Skin Research Spotlight for eczema treatments
Skin Research Spotlight: “Synbiotics for Prevention and Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials”
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition. Most patients with eczema require long-term treatment to manage the appearance, itchiness, and scaling from their lesions.
The human gut microbiome, a collection of microorganisms within the digestive tract, consists of billions of bacteria and their byproducts. When they are in a good balance, they may protect against pathogens and support the immune system. When the proportion of “good” bacteria to “bad” bacteria is unbalanced, it can lead to more disease and in severe cases, it can lead to severe infections.
As mentioned earlier, an imbalance of bacteria in the gut microbiome may lead to inflammatory conditions such as eczema. Several studies found that infants with eczema had decreased amounts of the Bifidobacteria bacteria, which are considered “good” bacteria, in their stool.[1,2] These findings suggest that eczema may be associated with an altered gut microbiota since the amount of “good” bacteria is lower in eczema patients. Researchers looked to understand how the use of synbiotics may help in the treatment of eczema and if early use of synbiotics could prevent the development of eczema. To do this, the researchers looked through the medical literature database to perform a meta-analysis based review.
A meta-analysis is a specialized way of reviewing the literature so that different high-quality studies can be combined together into one analysis. In this case, the researchers combined studies that looked at how synbiotics could affect eczema.
The researchers found that synbiotics significantly reduced the severity of eczema under the following conditions:
Overall, the researchers’ findings suggest that synbiotics may be effective as an eczema treatment but more studies are needed to continue to build the knowledge and the evidence in this area.