Gut Health and Eczema

Gut Bacteria and the Development of Atopic Dermatitis, Eosinophilia

Frank Lichtenberger, MD, PhD

I previously wrote a blog describing a review of the association with probiotics and the possible prevention of eczema. It is very exciting to know that probiotics (good bacteria for the gut) may help prevent a percentage of children from developing eczema. But the previous review focused on the addition of good bacteria and did not discuss bad bacteria. This more recent article, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, addresses the possibility that bad bacteria i.e. clostridia in the gut may drive allergic inflammation in the bloodstream (eosinophilia) and the skin (eczema).

While the study observed only 24 children, there was a strong association with the presence of clostridia in the children who later developed eczema when compared to children who did not. There were no substantial differences in other major gut microbes. Perhaps most intriguing is that this study was on children who had NEVER had antibiotics. These bacteria came from natural inoculation. While the association with eosinophilia is very interesting, it only suggests an increased tendency for developing allergies as this is a nonspecific marker of allergic inflammation.

Commercial testing for this type of bacteria in the stool is not widely available and currently can only be sent through specialty labs.

Kefir and yogurt are great natural sources of probiotics but there is significant overlap with dairy product allergies and allergic conditions such as eczema. For my patients, I will typically suggest lactobacillus case (probiotic) which is available with and without a prescription and does a great job both surviving the stomach acid and repopulating the gut.

Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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