The internet and the health and wellbeing industry have multiple suggestions for dietary modification to prevent or treat eczema. Our evidence-based advice can help clinicians and parents discern between benefit and detriment of various dietary measures for the prevention and treatment of eczema in infants and children.
- Early life environment influences the risk of developing allergy.
- Uncertainties from randomised controlled trials should temper our advice on the role of probiotics, omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D.
- There is no role for specific serum IgE tests (previously called radioallergosorbant or RAST tests) or skin prick tests in most infants with eczema alone.
- Delayed introduction of foods and dietary exclusion may have a restricted role in treating some infants with eczema.
- Unnecessary dietary exclusion increases the risk of developing food allergy.
- Specialist referral is recommended if dietary modification is being considered in infants.