Probiotics for treatment and prevention of eczema (atopic dermatitis)?

Probiotics have been proposed as a treatment for eczema, but the results of intervention trials have been mixed.

This meta-analysis included 12 trials (781 participants). Data from five of these trials showed that there was no significant reduction in eczema symptoms with probiotic treatment. Subgroup analysis by eczema severity or presence of atopy did not identify a specific population in which probiotic treatment was effective.

The adverse events search identified case reports of sepsis and bowel ischaemia caused by probiotics.

Currently, probiotics cannot be recommended for treating eczema.



Atopic Dermatitis Treatment - Illustrated (click here for full size image).

This 2012 study found beneficial effects: Protective effect of Lactobacillus probiotic against eczema in infants persists up to age 4, including for rhinitis.

References:

Probiotics for the treatment of eczema: a systematic review. R. J. Boyle et al. Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Published Online: 1 Jul 2009.
Formula supplementation with a prebiotics was effective as primary prevention of atopic dermatitis http://goo.gl/clTx
New evidence relates prebiotics to reduced occurrence of AD. JACI Journal Club http://goo.gl/qUyE
Probiotics given to pregnant women reduced incidence of atopic dermatitis, but had no effect on atopic sensitization. http://goo.gl/xcQi
Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics http://goo.gl/daCiz
Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics. PEDIATRICS Vol. 126 No. 6 December 2010, pp. 1217-1231 (doi:10.1542/peds.2010-2548).
Image source: Cac─▒k, a Turkish cold appetiser yoghurt variety, Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.

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