One in five babies and young children suffer from eczema, however a new study has found that being prescribed antibiotics before the age of one could increase the child’s risk of getting eczema by up to 40%.
There has been much debate about the link between eczema and antibiotics in children, but the new research carried out at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and the University of Nottingham and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, found the strongest evidence to date of a direct link between antibiotic use and an increased risk of eczema in infants.
Over 290,000 babies and children were included in the multi-centre stud, which is the largest study on this health concern ever carried out.[quote]The research also indicated that in the last 40 years the cases of infantile eczema have risen from 3% to 20%, suggesting perhaps that the modern trend for early use of antibiotic prescriptions may have played a part in this increase.[/quote]
As a result of the study researchers recommended that antibiotics should be prescribed with caution to babies under the age of one with a family history of eczema or allergic disease such as dermatitis or asthma.