The Link Between Eczema and Asthma: Are They Related?

Eczema and asthma are both linked to inflammation that is often caused by a strong reaction to environmental allergens. This connection between the two is known as the atopic triad. Studies have shown that if one or both parents have eczema, asthma, or seasonal allergies, their child is more likely to have eczema. In addition, children with the disease may be at increased risk of developing allergies or asthma.

The human body can develop in ways that cause other problems. For example, extrasensitive lungs can cause asthma, an overly sensitive immune system can cause allergies, and weak skin barriers can cause eczema. Research suggests that people with eczema, particularly atopic dermatitis, have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders. Keeping skin well hydrated is essential for people with eczema, as the skin's moisture barrier is damaged.

People who develop atopic dermatitis tend to come from families with allergies and allergy-related conditions, such as asthma. There is debate about whether atopic gait always occurs for atopic dermatitis, food allergies, hay fever, and then asthma. Doctors used to think that eczema was just a sign of an allergic reaction: the body overreacted to a harmless allergen, such as pollen or dandruff. It is especially important to seek help if symptoms are severe, such as if eczema opens and bleeds, allergies cause breathing difficulties, or asthma attacks are severe or frequent.

There are many triggers for eczema, ranging from pollen, dust, and skin products to excessive heat, stress, or sweating. While you can't always prevent outbreaks of eczema or asthma attacks, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. By comparison, the incidence rate of asthma among the general population is only 9 percent in children and 7 percent in adults. Usually, this progression of diseases begins with eczema, then food allergies, asthma and allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever).

People who do not produce enough of certain proteins lose more water from the skin, leading to dryness and itching of eczema. Eczema refers to many different skin conditions that cause redness, irritation, and small fluid-filled bumps. Doctors call the progression of eczema or atopic dermatitis to respiratory problems atopic gait. Researchers are still uncovering details about the causes of eczema that may lead to better treatments.

Riya Hutchings
Riya Hutchings

On a quest to combat Contact Dermatitis!