A group of 10 hospitals including the National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD) is to start research on the preventability of food allergies in babies with atopic dermatitis through early treatment, it has been learned.
In particular, the research group will focus on verifying the relationship between the state of babies' skin and the onset of food allergies, based on the fact that food allergies commonly develop in babies who have atopic dermatitis during the babyhood stage.
Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema that includes symptoms such as itchiness. In a survey conducted by the NCCHD, the risk of developing a food allergy was found to be particularly high in babies who had developed eczema within 1 to 4 months after birth. There is also a tendency for conditions such as bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis to develop after the onset of food allergies in babies with atopic dermatitis.
Therefore, the research group came to think that early treatment of atopic dermatitis is theoretically important in order to prevent these subsequent conditions from developing.
Under the research, 650 babies with atopic dermatitis aged between about 1.5 months and 3 months will be divided into two groups. The infants in the first group will have a moisturizer and a topical steroid continually applied to their skin, while the infants in the other group will have a moisturizer applied, with the topical steroid only being added if eczema appears.
In both groups, when the babies turn 6 months old, they will be given powdered egg, to detect the presence of any allergic symptoms. By doing this, the team hopes to compare which treatment method is more effective, in terms of reducing food allergies.
Currently, the research group is looking for volunteers. Babies can participate in the research only if less than 28 days have passed since they developed itchy eczema and they meet some other conditions. For further details, visit http://paci-study.jp/english.html.