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Because the cause is unknown, there are currently no guidelines for reducing your risk of eczema. Some studies, though, suggest that you may be able to reduce your child's risk by:

  • Breastfeeding
  • For bottlefed infants, using a certain kind of formula—Ask the doctor if your baby should have a hydrolyzed casein, 100% whey protein, or other hypoallergenic formula.
  • Exposing your child to pets at an early age
  • Having your child eat fish at an early age (before nine months)
  • Taking probiotics while pregnant and after giving birth (if you are breastfeeding)

As the understanding of the condition grows, your doctor may have more information regarding steps for reducing your risk of eczema.

If you have eczema, you may be able to control the onset of an eczema outbreak by controlling certain triggers. For tips on controlling outbreaks, see Lifestyle Treatments for Managing Eczema.

References:

The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/default.htm.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov.

7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Langan SM, Flohr C, Williams HC. The role of furry pets in eczema: a systematic review. Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:1570-1577.

2/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Alm B, Aberg N, Erdes L, et al. Early introduction of fish decreases the risk of eczema in infants. Arch Dis Child. 2009;94(1):11-15.

6/4/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Alexander DD, Cabana MD. Partially hydrolyzed 100% whey protein infant formula and reduced risk of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010;50(4):422-430.

1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Dotterud CK, Storr O, Johnsen R, Oien T. Probiotics in pregnant women to prevent allergic disease: a randomized, double-blind trial. Br J Dermatol. 2010;163:616-623.



Last reviewed November 2013 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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