Using milk proteins to treat eczema

Dr Nic West

Reducing the severity of eczema using natural milk proteins is the focus of a researchstudy being conducted in Sydney by Griffith University and the St George Dermatologyand Skin Cancer Clinic.

The study will ask sufferers of the inflammatory skin condition to take a daily dose of twotablets containing milk-derived proteins. A significant benefit of the study is thatparticipants will receive specialist treatment with a dermatologist for the duration of thetrial.

Growing research

“Growing research into the effects of several whey-derived proteins (cow’s milk proteins)has indicated that they may have a number of health benefits for consumers including thepotential to reduce or prevent atopic dermatitis (eczema),” says Griffith Health Instituteresearcher Dr Nicholas West.

The 12-week pilot study will start next Tuesday (17 June) at the St George Dermatologyand Skin Cancer Centre in Kogarah, Sydney under dermatologists Associate ProfessorStephen Shumack and Dr Phillip Tong. It is seeking to recruit 45 people aged 18-55 in theSydney region with a diagnosis of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.

Currently it is believed that around 15-20 per cent of school age children and 2-10 per centof adults suffer from eczema.

“Unfortunately there is no known cure for eczema, but there is an increasingly widespreadfocus on the development of effective treatments for this extremely common condition.

“Topical cortico-steroids are the most common form of treatment for eczema, howeverthese can cause a range of side effects such as thinning of the skin and immunesuppression.”

Dr West said that the impetus for the latest study was the positive results seen during anearlier study which looked at the effects of milk proteins as a treatment for cold and flu.

By chance, it was observed that those trial participants suffering with eczema experienceda reduction in the severity of their skin condition.

“We would like to see in a clinical trial, whether there will be a significant benefit of thissupplement for those with eczema,” said Dr West.

“We hope that patients may be able to take this natural treatment on a regular basis oralternatively just use it in the event of a flare up to help settle it down.”

For further information please contact: Ms Sharyn Hutchinson, 02 9587 4277 or email:[email protected] Website: