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Moisturising babies’ skin can prevent eczema

A new study has found a safe and effective practical approach to preventing atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children. Researchers from Portland, Sheffield and Dundee conducting a trial of 124 high-risk infants in the United Kingdom and the United States found that infants who had full body moisturising at least once per day experienced a reduction in the incidence of atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Dr Susannah Baron, a Dermatologist at The London Skin and Hair Clinic says “this new study is very exciting. All parents I see who have a child with eczema ask me how can they prevent their child or future children from developing eczema? This research has shown that if parents apply daily full body moisturisers to babies who have a high-risk of getting eczema within 3 weeks of birth, then those children are 50% less likely to develop eczema by the age of 6 months. High-risk babies are those who have a close family member already suffering from eczema, asthma or hayfever.”

Dr Susannah Baron offers further practical treatment advice. “My advice to all parents with young babies is to avoid soaps, bubble baths, shampoos, and all those lovely smelling items marketed to parents, as they can dry young babies’ skin.  Also avoid using too many baby wipes as the nappy area has sensitive skin which can get sore and babies with eczema tend to get more nappy rash.”

“If you or any of your family suffer from eczema, asthma or hayfever then I advise parents to use a daily moisturiser to their baby’s skin.  It is a lovely routine, after a bath, to give your baby a massage with a simple moisturiser.  Again simple is best and use one that is unfragranced. This study shows that it doesn’t matter which type of moisturiser parents use and oils, creams, gels and ointments are all suitable.”

Full details of the study can be found here.

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