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Reducing Your Risk of Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Because the cause is unknown, there are currently no guidelines for reducing your risk of eczema. Some studies, though, suggest that you may be able to reduce your child's risk by:

  • Breastfeeding
  • For bottlefed infants, using a certain kind of formula—Ask the doctor if your baby should have a hydrolyzed casein, 100% whey protein, or other hypoallergenic formula.
  • For newborns who are at high risk for eczema, applying a daily moisturizer may help reduce the risk of eczema.
  • Exposing your child to pets at an early age
  • Having your child eat fish at an early age (before nine months)
  • Taking probiotics while pregnant and after giving birth (if you are breastfeeding)

As the understanding of the condition grows, your doctor may have more information regarding steps for reducing your risk of eczema.

If you have eczema, you may be able to control the onset of an eczema outbreak by controlling certain triggers. For tips on controlling outbreaks, see Lifestyle Treatments for Managing Eczema.

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References:

Atopic dermatitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis. Updated June 1, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.
7/6/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis: Langan SM, Flohr C, Williams HC. The role of furry pets in eczema: a systematic review. Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:1570-1577.
2/26/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis: Alm B, Aberg N, Erdes L, et al. Early introduction of fish decreases the risk of eczema in infants. Arch Dis Child. 2009;94(1):11-15.
6/4/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis: Alexander DD, Cabana MD. Partially hydrolyzed 100% whey protein infant formula and reduced risk of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010;50(4):422-430.
1/4/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis: Dotterud CK, Storr O, Johnsen R, Oien T. Probiotics in pregnant women to prevent allergic disease: a randomized, double-blind trial. Br J Dermatol. 2010;163:616-623.
1/28/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis: Horimukai K, Morita K, et al. Application of moisturizer to neonates prevents development of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Oct;134(4):824-830.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 1/28/2015

 

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