Sept. 13, 2022 -- Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have used a simple tape test to help predict whether a newborn is likely to develop severe eczema.
Researchers used tape to painlessly sample the skin of 450 babies and discovered immune biomarker changes in cells that were linked with risk of developing the skin disease.
“Babies with elevated levels of Thymus and Activation-Regulated Chemokine (TARC) at 2 months were found to be more than twice as likely to develop eczema by the age of 2 years,” an EADV press release said.
That means the newborns at high risk could be given skin cream early to prevent getting painful flare-ups later, the BBC reported.
The findings are being presented at the 31stEuropean Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress.
"The study will help us investigate and create future preventative strategies for children with elevated TARC levels to help stop the development of this common and debilitating disease, which is an exciting prospect,” said Anne-Sofie Halling, one of the study’s authors and researchers.
Eczema affects up to 20% of children. It makes the skin dry, itchy, and sore.
Treatment can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.