'Friendly' bacteria found in yoghurt and health drinks have no effect on the symptoms of eczema and may occasionally cause gut problems, evidence suggests.
Researchers reviewed 12 studies involving nearly 800 children with eczema and found probiotics did nothing to ease itching and the rash. And in separate studies 46 patients reported side effects including infection and bowel damage.
Experts said more trials were needed into the long-term safety of their use. Eczema affects one in 20 people at some time in their lives and is increasingly common among children - a fifth of children in the UK now has eczema.
The causes are complex, but the finding that people with eczema have different bacteria in their guts from others has led to some doctors recommending probiotics to treat this skin problem.
But NIHR researcher Dr Robert Boyle, of Imperial College London, who carried out the review for the Cochrane Collaboration, says this is pointless.
Source - BBC