How is pediatric atopic dermatitis (AD) prevented?

Updated: Apr 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Prenatal and postnatal probiotic supplementation may be helpful in preventing the development of atopic dermatitis in young children. In a 2008 meta-analysis, the most commonly studied probiotic was Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. [48] Larger, randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm these initial findings.

A dog living in the home at the time of birth has been associated with a 50% decrease in the incidence of atopic dermatitis at age 3 years. [6] One study found that, at age 4 years, dog-sensitized children experienced less risk for eczema, whereas cat sensitization significantly increased the risk. [49]

Children with ichthyosis vulgaris should avoid neonatal cat exposure to prevent atopic dermatitis. [50]

Breastfeeding during the first 4 months of life may reduce in incidence and severity of childhood atopic disease but only modestly and only in those at high risk. [51]

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