October is Eczema Awareness Month

October is Eczema Awareness Month

This month, my heart goes out to everyone who suffers from eczema, an irritating itchy skin rash common in infants and children.  October is National Eczema Awareness Month, a good time to review new information about eczema.  In particular, probiotic supplements hold great promise for prevention and symptomatic relief of eczema.

The cause of eczema remains a mystery. It seems to result from a combination of genetics and conditions of everyday life. Eczema flare ups are sometimes the result of a specific irritant, but more often there is no obvious external cause for the rash. Eczema does run in families.  If one parent had it, there is a 50% chance that a child will have it, and if both parents had it, then the chances are even greater. Eczema affects one out of ten children.  Researchers have found that a genetic lack of the protein, filaggrin, might be involved. Filaggrin helps to form a protective layer on the skin that keeps out foreign invaders.

The standard treatment for chronic eczema involves wearing soft cotton fabrics, taking lukewarm baths, using mild soap or non-soap cleansers and patting the skin gently to dry, applying moisturizer immediately after bathing, and avoiding extremes of weather and any personal triggers; however, eczema is often a challenge to control, and so doctors prescribe topical steroids. It is important to use topical steroids properly as ordered and to talk with the doctor about what to expect.

Human research has found that probotic supplements may relieve the itch of eczema. In clinical studies using the strain of bacteria, BB-12®, in Vidazorb probiotic supplements, infants that took probiotics developed less eczema, and if the infants already suffered from eczema, they had fewer incidents and greater improvement.(1) Another study in pregnant mothers of at-risk infants showed that those taking a mixture of probiotics beginning 2-4 weeks before delivery and continuing while breastfeeding saw significantly less eczema than would be expected in their infants.(2) The mechanisms by which probiotics work have to do with the way they change the bacterial composition and metabolic activity of the intestines. Friendly probiotic bacteria seem to crowd out harmful bacteria that produce inflammation and toxins making the gut more permeable to harmful allergens. It is still too early to conclude that probiotics can prevent and treat eczema, but the science is promising, and parents who try Vidazorb for ezema in the children swear by it.

Vidazorb Chewable Probiotics are an outstanding strain of shelf-stable chewable live probiotic bacteria that have shown a beneficial effect on infants at risk of developing atopic eczema. Vidazorb probiotics can help to balance the intestinal microflora and immune system of children.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used for preventing, treating or curing any medical or health condition. Consumers should always contact a professional healthcare provider in case of a medical or health condition.

V Kirjavainen, et al. (2002) Aberrant composition of gut microbiota of allergic infants: a target of bifidobacterial therapy at weaning? Gut 51: 51–55.

KWickens, et al. (2008) A differential effect of 2 probiotics in the prevention of eczema and atopy: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol 122: 788-794