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New treatment for eczema trialled

24 May 2013

A UK-wide trial is about to get underway to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics in the treatment of atopic eczema - a debilitating skin condition which affects around one in three children nationally.

With the backing of a grant worth £1.2M, researchers at Cardiff University will compare the use of antibiotic syrup to antibiotic cream and placebos, in the treatment of eczema that is thought to be infected.

Chief Investigator, Dr Nick Francis of the Cardiff School of Medicine, said:

"Eczema affects up to a third of young children at some point in their lives, and can cause terrible suffering to children and their families.

"Eczema flares are sometimes thought to be caused by bacterial infections, but we do not know whether antibiotics reduce eczema severity in these children, and if so, whether antibiotic syrup or cream works better.

"Thousands of children receive antibiotic treatment for eczema every year. If these treatments work then we can promote use in those who are most likely to benefit, if not then we can avoid exposing children to the risks of unnecessary antibiotic treatment."

The Children with Eczema Antibiotic Management (CREAM) study will take place in over 90 general practices in Wales, Scotland and England.

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