Can Probiotics Improve Eczema Symptoms in Children?

01/24/2018
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A recent study found that a certain mixture of probiotics may help reduce symptom severity and topical steroid use in children with atopic dermatitis (AD).

From March to June 2016, the researchers evaluated children aged 4 to 17 years (mean age 9.2 years) with moderate AD at a single center in Alicante, Spain. Participants were categorized by sex, current age, and age of onset.

For a period of 12 weeks, participants were administered either a once-daily capsule containing reeze-dried powder with 109 total colony-forming units of the probiotic strains Bifidobacterium lactis CECT 8145, B longum CECT 7347, and Lactobacillus casei CECT 9104 and maltodextrin as a carrier, or placebo in the form of maltodextrin-only capsules.

Ultimately, the researchers found that, on average, participants treated with probiotics had a 19.2-point greater reduction in the Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index vs controls, with changes of -83% in the probiotic group and -24% in the placebo group.

Additionally, after 12 weeks, participants in the probiotic group (161 of 2084 patient-days) had a reduced need for topical steroids vs participants in the placebo group (220 of 2032 patient-days).

“The mixture of probiotics was effective in reducing SCORAD index and reducing the use of topical steroids in patients with moderate AD,” the researchers concluded.

—Christina Vogt

Reference:

Navarro-López V, Ramírez-Boscá A, Ramón-Vidal D, et al. Effect of oral administration of a mixture of probiotic strains on SCORAD index and use of topical steroids in young patients with moderate atopic dermatitis: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(1):37-43. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3647.