Can probiotics help kids with eczema?

Yes, probiotics help kids with eczema. This is because they help to restore the gut flora which may have been disturbed by the use of antibiotics or other medication. Probiotics also help to strengthen the immune system, and this can be beneficial for kids with eczema.

Whether or not probiotics will help kids with eczema depends on the strain of bacteria, dosage, and whether it is taken continuously. 

How to take probiotics for kids with eczema?

There are various ways to take probiotics for kids with eczema. The most popular way is to take a supplement every day. A probiotic supplement that has soil-based organisms is recommended, as opposed to regular probiotics with just yeast.

Probiotic supplements for kids with eczema should be taken daily. It can take 3 months before results are visible, so it’s important to stick with the treatment.

Girl with Eczema on Arms and Face - probiotics help kids with eczema
Girl with Eczema on Arms and Face

How long before results are visible?

Results will vary from one person to the next. It could be 6 weeks before any changes are seen in kids with eczema. But it could be as long as 3 months.

To help the probiotics work better, make sure that your child does not eat too much processed or sugary food and drinks plenty of water (8+ glasses per day).

What strains should be taken for kids with eczema?

There are many different beneficial strains, but some of the most popular ones for this condition are bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.

Before you buy, make sure that the strain is on the label. If it’s not on there, then it won’t be in the supplement – simple as that. Current legislation ensures that manufacturers have to display the strain of bacteria used within their products on the label.

This form of transparency and reassurance makes it much easier for you the customer to feel reassured that what it says on the bottle or container is exactly what is inside.

What dosage should be taken?

The right dosage can vary depending on your child’s age and the severity of their eczema. A general dosage that can be used is;

  • under 6 months: 4 billion CFU’s daily
  • 6 to 60 months: 8 billion CFU’s daily
  • over 6 years+: 10-20 billion CFU’s per day (or as directed by your doctor)

As you can see, the dosage is not based on age. It is based on the severity of your child’s condition.

Remember that it often takes months for improvements to be seen in kids with eczema. If they are not visible after 3 months, talk to your doctor about increasing the dosage – but not more than once at a time.

Girl With Eczema Scratching Neck - probiotics help kids with eczema
Girl With Eczema Scratching Neck

What types of probiotics for kids with eczema should be avoided?

There are a few things to look out for when it comes to brands, and what type is best.  Here’s the key:

  • avoid supplements that contain prebiotic fibers such as inulin, FOS or maltodextrin, since these can cause an increase in yeast, diarrhea and digestive problems
  • avoid supplements that contain probiotics with large amounts of bifidus; these are mostly ineffective because there aren’t enough lactobacilli to do the job properly
  • avoid supplements that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus or Enterococcus faecium since these strains are usually difficult to find in adequate amounts in the gut
  • avoid supplements that contain just one strain of probiotics, since it is the combined strains that provide the most benefit
  • avoid supplements with less than 2 billion or more than 100 billion CFU’s per serving

To be safe, only take supplements that contain at least 10 different strains of bacteria, and at least 5 billion CFU’s per serving.

Side effects of probiotics for kids with eczema?

One side effect could be an increase in bloating, flatulence or even watery stools. However, it is unlikely your child would suffer any of these side effects if you choose the right strain/dosage.

What are the benefits of taking probiotics for kids with eczema?

The benefits are clear, but it’s worth mentioning them anyway.  By taking probiotics for kids with eczema you could see the following changes:

  • skin condition is less likely to flare up
  • the number of itching episodes decrease
  • the severity of flares reduces over time

What should I be aware of when taking probiotics for kids with eczema?

  • they can interact with certain medications; make sure that you consult your doctor before using them if you are already on medication (for example, antibiotics)
  • some brands may contain gluten, milk or soy. Read the label carefully to be safe
  • avoid sugar and sugary foods to make sure that yeast does not develop
  • talk to your doctor if you are already on antibiotics or another medication since these can kill the beneficial bacteria in probiotics for kids with eczema.

In conclusion

Many of the harmful consequences of eczema in children can be mitigated by taking supplements containing high-quality probiotics. You may take advantage of the various benefits of probiotics for kids with eczema if you choose the correct strain and dosage.

As always consult with your doctor or paeditrician to ensure you gain as much insight before using probiotics and feel reassured that you are trying the best treatment possible.

To understand more about eczema and specifically in relation to children, check out the National Eczema Organisation.


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