Is Eczema Caused by Allergies?
Short answer: No. Long answer: It’s complicated…
It would be closer to say that eczema is related to allergies. If they were in a family, they would be cousins. Many eczema children and adults also tend to suffer from other conditions related to allergies such as asthma and hay fever. If your eyes start to water and your nose starts to run during the spring, then there is good to mid chance that you also have eczema.
Eczema, hay fever, and asthma fall into the group of non-contagious diseases nicknamed the Atopic Triad (AKA the Atopic March, the Allergic Triangle, the Allergic March). There is a family tendency to develop these conditions. If you have eczema, asthma, or suffer from hay fever, odds are that your children will as well. These conditions tend to be caused by a hypersensitivity to certain stimuli. Up to 71.3% of people who suffer from one of these conditions suffer from at least one other. This means that, if your child develops eczema, you may want to prepare for them to also develop asthma or multiple allergies. One condition sort of builds on the other, with the foundation being eczema. You can think of eczema as an early warning sign. Our suggestion is that, if you have an eczema child, that you should have them tested for some of the most common food allergies when they get a little older.
The exact cause of eczema, and the rest of the atopic triad, is currently unknown but the biggest commonality is that the condition is usually caused by an external trigger. In this way, allergies and asthma share a common treatment method with eczema: find the triggers. By eliminating any allergy or eczema triggers in your home, you can drastically improve you and your eczema kids’ quality of life.
Thankfully, there is also a bit of good news. First, as all of the conditions are related, there is a good chance that a medical breakthrough in one area could lead to one in another. As our medical science progresses, hopefully the atopic triad will soon be a thing of the past! Second, most cases of childhood eczema and asthma tend to clear up as your kids get a little older. Sadly, this isn’t a guaranteed, because allergies tend to ebb and flow like the tide. Your worst childhood allergy might completely fade by the time you are an adult. On the flip side of that coin, your favorite food could also suddenly become a huge allergy trigger at the age of 40. You just never know.
The bottom line is that, if your kids have eczema, it is a very good idea to keep a close eye on them as they grow to make sure that no other conditions develop. If they do, head to your doctor immediately. The earlier you can treat a medical condition, the better.