and Abstract for the SEAL (Stopping Eczema and ALlergy) Study Food allergy (FA) is an epidemic among children in the U.S., U.K., and other countries. There is increasing evidence that epicutaneous allergen sensitization through a dysfunctional skin barrier results in allergic responses whereas early consumption of food allergens induces oral tolerance, as described by the dual allergen exposure hypothesis. In the Learning Early About Peanut LEAP and Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) studies, dry skin and the severity and the duration of eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) in the 1st year of life were predictors of peanut allergy (PA) and sensitization. In the SEAL study, we aim to intervene very early in a high-risk infant group, as soon they have the earliest onset of dry skin or eczema in the 1st 10 weeks of life, but before they have developed allergies. By reducing the duration and severity of eczema and preventing eczema exacerbations, we aim to prevent epicutaneous allergen sensitization and significantly reduce the incidence of FA. Our primary objective is to test if the combination of trilipid skin emollient use early in life with proactive topical steroids decreases the prevalence of FA compared to controls. We propose a randomized (1:1), controlled trial design for infants with dry skin or eczema (n=750 total) to compare the effect of proactive treatment against a reactive treatment group for the prevention of FA, by reducing dry skin, and the severity and duration of eczema in early infancy. We will test our hypothesis with the following specific aims using world-class clinical research units known for excellent recruitment and retention of patient cohorts, mechanistic testing, and state of the art research.
Specific Aim 1 : To determine if proactive versus reactive treatment will reduce the occurrence of FA in a prospective, randomized, and controlled intervention trial of infants with eczema.
Specific Aim 2 : To test whether the skin of children in the proactive treatment will show improved epithelial barrier markers with increased commensal bacteria colonization.
Specific Aim 3 : To determine whether proactive treatment will be associated with protective immune responses. If the aims are achieved, our proposal will make a clinical impact by providing a new, clinical strategy to prevent the occurrence of FA in young infants that present with the earliest signs of dry skin or eczema.

Public Health Relevance

for the SEAL (Stopping Eczema and ALlergy) Study Food allergy (FA) is an epidemic among children in the U.S., U.K., and other countries. By reducing dry skin, the duration and severity of eczema and preventing eczema exacerbations with skin barrier protection and anti-inflammatory creams, we aim to significantly reduce the incidence of food allergy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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Dong, Gang
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Stanford University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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