Eczema is caused by an over-active immune system and results in dry and itchy skin. Around 2.4 million of the UK’s 12 million children have been diagnosed with the disease and now, after years of debate about a possible link, a huge study shows taking antibiotics in the first year of life increases the chances of developing the skin disorder by 40%.
British researchers say that each additional course of antibiotics further raises the risk of eczema- which affects one in five children in the UK- by 7%. Senior researcher Dr Flohr, of King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital, recommended that antibiotics should be prescribed ‘with caution’, especially to infants with a family history of eczema or allergic disease. But he also stressed that ‘Doctors usually have good reason to prescribe antibiotics to infants.
Antibiotics are not the only suspected trigger of rising allergy levels though, it is also thought that too clean lifestyles, Caesarean births and diet have also played a part in the increase. If you would like advice on your baby’s allergies or eczema the birth team at Simply Better Birth’s offer a 24 hour baby advice service.