The effect of essential fatty acids on atopic eczema is controversial. Some workers have reported that patients with atopic eczema improved following oral treatment with evening primrose oil (an oil with a high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid), but others have disputed this. This study was designed to look at the effect of evening primrose oil as a long-term oral supplementation for children with atopic eczema. Treated children dramatically improved their clinical condition after 4 weeks of therapy, and this improvement was maintained during the whole period of treatment (20 weeks). At the same time, modifications in plasma, neutrophil and lymphocyte fatty acid composition were detected.