Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Reducing Your Risk of Eczema

Because the cause is unknown, there are currently no guidelines for reducing your risk of atopic dermatitis. 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 atopic dermatitis.
  • 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 atopic dermatitis.

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

REFERENCES:

Atopic dermatitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis. Updated July 3, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.

Eczema and atopic dermatitis. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/eczema-and-atopic-dermatitis/?adfree=true. Updated June 2017. Accessed December 20, 2017.

7/6/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 1/28/2015