There are a million good reasons to love dogs! One that you may not know is that growing up with a dog in the home may reduce a baby’s risk of developing eczema.
Lower Rates of Eczema in Young Children Exposed to Dogs
A 2022 study examined the association between prenatal and first year dog exposure to eczema in early childhood (age two years) and late childhood (age 10 years). The results of the study found “that prenatal and early-life dog exposure has a significant protective effect on eczema development at or before age 2 years.” Researchers posit that this is possibly because children exposed to dogs may have “altered early-life immune development triggered by microbial exposures.”
So, if you need an extra reason to convince your spouse to adopt a dog from Newberry County Animal Shelter, point them to this study!
What Is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic condition that causes dry, itchy skin and rashes. It’s commonly seen in infants and young children, and most onsets happen before the age of five. Symptoms of eczema include:
- Itchy, dry, scaly skin
- Redness and swelling
- Tiny bumps that ooze and crust over
In infants, eczema is most commonly seen on the face, elbows and knees.
The Link Between Allergies and Eczema
Eczema can come and go throughout life, vary in severity and some children can even outgrow it completely. While multiple factors can cause eczema flare-ups, allergies and eczema do appear to be connected. Eczema tends to run in families who have a history of other allergic conditions like food allergies, seasonal allergies (hay fever) and asthma.
If your child’s eczema is worsened by allergies, it’s important for them to visit an allergist and go through allergy testing to identify their triggers. This can help you know what foods to avoid or substances to try and limit contact with the hopes of improving both their eczema and allergy symptoms.
You can also help manage your child’s eczema by using gentle cleansers and moisturizers, avoiding harsh or drying skin products and, in more severe cases, using prescription medications like topical steroids or antihistamines.
For more information on treatment options or to schedule an appointment with one of our expert allergists, contact Carolina Pines ENT today.