Asthma and Eczema
Is there a relationship between asthma and eczema?
Based on purely superficial symptoms, you might not think eczema and asthma have much in common. One causes red, itchy, and inflamed skin and the other causes difficulties with breathing. However, the medical community has discovered that there appears to be a strong link between eczema and many respiratory diseases, including asthma. Both are caused by inflammation, either of the lungs or the skin. And allergens such as food, chemicals, pet dander, dust mites and pollen can act as a trigger for both conditions.
Some studies have shown that 50% to 70% of children who suffer from eczema will also develop childhood asthma. There seems to be a strong genetic link, from parents to children. If you or your spouse are or were an asthma sufferer, the odds are far greater that your children might develop eczema. There is also the possibility that if your child has eczema, they are also at greater risk to develop allergies. Medical professionals call this link the “atopic march”, a series of immune disorders that occur one after the other.
Now, of course, having eczema does not mean your child will develop asthma. However, eczema can act as an early warning sign that the child might also be at risk to develop respiratory issues and allergies. Remain alert and keep your doctor in the loop about any changes in your or your children’s’ condition. If you notice anything of concern, contact your child’s pediatrician immediately.
Studies have indicated that if you properly manage eczema it can prevent your child from developing additional allergic diseases such as asthma. Daily skin care is the utmost importance if your baby or child has eczema. It is extremely important to get the eczema under control as fast as possible. This can be easily done by bathing your child in lukewarm water (only use cleansers with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance) and immediately applying an eczema emollient followed by eczema clothing. This process is called wrapping eczema and has been done for hundreds of years to effectively treat mild to severe eczema. If the eczema is severe, doctors recommend damp wrapping the eczema to infuse the cracked skin with extreme moisture, allow the inflammation to go down and the skin to heal. Below is a diagram for bathing and wrapping your baby, child or toddler eczema.