Many parents are frustrated by their child’s eczema and dietary triggers. Commonly, parents will notice that cow’s milk will cause their child’s eczema to flare up. So they look for alternative formulas. One question parents have is regarding the benefits of goats milk for babies with eczema. In this article, I will present some evidence which shows that goat’s milk can help children with eczema. As always, consult with your child’s pediatrician first before starting a new food group or formula.

Is goat milk safe to drink for eczema

Goat’s milk can be helpful for eczema, but like everything else with food allergies and eczema, the decision to try is individualized. There is not a lot of research showing whether goat’s milk can be tried for eczema. The research that I could find is mostly anecdotal and case studies done by naturopathic medicine doctors. There are not many robust and big meta-analysis studies. A few case studies have reported that drinking goat’s milk as a substitute to cow’s milk may benefit infants in reducing the incidence of eczema.

goats milk for babies with eczema

What are the reasons for considering goat milk?

If your child has a known cow’s milk allergy, then goats milk for babies with eczema can be considered. A case study showed that a patient developed eczema after her mother transitioned from breastfeeding to cow’s milk.  The child did not have specific identifiable eczema triggers, so the decision was made to modify diet. One modification was to shift from cow’s milk to goat’s milk. The CoMiSS (Cow’s Milk Symptom Score) evaluation tool was used to quantify symptoms of allergy. Basically, there was improvement after the mother had shifted from cow’s milk to goat’s milk.

How does goat milk compare to other types of milk?

Goat’s milk was found to be easier to digest than cow’s milk according to one study. Also the fat in goat milk is more easily absorbed than cow’s milk, leading to softer stools. Infants who were fed goat milk had stool that appeared soft which is very similar to stools for breast-fed children.

Can goat milk formula help reduce eczema?

Since goat milk may be easier to digest than cow’s milk, goat milk may reduce the risk of developing eczema. This is especially true after weaning an infant. Proteins that are easier to digest limit irritation to the gut mucosa. This may be the reason why there is a reduction in the incidence of allergy symptoms in goat milk fed children when compared to those that have cow milk in their diet. There is still ongoing research to further validate this statement.

What are the disadvantages and drawbacks of goat milk?

One of the disadvantages of goats milk for babies with eczema is the taste and smell. It has a sweet, salty musky taste that may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds. Goat’s milk is generally easier to digest than cow milk, but it can still cause bloating and digestion issues for some people. Goat milk also lacks vitamin B12, iron, folate, and Vitamin D. Supplementation may be needed for children to achieve their required daily needs. Also, it can be more expensive than cow’s milk and may not be readily available for everyone. You may also consider other formula that can help eczema. 

What nutritional benefit does goat milk provide?

 Goat milk has a balanced amount of omega-3, which has many health benefits. Omega 3 is beneficial for cardiovascular health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. We can translate that benefit to eczema and atopic dermatitis since these are chronic conditions related to inflammation. Goat milk also has more oligosaccharides (non-digestible carbohydrates) than cow’s milk. These oligosaccharides act as prebiotics for gut mucosa which helps in the maintenance of the health of the digestive tract and helps promote good gut bacteria.

Why is goat milk good for eczema?

There are several reasons for why goat milk can be good for eczema. Because it contains omega 3 and it has the anti-inflammatory properties, it can help eczema by reducing inflammation. There are several cases reports that support the improvement of eczema using goat milk. These improvements were quantified using the CoMISS scoring system. Also, goat milk may be easier to digest and thus less irritating to the gastrointestinal mucosa. Stools are softer and looser compared to cow’s milk.

Conclusion 

For parents frustrated by their child’s eczema and the lack of improvement despite standard recommendations, goat milk can be considered. Some reports have stated that goat milk is similar to cow milk so they should be avoided. With that said, there are some parents that have found it to be true and other parents that have found goat milk to help their child with eczema. Goat milk for toddlers and children with eczema can be helpful, but we must remember that every child is unique and different. What works for one child may not work for another. It’s always important to talk to your child’s pediatrician or doctor before starting a new food group or formula. More research is needed before a definitive and standard recommendation for goat milk can be given. In the meantime it may be considered under the supervision of a medical professional. I hope this article gives you more information about goat milk for your child.