Probiotics can prevent eczema

Dr-RodneyFord Bad Eczema

Dr-RodneyFord Bad Eczema

We have been advocating the regular use of probiotics for eczema in our clinic for about 10 years.  Now the evidence is becoming even stronger. Convincing.

A recent article summarises the situation “Prevention of eczema with probiotics seem to work until age 2 years and extended effects until 4 years have been shown in high-risk for allergy cohorts. Effects are strain-specific, with L. rhamnosus showing the most consistent effects especially when combining pre and postnatal administration.” See link to Medscape article on probiotics

Yes, it is a lot better to prevent eczema, than to treat it.

Probiotics can prevent eczema

A mum writes to me, “I have seen Dr Ford with my child and also have a child with anaphylaxis. On our last visit he mentioned that taking probiotics in pregnancy can help prevent allergies and eczema. I am pregnant again and was wondering at what stage in pregnancy would be good to start and I am presuming I would then take it for the duration of my pregnancy and also during breastfeeding?”

Probiotic’s studies have been shown to to substantially reduce the chance of developing eczema and other allergies.
The recommendation has been to take a probiotic during the last three months of pregnancy, and then give the probiotic to your child from day zero.  Also, the breastfeeding mother should continue to take a probiotic for the next six months.
Perhaps the most comprehensive study has been done by the University of Otago, Wellington Clinical School.  Here is the link:

they say “Conclusions and Clinical Relevance – This study showed that the protective effect of HN001 against eczema, when given for the first 2 years of life only, extended to at least 4 years of age. This, together with our findings for a protective effect against rhinoconjunctivitis, suggests that this probiotic might be an appropriate preventative intervention for high risk infants.”

Another study concludes: “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 positive for skin prick test.”

Maternal probiotic supplementation during pregnancy and breast-feeding reduces the risk of eczema in the infant. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Dec;130(6):1355-60.

In my opinion, the use of probiotics in eczema and for preventing eczema is very well documented.  We offer probiotics to all of our eczema families.

By Rodney Ford