Vitamin D doesn't ward off baby eczema

But a little ray of sunshine may do the trick, says world-first Aussie study

Giving vitamin D supplements to babies doesn't stop them from developing eczema by the time they're six months old, but exposure to sunlight does reduce their chances of having the skin condition, an Australian study has found.

The West Australian researchers tested the effect of early vitamin D supplementation in babies with a family history of allergy.

They found vitamin D supplements made little difference to their chances of getting eczema compared to placebo, but sunlight exposure did have an impact.

In the study, 195 newborns were randomised to receive either vitamin D supplementation (400 IU per day) by oral drops or placebo until six months of age.

Supplementation did raise the infants' blood levels of vitamin D, according to the findings published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

In addition, 82 of the babies also wore a dosimeter to measure