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T. Tsakok, T.M. McKeever, L. Yeo and C. Flohr Does early life exposure to antibiotics increase the risk of eczema? A systematic review British Journal of Dermatology 169

Version of Record online: 31 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/bjd.12476

What's already known about this topic?

  • A number of studies have suggested that early life exposure to antibiotics may lead to an increased risk of subsequent eczema.

  • The evidence to date is conflicting and no systematic review has been conducted.

What does this study add?

  • Antibiotic exposure in early life may increase the risk of subsequent eczema by up to 40%, with broad-spectrum antibiotics having a more pronounced effect.
  • Each additional antibiotic course may confer a further 7% risk increase.
  • Antibiotics should be prescribed with caution, especially in high-risk children.

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