Atopic Dermatitis or AD is a common, chronic inflammatory skin disease in children. You may also know AD by its colloquial names – eczema, dermatitis, atopic eczema, or atopic dermatitis. AD usually appears in the first year of life as scaly, dry patches on the forehead, face, and scalp. However, you may see these patches on the cheeks as well. AD is consistently itchy and is long lasting which is why treatment is necessary and learning how to care for the affected area is vital.
How Can AD be Treated?
While there is no treatment that is able to cure AD, regular, consistent treatment can control AD. Proper treatment can be helpful for a number of reasons, including:
- Preventing infection
- Preventing the skin from thickening which can cause the skin to itch even more
- Relieve the pain and itch of AD
- Prevent the disease from getting worse
- Reduce redness and swelling
- Loosen scaly lesions
What are some Probiotics for Dermatitis?
Doctors usually prescribe treatment plans that include lifestyle changes, medicine, and skin care treatments. The lifestyle changes and skin care treatments can drastically change the way AD persists or flares up. A new treatment that is still in its beginning stages consists of using probiotics for AD.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast naturally found in your body. Don’t let the bacteria part throw you off. The bacteria that makes up probiotics are actually what doctors would call, “good bacteria.” Probiotics have become known for being good for your health that you can even find them in foods, like yogurts.
How do Probiotics Work?
While little is known on exactly how probiotics work, what is known relates to how probiotics keep you healthy. This includes:
- Replacing the good bacteria you lose when you take antibiotics.
- They help balance the good and bad bacteria in your body.
How Can Probiotics Help Treat AD?
A number of studies have shown that probiotics can potentially aid in preventing and treating AD. By suppressing the Th2 mediated response and increasing the Treg mediated immune responses, probiotics then contribute in regulating allergic reactions. Many of these studies found that given a probiotic strain within 2-4 weeks of life, children were less likely to develop AD. Therefore, knowing if a child is at high risk for developing AD and providing early treatment on a daily basis has been shown to be most effective in preventing AD. There are several factors that play into the success of this treatment including, life style, use of antibiotics, delivery of probiotics, and household allergens that could decrease the effectiveness of the probiotics.
Because probiotics use live bacteria there are several instances where they can be detrimental to the health of an individual. This includes if you are:
- Severely immunocompromised
- Have short-bowel syndrome
- Have central venous catheters
- Have a hypersensitivity to lactose or milk
- Have a yeast allergy
- Have pancreatitis
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
Want to know whether probiotics are right for you? Take our Health + Ancestry test to find out which foods, exercises, and supplements are right for you.