Study: Eczema in Kids Linked to Increase of Specific Gut Bacteria

Baby with EczemaEczema is skin condition described by the persistent inflammation of the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin. Those that suffer from this condition may experience itchy, reddened, cracked and dry skin. Certain dyes, perfumes, fabrics, food and more can cause flare-ups or worsen the condition. As of right now, there is no “cure” for eczema, but scientists believe that it is a type of autoimmune disease. One study recently found that children who eat fast food three or more times a week are more likely to develop eczema. Now a new study has linked a higher concentration of a specific gut bacteria in children.

Published in BioMed Central’s open access journal, BMC Microbiology, the new study looked at the gut bacteria of children at six months of age and 18 months old. Some of the children in the study had eczema, and others did not. When comparing the gut bacteria of the children at six months of age, researchers did not find any difference. However, when they reexamined them at 18 months of age, the children with eczema had more the bacteria known as Clostridium clusters IV and XIVa – a bacteria that is generally linked to the guts of adults. The children who did not have eczema had higher quantities of Bacteroidetes.

“The composition of bacteria in a child’s gut depends on its environment and the food it eats,” Lotta Nylund, MSc, from University of Turku, Finland told Medical News Today. “You would expect that as a child’s diet changes, so will the bacteria present. The number of bifidobacteria naturally falls with the age and in total, we found 21 groups of bacteria which changed in this time period. However, it is the early change towards adult-type bacteria which seems to be a risk factor for eczema.”

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About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

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