Infant Development of Eczema Associated With Low Exposure to Bacteria
Many new parents strive to provide the cleanest environments possible for their new babies in order to protect their health. While initially this seems wise, a new study has shown that children who are exposed to bacteria during their first month of life may be less likely to develop eczema. This suggests that there may be problems resulting from keeping children germ-free.
Research on Bacteria and Occurrences of Eczema:
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that low levels of gut microbiota, which is beneficial bacteria, was associated with an increased risk for developing atopic eczema. 20 Infants with eczema and 20 without eczema were evaluated for levels of certain types of bacteria at one week, one month, and one year.
The Study found that at one month the infants with eczema had a lower diversity of a specific bacteria compared to those who did not have eczema. At one year, they were also found to have lower diversity of another kind of bacteria. There was a definite correlation found between these levels and the development of eczema in the infants.
While common sense and general cleanliness are important for healthy development, it is possible to be over-zealous when it comes to cleaning. Moderation in sanitizing toys and the child’s room may be one of the best ways to ensure a healthy immune system and normal development.