Smearing 'good bacteria' on the skin of eczema sufferers eases their symptoms by more than 50 percent, new research suggests.
Within weeks of spraying a solution containing the bacteria Roseomonas mucosa on affected areas, six out of 10 adults and four out of five children with eczema see their skin improve by more than 50 percent, a study found today.
Such eczema sufferers also rely less on conventional treatments, such as steroids, and experience no side effects, the research adds.
Previous research suggests eczema sufferers tend to have large populations of the 'bad bacteria' Staphylococcus aureus on their skin, which has been linked to infections and inflammation.
Although the researchers did not speculate why 'good bacteria' benefits eczema patients, it may 'outcompete' bad bacteria on their skin.
Lead author Dr Ian Myles, from the National Institutes of Health, said: 'By applying bacteria from a healthy source to the skin of people with atopic dermatitis, we aim to alter the skin microbiome in a way that will relieve symptoms and free people from the burden of constant treatment.'
Worldwide, eczema affects around 20 percent of children and three percent of adults.
Smearing 'good bacteria' on eczema sufferers' skin eases their symptoms by over 50% (stock)
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to redness, blistering, oozing, scaling and thickening.
It usually appears in the first few months of life and affects around 10 per cent of babies.
Eczema's cause is not fully understood but it is thought to be brought on by the skin's barrier to the outside world not working properly, which allows irritants and allergy-inducing substances to enter.
It may be genetic due to the condition often running in families.
As well as their skin being affected, sufferers may experience