METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study that enrolled 256 mother–infant (≥6-months-old) pairs. Physician-diagnosed allergic diseases and perinatal/postnatal food consumption were assessed using self-questionnaires. Skin prick tests (SPTs) were performed using 1 mg/ml histamine and bifurcated needles, and wheal sizes 15 minutes after puncture were measured.
RESULTS: The SPT wheal sizes in infants with eczema/atopic dermatitis (n=51) were significantly larger than those in infants without eczema/atopic dermatitis (n=156; 4.4±2.1 mm vs. 3.7±1.8 mm, respectively, P=0.029). Among infants without eczema/atopic dermatitis, the SPT wheal sizes were significantly smaller in those with daily yogurt consumption (n=9) than in those without (n=146; 2.4±1.3 mm vs. 3.8±1.3 mm, respectively, P=0.014). Perinatal consumption of yogurt by the mothers showed no associations with SPT wheal sizes in both mothers and infants.
CONCLUSIONS: Daily yogurt consumption may reduce skin hypersensitivity to histamine and thereby reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis during infancy. The role of probiotics/yogurt consumption in the regulation of skin hypersensitivity to histamine warrants further study.