Genetics Plays Key Role in Eczema


Genetics and Allergic DiseasesLike many health issues and conditions, the primary determining factors are genetics and the environment. Both are not weighted equally in any given situation, but both play a role in the development of most medical conditions and diseases. Even when the specific causes of a condition, like allergies, asthma and eczema, are unknown, evidence is strong that these two factors are important. A recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests a very strong link between parents with allergic diseases and the chances of their same sex offspring in developing allergic diseases.

_Using a combination of IgE blood tests, skin prick tests and close examination of parental history, researchers studied parents and monitored their children for their entire childhood. In collecting and analyzing the data they found that when a mother had asthma or eczema their female children demonstrated a nearly 50% increase in the risk of developing that same condition. The same was not true for male children. However, this a near identical increase in risk was seen when examining paternal conditions and their male offspring. Simply put, if a mother had asthma or eczema, her daughter was 50% more likely to develop the same condition. Her son, saw little to no appreciable increase in risk. If a father had asthma or eczema, his son was 50% more likely to develop the same disease while his daughter was not.

_This is important for two reasons. In the more long term, it more clearly defines the genetic link between parents and children when it comes to allergic diseases. The genetics behind conditions like eczema will ultimately be key in preventing them. In the short term, because this link has been more readily defined, it could make it easier in the future to diagnose allergies and eczema. Patient history is a critical factor in determining asthma but even more so for allergies. Blood and skin prick tests can show sensitivities but it is not until a doctor sees the full picture of the patient's medical and family history that a most accurate diagnosis can be given.

_To read an abstract of the study.

_To view eczema friendly personal care products.

_Author: Kevin Gilmore

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