Using milk proteins to treat eczema

Dr Nic West

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

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

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 the potential to reduce or prevent atopic dermatitis (eczema),” says Griffith Health Institute researcher Dr Nicholas West.

The 12-week pilot study will start next Tuesday (17 June) at the St George Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centre in Kogarah, Sydney under dermatologists Associate Professor Stephen Shumack and Dr Phillip Tong. It is seeking to recruit 45 people aged 18-55 in the Sydney 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 cent of adults suffer from eczema.

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

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

Dr West said that the impetus for the latest study was the positive results seen during an earlier 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 experienced a 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 this supplement for those with eczema,” said Dr West.

“We hope that patients may be able to take this natural treatment on a regular basis or alternatively 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: eczemastudy@gmail.com Website: http://www.griffith.edu.au/health/griffith-health-institute/clinical-trials