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Childhood Eczema Associated with Stomach Bacteria

Update Date: Jan 23, 2013 05:00 AM EST

In case a child is suffering from eczema then he/she may have a wide variety of bacteria present in the stomach. These bacteria are commonly found in the gut of an adult than in healthy children.

Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a form of swelling of the skin. The common symptoms include dry skin, frequent rashes, itching, swelling and bleeding as well. Scratching the rashes leads to an increase in the condition.

In their research, the scientists studied children at six and 18 months, not all  of them were suffering from eczema. Their intestinal bacteria were examined. It was found that while the children were six months old, their gut bacteria were similar to those with non-infection. However, by the time the eczema-infected children reached 18 months, their gut bacteria composition resembled mostly that of an adult with common bacteria like Clostridium clusters IV and XIV a. The gut of a healthy 18-month-child, on the other hand, had an abundance of Bacteroidetes.

This study was led by MSc Lotta Nylund, University of Turku, Finland, and the details were published in the journal BMC Microbiology.

"The composition of bacteria in a child's gut depends on its environment and the food it eats. You would expect that as a child's diet changes so will the bacteria present. The number of bifidobacteria naturally falls with 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."Nylund was quoted in the MedicalXpress.

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