Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Moisturising newborns prevents allergies: Japan study

03 October 2014, 12:13

Tokyo - Applying moisturiser to a newborn baby's skin could help prevent eczema and even food allergies in later life, possibly offering a cheap and easy way to combat a growing global problem, a Japanese institute said Friday.

A small-scale study carried out by researchers at the Tokyo-based National Center for Child Health and Development suggests regular lotion in the first few weeks of life helps keep a baby's immune system intact.

Scientists divided 118 newborns into two groups of 59 each, applying an emollient -- a glycerine-based over-the-counter moisturiser -- to one group of babies for 32 weeks and no treatment to the other group.

As a result, 19 in the intervention group developed atopic dermatitis -- eczema -- against 28 in the control group.

The study, which the researchers said was a global first, tentatively shows moisturising reduces the risk of developing eczema 30 percent.

The institute said in a release that emollient prevents skin from drying out and cracking, which exposes immune cells and allows irritants to get in.

This, in turn, boosts the body's production of antibodies to combat the irritant, resulting in over-production.

Read also: Woman sues over sperm mix up

It is this over-production of antibodies that produces the symptoms of an allergy.

The institute said babies suffering from eczema tend to display strong reactions to egg white, and thus can go on to be allergic to eggs in later life or to developing other problems such as asthma or sinus infections.

"It was known before that dry skin would cause eczema. One of the achievements of this study is that we came up with clear figures for the probability of developing eczema," the centre's spokesman Toru Sato told AFP on Friday.

"Researchers are now looking at why some babies in the group still went on to develop eczema," he said.

"Another important point is that the study suggests atopic skin problems could be linked to other allergic reactions such as asthma and hay fever that may appear later in life."

Research on allergies has often focused on preventing maternal intake of certain substances to reduce transmission to the foetus.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!


Tags japan

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...