Could a soapless bath help in the fight against food allergies?

A study of 700 babies by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, found changes in the “eczema gene” increased the risk of being sensitive to common allergenic foods. The institutes Professor Katie Allen says the impaired skin barrier function suggested that children might develop food sensitivity through the skin.
“What is so exciting is it gives the first biological evidence that skin barrier is an important defense with regards to the development of food allergy in the first year of life. That has never been shown so conclusively before and it also suggests a mechanism by which we can potentially prevent sensitisation to food by improving the skin barrier.”
It’s still not yet clear how long infant skin is vulnerable and Professor Allen warned that getting a complete picture on food allergies was complex. “Protecting the skin barrier, introducing solids at the right time, Vitamin D at sufficient levels and exposure to good bugs are the four things that we are working on” she said.
A trial into soap vs no soap on babies will commence shortly in Sydney.


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