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Allergy risk of your baby’s smooth skin

Moisturising babies after a bath is often advised to encourage bonding – but it could also significantly increase their risk of developing food allergies, a study found.

Babies who had moisturiser or olive oil applied to them once a week were 20 per cent more likely to develop allergies to foods such as egg and peanuts.

This likelihood increased by a fifth for every additional application – meaning moisturising every day of the week could raise the risk by 140 per cent.

Scientists believe some moisturisers may damage the skin barrier, allowing allergens contact with the skin immune system more easily. 

Researchers at St George's, University of London and King's College London found that babies who had moisturiser or olive oil applied to them once a week were 20 per cent more likely to develop allergies to foods. (Stock image)

Researchers at St George's, University of London and King's College London found that babies who had moisturiser or olive oil applied to them once a week were 20 per cent more likely to develop allergies to foods. (Stock image)

Researchers at St George’s, University of London and King’s College London found that babies who had moisturiser or olive oil applied to them once a week were 20 per cent more likely to develop allergies to foods. (Stock image)

They also suggest that parents with allergens on their hands from cooking and eating may inadvertently expose their infant to these when applying the moisturiser.

Researchers at St George’s, University of London and King’s College London looked at the effects of moisturisers on more than 1,300 three-month-old babies.

Parents were asked how often they moisturised their infant and what product they used, with olive oil the most common.

Children were then assessed for allergies including milk, peanut, sesame, fish, egg and wheat at one and three years old.

Researchers, whose findings were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, stressed moisturisers are still effective but urged parents to wash their hands first.

Scientists believe some moisturisers may damage the skin barrier, allowing allergens contact with the skin immune system more easily. (Stock image)

Scientists believe some moisturisers may damage the skin barrier, allowing allergens contact with the skin immune system more easily. (Stock image)

Scientists believe some moisturisers may damage the skin barrier, allowing allergens contact with the skin immune system more easily. (Stock image)

Dr Michael Perkin, paediatric allergist at St George’s university, said: ‘This study does not say that parents should stop moisturising their children.

‘The results have raised concerns that there may be something in the act of moisturising that could raise the risk of food allergy development, but we need further work to establish why this might be the case.

‘In the meantime, we recommend parents wash their hands before moisturising their babies as a precautionary measure. Of course, if children have skin conditions, treatment guidance should still be followed.’

Source: Daily Mail |World News

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