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Is Eczema Genetic?

Is Eczema Genetic?

Eczema is a chronic condition with an established cure at this time. Unlike many conditions for which there is a cure, eczema is not caused by bacteria, virus, or fungi, but is considered to be a genetic tendency that predisposes affected individuals to dry and sensitive skin with a weakened barrier function.

Genetic Factors

A tendency for eczema often runs in families. Children whose parents had or have eczema will often develop eczema themselves. Called the atopic triad, eczema, along with hay fever and asthma are related diseases. They share increased sensitivity to environmental irritants, and thus often react to substances that most others wouldn't react to.

As these are genetic tendencies, finding a definitive cure is challenging as it isn't simply a matter of eliminating a bacteria from the body.

Environmental Factors

While genetic factors are difficult to control, eczema has a strong environmental factor that influences when the symptoms come to the forefront. Eczema patients often have triggers that worsen their condition. Common triggers include allergens like dust, dander, and pollen, and in some cases food allergies.

Eczema patients also tend to be more sensitive to pollution, and slight changes in temperature and humidity levels. Although not all environmental factors can feasibly be controlled, efforts to manage exposure can reduce flares and minimize the symptoms of eczema.

Regular moisturizing also protects the skin and strengthens the skin barrier, helping eczema patients cope better with the environment.

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