Antibiotics and risk of developing eczema

A number of studies have suggested that exposure to antibiotics in early life can lead to an increased risk of developing eczema

This systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies, involving children or young adults aged 0-25 years, assessed the impact of antibiotic exposure either in utero or during the first 12 months of life on subsequent eczema risk.

Twenty studies examined the association between prenatal and/or postnatal exposure to antibiotics and subsequent development of eczema.

The pooled OR for the 17 studies examining postnatal antibiotic exposure was 1.41 (95% CI 1.30-1.53). The pooled OR for the 10 longitudinal studies was 1.40 (95% CI 1.19-1.64), compared with a pooled OR of 1.43 (95% CI 1.36-1.51) for the seven cross-sectional studies.

There was a significant dose-response association, suggesting a 7% increase in the risk of eczema for each additional antibiotic course received during the first year of life; the pooled OR was 1.07 (95% CI 1.02-1.11).

Finally, the pooled OR for the four studies relating to antenatal exposure was 1.30 (95% CI 0.86-1.95).

The authors conclude that exposure to antibiotics in the first year of life, but not prenatally, is more common in children with eczema.

Tsakok T, McKeever T, Yeo L et al. Br J Dermatol 2013; 169: 983-91


Want news like this straight to your inbox?
Sign up for our bulletins

Read these next

MIMS Dermatology conference June 2013

MIMS Dermatology conference June 2013

The latest MIMS Dermatology conference, in Earls Court,...

1 CPD credit: Eczema: Identifying infected eczema in children

1 CPD credit: Eczema: Identifying infected eczema in children

It is important to try to identify trigger factors,...

Short-term use of eczema cream in infants

Use of an anti-inflammatory cream to treat eczema is...


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Register or Subscribe to MIMS

GPs can get MIMS print & online and GPonline for free when they register online – take 2 minutes, and make sure you get your free MIMS access! If you're not a GP, you can subscribe to MIMS for full access.

Register or subscribe

MIMS Dermatology

Read the latest issue online exclusively on MIMS Learning.

Read MIMS Dermatology

MIMS Adviser

Especially created for prescribing influencers.

Request free copy

Mobile apps

MIMS: access the full drug database and quick-reference tables on the go

MIMS Diagnosis and Management: concise information on signs and symptoms, investigations and diseases