HealthDay News — Early application of emollients to infants at high risk for atopic dermatitis is an effective preventive strategy, according to research published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology.

Junqin Liang, from the People’s Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Urumchi, China, and colleagues conducted a network meta-analysis to compare different emollients for preventing infant atopic dermatitis. Data from 11 studies were analyzed. Three types of emollients were compared: cream, emulsion, and mixed types.

The researchers found that early application of emollients effectively prevented atopic dermatitis development in high-risk infants based on direct meta-analysis (risk ratio, 0.64). In a network meta-analysis, emollient emulsion was suggested as the better option for preventing infant atopic dermatitis development, with a surface under the cumulative ranking curve of 82.6%, 78.0%, and 79.2% for all populations, high-risk populations, and populations with food sensitization, respectively. Adverse events were experienced more frequently by individuals receiving emollients.

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“The results of this systematic review and network meta-analysis show that early application of skin emollients can effectively prevent atopic dermatitis development in infants,” the authors wrote. “Moreover, among the available 3 types of emollients, the emollient emulsion is probably the optimal option in infancy to prevent atopic dermatitis development more effectively.”

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