The researchers at Sweden's Queen Silvia Children's Hospital quizzed the parents of 6-month old babies born in western Sweden in 2003 about their child's diet and any evidence of allergic eczema. They were quizzed again when the children reached the age of 12 months.
The children were all part of an ongoing health study, Infants of Western Sweden, which is tracking the long-term health of almost 17,000 babies.
Complete birth data and two sets of questionnaires were obtained for almost 5,000 of the 8,000 families contacted. Thirteen percent of families said their youngest child had already developed eczema at 6 months.
The study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, found diary products, breast feeding and having a pet in the household had no correlation, but having a relative with eczema did. However, the introduction of fish into the diet before the age of 9 months cut the risk of developing the disease by 25 percent.