Probiotics from breast milk may help treat children with eczema and support several other health conditions.
Eczema is a skin condition that can cause skin dryness and itchiness in people of all ages. It can also lead to rashes developing in certain areas of the body.
Doctors prescribe several pharmaceutical treatments for eczema to relieve itching and dry patches.
In addition, there are alternative eczema treatments using natural ingredients. People could also use breast milk as a natural remedy for the condition.
This article will review breast milk for eczema, discussing the latest research and its uses in children and adults. We also look at other treatments for eczema and alternate benefits of breast milk for health conditions.
Some studies have indicated that breast milk can treat eczema. However, this research was still limited, so more research is necessary.
Individuals who wish to treat eczema in themselves or children should first speak with a medical professional.
In a 2021 study of children and adolescents with eczema, participants experienced significant improvements in their eczema symptoms after 6 months of probiotic treatment.
Some of the common symptoms of eczema include:
- areas of skin becoming thickened or hardened
- oozing rashes
- rashes bleeding after scratching
- dry patches that appear red on light skin or dark brown or gray on darker skin
Many foods also naturally contain probiotics, such as:
The use of breast milk for eczema is still a new concept in healthcare.
The information below describes previous research on using breast milk in individuals. However, a person should consult a doctor before applying breast milk to adults or children with eczema.
One study from the
In this study, lactating parents rubbed breast milk into affected areas twice daily. Therefore, this amount and frequency of breast milk application may be helpful for infant eczema.
Rubbing breast milk into the nipples after breastfeeding may reduce discomfort or skin chafing for nursing parents. When applying breast milk to eczema patches, adults with eczema may follow a similar method.
However, adults seeking eczema relief should speak with their doctor before applying breast milk to their skin. Only a doctor can prescribe the appropriate frequency and amount of breast milk for eczema.
People with eczema should consult a doctor if their eczema symptoms worsen or cause additional health concerns.
Individuals with eczema may experience worsening symptoms after eating particular foods due to an allergy.
To diagnose a food allergy, a doctor can conduct a test to determine whether they are allergic to a particular food group. Identifying allergies can reduce the chance of severe allergic reactions or eczema flare-ups.
Without treatment, eczema can also lead to potentially dangerous skin infections. The condition can damage the top layer of the skin, making it easier for bacteria or fungi to enter the skin and cause infection.
Prompt medical intervention can help treat infections and prevent them from worsening.
Breastfeeding an infant can help lower their risk of diseases such as:
- respiratory infections
- childhood obesity
- ear infections
- diarrhea and vomiting
- childhood leukemia
- sudden infant death syndrome
Breastfeeding can decrease a baby’s risk of certain diseases, but it can also reduce the likelihood of a lactating parent developing conditions such as:
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- certain cancers, including ovarian and breast cancer
Further research on the bacterial components of human breast milk may shed more light on its benefits.
In many cases, doctors prescribe topical steroids to treat itching and inflammation. These steroids may be helpful for both adults and children. They come in different types, from ointments and creams to sprays.
Several oral medications can also help treat eczema. The immune system of people with the condition can overreact and worsen inflammation. Immunosuppressants work by slowing down the body’s natural immune response.
People should discuss the benefits and potential side effects of any medical treatment.
There are many different at-home treatments for eczema,
- moisturizing regularly
- keeping fingernails short
- avoiding uncomfortable or itchy fabrics
- using unscented soaps and detergents
- taking over-the-counter antihistamines to help prevent itching
Regular bathing and moisturizing are crucial for treating dry skin due to eczema. Soaking in a bath with natural ingredients may also relieve symptoms. These ingredients can include
Eczema is a common skin condition that can affect individuals of all ages. Limited recent studies have shown that breast milk may help treat eczema symptoms.
The probiotic properties of breast milk may have a positive effect on gut health for people with eczema. Breast milk is also helpful for preventing conditions such as ear infections or asthma.
Applying a parent’s breast milk to a baby’s skin may help. There is also a possibility that lactating parents can benefit from applying it to their skin. However, there is little to no evidence of the effectiveness of using breast milk beyond this, such as an adult applying someone else’s breast milk to their eczema.
Individuals with eczema should consult a doctor before beginning any new treatment. Under the guidance of a medical professional, breast milk may be a helpful addition to a treatment plan.