Are Eczema And Asthma Related?


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Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
Yes, they are. Many people suffer from both conditions, which usually start causing symptoms in early childhood. Eczema affects the skin, leading to damaged areas that allow entry of substances that cause allergies and microorganisms that cause infections.

Some of the substances that enter the body through these broken areas in the skin cause a general allergic reaction in the whole body. When that substance continues to be encountered by the skin, more soreness and redness develops causing itching, scratching and more damage. It's a viscous cycle. When that substance is breathed in, the immune response to the allergen also occurs in the airways ~ causing the breathlessness and coughing that is typical of asthma.

Typical allergens include the droppings of dust mites, pollen from flowers or grasses, skin particles from pets such as cats and dogs and spores from moulds and fungus. Exposure to these substances causes cells called mast cells in the skin and airways to release packets of histamine. This protein is usually for the body's protection but, in people who are allergic, they go into overdrive and cause a response that is way over the top.

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