High Fat Mass in Newborns Increases Risk for Eczema.

High Fat Mass in Newborns Increases Risk for Eczema.

Jennie Lyon

High Fat Mass in Newborns Increases Risk for Eczema.

This is a tough study to take-in as everyone loves a chubby baby!  And when a baby is hungry, I'm not sure any parent would withhold the baby bottle.  

A new study has shown that neonatal adiposity, aka. fat mass, is linked to an increased risk of eczema development in infants during their first year. The Cork BASELINE birth cohort study collected data from early-life events such as infant feeding, and nutritional and environmental exposures. The data was collected at:

  • 15 weeks' gestation
  • The time of birth
  • 2 months
  • 6 months

The results showed fat mass is a predictor of Atopic Dermatitis (eczema) at 6 and 12 months of age.

It’s no secret that rising rates of obesity are causing numerous health conditions in children and adults of all ages. The risk of eczema development is yet another reason to make sure that your infant maintains a healthy body weight. However, at the time of birth, there is very little that can be done to reduce the fat mass risk factor. However, keeping your infant moisturized is a simple, risk free way to prevent or minimize your baby from developing eczema. Here is a study to back-up preventing eczema with emollient therapy:  

Follow these steps to strengthen your infant’s skin barrier and help prevent eczema:

  • 1. Use a cleansing product that does not contain known eczema triggers. Visit for a list of products given the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance and given 5 star product reviews on their website.
  • 2. Use lukewarm water and use the cleanser sparingly.
  • 3. Soak your baby in 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.
  • 5. After the bath, pat the child dry immediately with a clean towel and apply an emollient. Vanicream and Vaniply are wonderful emollients given the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance and have 5 star product reviews. To purchase Vaniply visit To purchase Vanicream visit
  • 6. Once the baby has the emollient applied, dress the baby in cotton or other natural fiber clothing like TENCEL®.  TENCEL® is proven through verifiable testing to be superior for eczema.  For TENCEL® clothing visit

These measures will help to prevent the development of eczema in your child. We will also continue to watch for studies related to the development of eczema in infants and children.