Baby sticky tape skin test could predict risk of eczema
A team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark have designed a sticky tape skin test which could help predict if young babies are likely to develop bad eczema, according to BBC News.
The team used the test on a group of two-month-olds to painlessly collect and then examine skin cell samples. They found detectable immune biomarker changes in the cells that were linked with future eczema risk. They suggest that babies at high risk may benefit from early treatment with skin creams to avoid painful flare-ups.
The infants with elevated levels of Thymus and Activation-Regulated Chemokine in their skin cells were found to be more than twice as likely to develop atopic eczema by the age of two, compared to the other babies in the study.
Dr Anne-Sofie Halling from the Bispebjerg Hospital at the University of Copenhagen said: "To our knowledge, this is the first to show that non-invasively collected skin biomarkers can be used to predict the subsequent onset and severity of paediatric atopic eczema."
"It is also at this age we were able to identify both immune and lipid biomarkers that predicted the development of atopic eczema.”
"Our findings of predictive immune and lipid biomarkers collected at two months of age will help identify children at highest risk of atopic eczema using a noninvasive and painless method, so future preventive strategies can target these children only and prevent cases of this common disease that so many children are suffering from."
Eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, and sore. This condition affects about one in five children in the UK. The most common type is called atopic eczema, which often develops alongside other allergy-related conditions, such as hay fever and asthma. Severe eczema can have a detrimental impact on quality of life, and there is no cure for the condition.