Baby’s Eczema Risk Linked To Smoking During Late Pregnancy
Eczema is an allergic skin condition characterized by red, itchy skin and according to a new study it has a greater risk of incidence during infancy in case of mother exposure to tobacco smoke while in the last three months of pregnancy.
It is already known that mother exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy increases the child’s risk of developing a disease of the respiratory system like asthma or infections. Earlier studies that have been conducted in order to link exposure to smoke with eczema, until now revealev only inconclusive results. The connection was exposed by a new study that was conducted on more than 1,400 infants aged between 2 months and 18 months. Researchers noted all cases of eczema and collected information about allergic diseases and the level of exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and after, from the families of all the children participating in the study.
The result was very clear – the incidence rate of eczema increased among children exposed to tobacco smoke during their mother’s third trimester of pregnancy, but there was no notable difference between the incindece rate of eczema among the other groups of children: those that have not been exposed to tobacco smoke, those exposed to tobacco smoke during their mother’s first trimester and those exposed to tobacco smoke during the first six months after birth.
Dr. Kenji Matsumoto, the study’s senior editor explains that a contributing factor to developing eczema after birth might be explained by the fact the immune system’s development is affected by tobacco smoke exposure during the third trimester. The study did not focus on tobacco smoke exposure during infancy as a determinant eczema factor. Its purpose was only to show that an association between the two was found. “This also raises questions of whether or not tobacco smoke exposure may affect the innate immune responses of the skin,” he adds in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The results of this study are to be presented by Matsumoto and colleague Dr. Miwa Shinohara on Saturday during a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Orlando, Fla. Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.