Eczema and allergy prevention
There has been recent research looking into preventing eczema in babies and also preventing food allergies in babies who develop eczema.
Research has shown that managing eczema well, along with the early introduction of the common allergy causing foods to babies, may reduce the chance of a child developing food allergy.
Some research has shown that babies with eczema can develop food allergy if the food comes into contact with their skin. When the skin of babies with eczema is well managed, the skin barrier is stronger and food coming into contact with the skin is less likely to cause a problem.
When using moisturisers, it is important to make sure that they don’t contain food ingredients such as nut oils, cow’s milk or goat products. Using moisturisers that contain food ingredients may increase the chance of your baby developing an allergy to the food.
Feeding peanut (butter/paste) before one year of age is especially important in babies with moderate to severe eczema, as research has shown these babies will benefit the most.
For pregnant and breastfeeding mums, eating oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring) 3 times a week may help. Some research shows that consuming the omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish) during pregnancy and breastfeeding may help prevent eczema in early life.
Some early research shows that taking probiotics (particular types of “good” bacteria) during pregnancy and breastfeeding may help to reduce eczema in babies, although no clear recommendations can be made at this time.