Parents with Allergies Often Have Kids with Eczema
- Posted on: Mar 15 2019
While there has always been some cloudiness in the minds of most people between what is dermatitis and what is an allergy, studies show there is a relationship. If parents get hay fever or other allergies, it’s more likely their kids will have eczema, and then in their adult years will be more likely to develop allergies.
The link isn’t quite understood, but knowing it’s there is helpful. Dr. Musick helps patients with both dermatitis and seasonal allergies.
Who gets eczema?
Eczema is the term for a few different skin conditions, but it usually refers to a common skin disease called atopic dermatitis. This causes a dry, itchy, red rash. Over time the skin in the affected areas can become thick and darker.
Most people with eczema get it as kids. It’s usually worst as infants and in over half of kids their fare-ups stop by their teenage years. The rest of that group will continue to have eczema as adults, but their symptoms will usually be milder. It’s less common for adults to get eczema for the first time.
What’s the link?
Most types of eczema are not allergies, but eczema can flare up when the person is around typical allergic reaction producers like pollen and pet dander. Children with eczema are also more likely to have food allergies, such as to nuts or milk.
The eczema/allergy connection is thought to come from genes. People with eczema have a gene flaw that causes a lack of a type of protein, called filaggrin, in their skin. It helps form the protective outer layer of our skin and keeps out germs and more. A lack of filaggrin dries out and weakens that skin barrier. Without the barrier, the skin is vulnerable to irritants, such as soaps, cosmetics, or detergents. It also makes it easier for allergens to get into the body.
Research has shown that people with eczema also have a defect in their skin barrier. Small gaps in the skin make it dry out quickly, and let germs and allergens enter the skin. When these allergens enter the skin the body responds by making chemicals that cause redness and swelling, in other words, inflammation. There is also a problem with a type of white blood cell that releases chemicals that help control allergic reactions in the body. That’s why people with eczema can have outbreaks when they are around allergens.
Dermatitis is still somewhat of a mystery to researchers, but if you have a child with it, or if you still have outbreaks, please call Dr. Musick at (618) 628-2588. He can help you manage your symptoms.
Posted in: Eczema