​Gut Bacteria and Eczema Risk in Babies.

​Gut Bacteria and Eczema Risk in Babies.

Jennie Lyon

New Study Reveals Gut Bacteria Related to Allergic Diseases.

The first 7 days of an infant’s life can be critical in determining whether or not that child will develop eczema. It has to do with the amount of microbial bacteria that the baby is exposed to during that first sensitive period.

This conclusion comes from an Australian study conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. The study is the largest of its kind. It examined the relationship between very early life gut bacteria and the subsequent development of allergic disease. The study examined the gut bacteria of 98 babies, all of whom were at a higher risk of allergic disease as a result of having a parent or sibling with an allergy.

The study showed that infants with less diverse gut bacteria were more likely to have developed eczema. This suggests that altering the amount or the mix of the type of bacteria in a child’s gut during early development could be effective in preventing eczema. Serving yogurt when a baby starts to eat baby food can be helpful and talk to your child’s physician about a probiotic for babies.

We will continue to watch for studies and updates related to the gut bacteria discoveries in this study. In the meantime, you can reduce eczema symptoms in your infant by using a simple emollient treatment. You should apply the emollient (heavy moisturizer) daily within 3 weeks of birth to babies that are at high risk of developing eczema. Moisturizing enhances the skin barrier which may protect against sensitization.

Moisturizing is a simple, risk free way to prevent or minimize your baby from developing eczema. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • 1.Make sure to use a cleansing product that does not contain known eczema triggers. The National Eczema Association has a program where they grant a Seal of Acceptance to companies and their products that follow certain guidelines. Please visit this list of approved products for baby eczema bath products at
  • 2.Use lukewarm water and use the cleanser sparingly.
  • 3.Make sure the baby soaks in the lukewarm water for at least 10 minutes.
  • 4.Pour the water over all of the baby’s skin including the face and head. If your baby does not like water poured over their head, pat the child down with a warm, clean washcloth.
  • 6.Once the baby has the emollient applied, dress the baby in breathable fabric such as cotton or Tencel®.