A new study published in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology reveals that the risk of a newborn baby developing eczema could depend on the number of microbial bacteria it is exposed to in the first seven days after its birth.
Researchers at Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne analyzed 98 babies who were deemed at high risk of being allergic since their parents or siblings were diagnosed with an allergic disease.
The researchers said the at the end of 12 months, around 34 percent of the babies were diagnosed with eczema while 24 percent tested positive for skin prick allergy test to food or other allergens. The researchers added that those who developed eczema had lower levels of diversity in gut bacteria.
"This suggests that altering the mix and amount of bacteria in our guts in early life could be an effective approach to the prevention of eczema, especially for those with an increased risk of developing allergic disease", lead researcher Mimi Tang said.