Preventing eczema in babies


Target Audience: Those looking to treat or prevent eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Summary: In this research from the USA and UK, parents of children who had previously had a child with eczema (atopy) were asked to use daily barrier creams on their newborn babies for 6 months. They were then compared to babies who didn’t use creams. At 6 months of age there was a 50% reduction in the development of eczema in the children who used creams, suggesting this may be a safe and effective treatment for children at risk of developing eczema.

Article Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 

Published Date: October 2014

Article Link: Emollient enhancement of the skin barrier from birth offers effective atopic dermatitis prevention


Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a inflammatory skin condition, which effects large numbers of children and adults. In this study researchers tested if a range of skin barrier creams such as Cetaphil Cream reduced the incidence of eczema in high-risk babies.  Infants at high risk of eczema was defined as having a parent or sibling who had a history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever.

Parents were asked to apply the cream all over the baby’s body (except the scalp) until 6 months of age. They were also advised to avoid soap, bubble bath and bath oils, to use a mild, fragrance-free baby cleanser and shampoo and avoid using baby wipes.

At 6 months of age these babies were then compared to a control group.  Results showed 22% of babies in the daily cream group versus 43%  in the control group developed eczema, a 50% reduction.

This study highlights that using barrier creams on babies who are prone to developing eczema may help in preventing the development of the condition. For those of you who would like to know more, information is available on the ASCIA and the Eczema Association of Australasia websites.

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