Probiotics may reduce eczema (atopic dermatitis) in children. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria (“friendly germs”) that keep potentially harmful bacteria and yeast under control. Probiotic supplements may reduce the incidence of atopic eczema in infants by as much as 50%. Probiotics may decrease gastrointestinal symptoms in children with eczema and may also reduce cow’s milk allergy and other allergic reactions during weaning from breastfeeding. In a new study, researchers randomly assigned 118 children ages 1-13 years to receive the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the average change in the atopic dermatitis score was significantly greater in the probiotics group than the placebo group. Furthermore, eosinophil count, which measures allergic reactions, was significantly lower at the end of the study in the probiotics group.