Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology
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Barrier Enhancement for Eczema Prevention (The BEEP Study)


Are you interested in helping prevent eczema in babies?

If you are expecting a baby (or have very recently had a baby) and there is eczema, asthma or hayfever in your family, then you might be eligible to take part in the BEEP study (View leaflet PDF format).

The BEEP study aims to find out whether skin care advice including applying emollients can prevent eczema in newborn babies compared with skin care advice alone.

Most families are enrolled into the study during pregnancy, as this gives you and us more time to get things arranged, but if your baby was born within the last couple of weeks, it might still be possible to enrol. Please see the links under 'How to get involved'.

Media coverage


Watch a report on the BEEP study by BBC East Midlands Today on 27 August 2015.  


Key facts

1. Why should we do this study?

Having eczema can have a big impact on people’s lives and because there is no cure, we would like to find a way to prevent eczema developing in children. We don’t know whether adding in emollients to the skin care advice given to parents is effective in preventing eczema, and the only way to find out is by doing this study.


2. How many families will take part in the BEEP study?

We are looking for 1300 babies who have asthma, eczema or hayfever in the immediate family for this study.


3. Who is eligible to take part?

We are looking for families who are expecting a baby, and where at least one person in the immediate family has (or had in the past) eczema, asthma or hayfever.

Ideally, we would like families to contact us during pregnancy if they are interested in taking part. This gives you plenty of time to think carefully about the study and ask questions about what it means to take part before the hectic time around the birth. It is possible to join after your baby is born, but you need to contact us within a couple of weeks of delivery.

4. How long will the study last for?

The study will be open for families to join until the end of 2016. 


5. What is involved in taking part?

Each family will take part in the study for up to 5 years. The study nurse will carry out a skin assessment when your child is around 2 years of age and this can either be at your home or the hospital, whichever you prefer. We will also ask each family to fill in some short questionnaires approximately once or twice a year until your child’s fifth birthday. Although this may seem like a long time, it is important that we look at the long term effectiveness to answer the question properly. 



6. Where is the study taking place?  

The BEEP study is taking place in the following areas:

  • Nottingham
  • London
  • Sheffield
  • Derby
  • Leicester
  • Portsmouth
  • Harrogate
  • Burton
  • York
  • Mansfield
  • Bristol

If you live in or around one of these areas, and are interested in joining the study or just want to find out more about it, please contact us.


7. Who is funding the study?

This study is funded by the Department of Health. It is led by Professor Hywel Williams at the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, The University of Nottingham, and coordinated by The Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit.




Contact us

How to get involved

To register your interest in the BEEP study or to find out more, please use our contact form. There is more information in our BEEP study leaflet PDF format.

Alternatively, email us on beep@nottingham.ac.uk or telephone 0115 884 4937.


How should an incident case of atopic dermatitis be defined? A systematic review of primary prevention studies




BEEP Study protocol registered

On 25th July 2014, the BEEP study protocol was registered on the ISRCTN clinical trial registry. The unique identifier is ISRCTN21528841.


BEEP study given ethical approval to go ahead

On the 9th June 2014, the ethics committee (NRES Committee West Midlands – Solihull) gave approval for the BEEP study to go ahead (reference 14/WM/0162)






Funding Acknowledgement

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme (project number 12/67/12).

Department of Health Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Health Technology Assessment programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.




Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 823 1048