Study short name


Study full name

THE PEBBLES STUDY: A randomised controlled trial to prevent eczema, food allergy and sensitisation using a skin barrier improvement strategy

Principle Investigator

Adrian Lowe

Administering Institute

University of Melbourne

Major funding source

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Study focus


Study design


Main study aim

We are aiming to find out if infant skin management with a particular cream, called EpiCeram™, might help reduce the chances that a child will develop allergies.

Additional study information

Eczema is often the first sign that an infant has allergies, and infants with eczema often go on to develop food allergies and other allergic diseases and asthma. It is likely that eczema allows substances from the environment (allergens) to be exposed to the immune system through the damaged skin, resulting in allergies (sensitisation). EpiCeram™ is a cream that has been designed to help build up the skin’s ability to be a barrier against the environment. This treatment contains the major components of human skin at physiological concentration. Our study intends to find out if building and maintaining infants’ skin barrier function can prevent eczema and food allergies and eventually asthma.

Study population

0-3 week old infants with family history allergy.  Specifically, either one or both of the baby’s biological parents and/or siblings must suffer from any of the following conditions; asthma, eczema/atopic dermatitis, hayfever/allergic rhinitis or food allergy.

Study status

Recruitment closed.

Page last updated

15 September 2022