(NBC News) A new study from the National Institutes of Health finds slathering the skin with a certain kind of bacteria can help cut down on the severe itching and fiery rashes associated with eczema.
In healthy skin billions of microbes live in a kaleidoscope of perfect harmony.
"In eczema, one of the things that's been noted is that there is a change in these populations of organisms - that actually there is decreased diversity," notes Dr. Adam Friedman of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Scientists think the skin's petri dish may need good bacteria called Roseomonas Mucosa.
Dr. Ian Myles and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland found the roseomonas spray helped eczema patients.
"It reduced their rash. It reduced their itching. It reduced the amount of topical steroids they felt that they needed to keep their disease under control," Dr. Myles says.
So far, not a cure, but potential for control.
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