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Probiotics for Eczema Treatment Study

Study Enrollments Closed

  •  Please note: We are no longer recruiting for this study. Field work is now complete, and data analysis is ongoing.


What is the study about?

We are trialling a probiotic ointment which has been developed to reduce symptoms of eczema.

Eczema has been associated with an imbalance in the naturally occurring skin bacteria.

This study uses the probiotic ointment with the aim of achieving a healthier balance of microbes on the skin.

This probiotic naturally occurs on the skin and is considered safe by the Communicable Disease Centre in the USA.

There is evidence that this probiotic has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and could be a natural alternative to topical steroids and antibiotics.

We want to find out if this probiotic ointment is an effective and acceptable product to treat eczema.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are helpful microbes that occur naturally in many foods such as yoghurt. They provide health benefits.

What does the study involve?

  • 4 study visits over 6 weeks
  • Applying the study ointment everyday
  • Keeping a short record of your eczema symptoms

You will be randomly assigned to one of two study groups. One group will receive ointment containing the probiotic. The other group will receive ointment that does not contain the probiotic

Who can take part in this study?

Adults  (age 16 to 60) with eczema who live in the Wellington region.

Please note: Some other criteria apply. This will be assessed over the phone by the research staff.

What are the benefits of taking part in this study?

  • Your symptoms of eczema may improve (although there is no guarantee of this).
  • You would be contributing to important research which helps us to better understand eczema.
  • We provide parking and petrol vouchers to contribute to travel costs.

Who is conducting this study?

This research is being conducted in Wellington by a group of experienced researchers from the University of Otago. This group have successfully completed similar large scale research projects using probiotics to prevent or improve eczema symptoms.

Dr Kristin Wickens, Epidemiologist
Professor Julian Crane, Director Wellington Asthma Research Group
Dr Thorsten Stanley, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Paediatrician
Ms Christine Barthow, Research Fellow/Nurse
Dr Caroline Shorter, Research Fellow
Mr Gordon Purdie, Biostatistician/Senior Research Fellow
Ms Fiona Hood, Research Assistant

Ethics & Funding

This study has been approved by the Northland Health and Disability Ethics Committee, and the Standing Committee of Therapeutic Trials.

It is primarily funded by the University of Otago.

Further Information

Published scientific papers of probiotic research completed by investigators:

A differential effect of 2 probiotics in the prevention of eczema and atopy

A protective effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 against eczema in the first 2 years of life persists to age 4 years

Is the effect of probiotics on atopic dermatitis confined to food sensitized children?

Early supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 reduces eczema prevalence to 6 years: does it also reduce atopic sensitization?

The Probiotics in Pregnancy Study (PiP Study): rationale and design of a doubleblind randomised controlled trial to improve maternal health during pregnancy and prevent infant eczema and allergy

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