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Eczema and Allergies – is there a link?

July_2017One of the things that makes living with eczema so challenging is how complicated it can all get. Different triggers for different people, flare-up frequency and intensity changing with the weather, or the way in which seemingly unrelated issues can actually be connected.

One seemingly unlikely connection researchers are currently exploring is how eczema may be linked to seasonal allergies. In fact, 35% of adults who had eczema as children go on to develop asthma or seasonal allergies, and children currently struggling with eczema can find the symptoms of both to be aggravated.

So what, exactly, is the connection? As with so many eczema questions, the truth is still being uncovered. What is known is that eczema, like allergies, is a condition in which the immune system overreacts to perceived threats. And what’s more, the way in which the body deals with eczema and allergies can actually create a tricky spiral of symptoms that build on one another.

While not true of all people with eczema, many have a genetic condition in which their skin exhibits a lack of filaggrin. In simple terms, missing proteins weaken the skin’s protective barrier, which is the body’s first defense against pollen, dust mites, and other allergens. As you might expect, this can lead to the usual allergy symptoms of watery eyes, sinus activity, and itchy skin. But it’s the body’s harder-to-see, microscopic reactions—namely the elevated white blood cell and antibody activity—that can cause an eczema flare-up, and in this way further weaken the skin’s protective barrier.

Much like the stress-flareup-stress cycle of psoriasis, this allergy-flareup-allergy cycle with eczema can be a tricky one to deal with, especially for children. Scratch Me Not’s article Spring Allergies and Eczema has some great suggestions to get you started. Or to learn more about the science behind the eczema/allergy link, check out Does Your Eczema Flare During Allergy Season? and Allergies and Eczema: What’s the Link?

Itchy Skin – One Symptom of Many

Psoriasis is generally considered to be a skin disease. The word alone is practically synonymous with itchy, flaky skin. But it’s important to remember that psoriasis’s trademark symptoms are precisely that—symptoms. In his recent article “Effects of Psoriasis Not Confined to Skin,” Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff reminds us that, at its core, psoriasis is an […]

Preventing Eczema in Newborns: Mom’s Nutrition is Key

Back in September, 2016, we wrote on the challenges of eczema in infants, noting that 70% of eczema cases begin in children younger than five—and how around 60% of infants with eczema will continue to have symptoms into adulthood. Knowing this, expectant mothers will want to do everything they can to help reduce their newborn’s […]

Eczema Triggers: Tips for keeping your skin — and yourself — happy.

Much like psoriasis, eczema is an inflammatory condition that can result in itchy, scaly skin. It’s not curable, but it can be controlled — and one of the best things you can do is keep your eczema in check by knowing and avoiding your triggers. Triggers are external conditions that aggravate your eczema, resulting in […]

Eczema in Infants — Treatment and Prevention

It’s not an uncommon sight for new parents — an itchy, scaly patch on their baby’s cheeks, or uncomfortable-looking red areas in the folds of their skin. The fact is that 70% of eczema cases start in children younger than 5 years old, and around 60% of infants who have eczema will continue to have […]

Erectile Dysfunction and Psoriasis — What’s the Connection?

Scientists recently concluded a study of 382 men (191 with psoriasis and 191 without) to determine whether there’s a link between psoriasis and erectile dysfunction. Conducted at the Guangdong Provincial Dermatology Hospital in Guangzhou, China, the study found that 53% of subjects with psoriasis also suffered from erectile dysfunction, compared to only 40% of those […]

Diet and Psoriasis? Go With Your Gut

The Internet is full of helpful information to educate and assist people dealing with psoriasis. Scientific and medical research has made tremendous strides in identifying the challenges of—and solutions to—living with this inflammatory disease that affects millions of people around the globe. But when it comes to identifying clear links between diet and psoriasis flare-ups, […]

Psoriasis—More Than Just Skin Deep

First and foremost, psoriasis is a skin condition. But new studies are showing that this same condition that inflames and irritates the elbows, knees, and scalps of 125 million people worldwide can also have a negative impact on bone density, resulting in osteopenia and osteoporosis. The links between psoriasis and bone loss were first published […]

Who’s Ready for the Sun?

Spring is often a welcome change from the cold, dry months of winter—and the summer that follows even more so. This can be especially true for anyone dealing with psoriasis. The warmer air, the bright sun, and the humidity can all bring much-needed relief to otherwise dry and itchy skin. But while the nicer weather […]

Weight and Psoriasis — a clear link

Does weight gain lead to psoriasis, or is it the other way around? This question has been puzzling scientists for ages, but two things remain clear. Weight and psoriasis are indeed linked, and less of both is most certainly a good thing. Indeed, there is growing evidence that both psoriasis and weight gain may be […]

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