stress. Autogenic therapy may also help anxiety, depression and alcoholism.

This is a great option. I'm certain parents will be receptive to this recommendation for their children. It seems a mild alternative compared to other treatments (steroids).

Infants at high risk for allergic disorders such as eczema may have different types/amounts of bacteria in their digestive tracts than other healthy infants, so it was thought that probiotics may help this issue. There is another study from 2007 (PMID: 17208601) where 1223 pregnant women carrying high-risk babies were randomized to use a probiotic supplement or a placebo for 2 to 4 weeks before delivery. Starting from birth, infants received the same probiotics as their mothers had plus galacto-oligosaccharides (called a "prebiotic" because it has been shown to help multiple strains of beneficial bacteria flourish) for 6 months. After 2 years, the probiotics were significantly more effective than placebo at preventing eczema, especially atopic eczema. However, children with immune deficiencies should not take probiotics unless under a practitioner's supervision.

Other dietary products that can be used for eczema include fish oil, evening primrose oil, and grapefruit. A topical product that has a natural standard evidence grade of B for good scientific evidence is aloe vera. Eczema is a very problematic condition for children and adults and having the knowledge of treatment options is very helpful.

This looks like a great alternative to conventional therapy for eczema. I often encounter parents who buy giant 1lb tubs of topical steroids from my pharmacy entirely too often to treat their child's eczema. The long term effects of overuse of steroids are certainly less than ideal, especially in such young children. I will have to try to eat more yogurt and see if it works for my own eczema. This is certainly helpful advice going into the winter months when eczema flares are much more common.

I have heard of topical applications containing herbal extracts of chamomile, licorice, and witch hazel being used to reduce symptoms of eczema. I also heard gamma-linolenic acids (GLA), such as evening primrose oil and borage oil, have been shown to correct deficiencies in skin lipids that can trigger inflammation, which is why it is thought to help with eczema. However, results of studies on these therapies have been mixed. Probiotics, on the other hand, seem to help more at the root of the cause of eczema, but influencing immune function on some level. This proactive approach may prove more promising than previous therapies that would try to manage symptoms retroactively.

At the retail pharmacy I work at, I have seen a lot of women asking for probiotics for themselves and their children. This is a great finding, especially for people that have eczema. It is an easy addition to their therapy. I have very sensitive skin and get allergic reactions all the time. I will see if eating more yogurt may help.

I suffered from severe eczema as a child and it began to flare up again during my late teens. I still get pretty bad flare-ups every once in a while. I keep it under control with Protopic, which is an immunomodulator and also very costly. This sounds like a great alternative to try. Especially since it’s safe and can be easily administered from different food sources.

Eczema is really bothersome and can be painful at times. When I was younger, my skin would blister and bleed after scratching the itchy spots. Some people grow out of eczema, and some people suffer it lifelong. UVB/UVA light therapy would not be a good option for people who have had suffered from eczema for a long time. Incorporating probiotics to reduce eczema flare-ups sounds relatively low-risk and promising. I would like to see more studies done on this for adults as well so that more people can benefit from probiotics.

For many children, eczema can continue to be a skin issue throughout adulthood as well. Given the long-term consequences and side effects of corticosteroids which is the first line therapy for eczema, this study might prove to be a great alternative. Probiotics may not only benefit the skin from eczema, but they can also prolong the use of corticosteroids and the possibility of being systemically absorbed and accumulate throughout the years in the system. This is a delicious way as well, and like the previous blogger commented, probiotics can have so many other beneficial effects in the body as well.

Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people’s gastrointestinal tracts, and are typically either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium bacteria. However, there are multiple different species within each group of bacteria. Then there are other probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, that are yeasts, and S. boulardii currently has stronger evidence for use in antibiotic-associated diarrhea than some other bacteria-derived probiotics. Therefore, I am curious as to whether other probiotic strains/species might have similar effects for eczema and how much a role the specific species play in these conditions.

I love reading information regarding alternate treatment for eczema, since I suffer from it. It's really hard to live with and it's a daily struggle not to scratch certain areas all the time, so I can imagine what it's like for children who suffer from this. The typical therapy for eczema is topical corticosteroids, such as triamcinolone. Although they work great, I'm sure many parents are hesitant to give their children a corticosteroid, especially considering the possible side effects is a child gets a hold of their medication and accidentally eats it or gets it on their fingers and then lick their fingers. Probiotics seem like a promising alternative for children with eczema, especially considering the other benefits they'd be gaining!

As a child I suffered from eczema and nothing seemed to help so this study is very interesting! Im not so sure about recommending UV light to aid in the treatment of a skin condition with such a high risk for developing skin cancer later in life. Another alternative option for eczema is mineral oil applied after showers.

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