This is a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, & thank you to EndEczema for directing me to the original study. From what I’ve read in UK online news, the results of the study are:
1. Babies given antibiotics in the 1st year are more likely (40%) to develop eczema
2. The reason is not fully known, though “One potential explanation is that broad-spectrum antibiotics alter the gut microflora and that this in turn affects the maturing immune system in a way that prompts allergic disease development,” said researcher Dr Teresa Tsakok, who works at St Thomas’s hospital in London.(taken from Guardian).
3. Study is based on systematic review of 20 studies, not a ‘study’ in itself.
4. Nina Goad, spokeswoman for British Association of Dermatology, said this study did not imply withholding antibiotics when necessary, but instead provide insight into possible causes of eczema.
5. Caution is this review does not necessarily indicate a causal relationship, because it could be eczema children require antibiotics as they have a higher chance of skin infection.
As to the gut flora being linked with eczema, there’s increasing evidence of there being a link between gut flora, skin flora and immune system though the exact mechanism of how it affects and what to do to prevent eczema is still not known. For more on diet studies, refer to Diet and Eczema Studies.
Update on July 2015 study that concluded eczema could lead to an increased infection risk, with a possible reason due to lack of microbial exposure during critical periods in early postnatal life… and overprescription of antibiotics could have a direct effect on the susceptibilities of organisms to commonly used antimicrobials.