Your Genes and What It Means For Eczema

in Understanding Eczema

Hereditary Genes

Scientists have yet to undeniably prove a genetic tendency toward eczema. Yet, it is clear that eczema has a tendency to run in families.

Scientists and health experts who have studied all forms of eczema under the assumption that there is a link between genetics and eczema have found many effective methods of treatment and prevention.

Everyone is unique. Every form of eczema is unique. However, the people who are closest to your unique disposition are your family members.

It would be foolish to not use this to your advantage. You can use the knowledge experts have learned about genetic eczema and your family’s own experiences to improve, and even cure, your eczema.

Probiotics

ProbioticsA recent study out of Finland has shown probiotics to be very effective at improving immune function and preventing eczema when there is a genetic tendency.

You may think that all bacteria are bad. In fact, there are some forms of bacteria, called probiotics, which actually improve your health. Probiotics flourish in your intestines, where immune function is regulated.

The Finland study showed that families with a history of eczema have very low concentrations of probiotics in their digestive tracks.

When given high doses of probiotics, the eczema patients had substantial improvement in the health of their skin as well as other immune functions.

If you believe your eczema runs in your family, you should incorporate probiotics into your eczema remedies. Yogurts are a great source of natural probiotics.

However, you can also find probiotic supplements in most grocery and health stores.

Over Sterilization

Over SterilizationWhen experts were unable to definitively prove a genetic link to eczema, they began to study other factors that would be of a familial nature, such as geographic location and socioeconomics.

It became clear that eczema had a tendency to appear in families that were either medium to high income or lived in areas where the population was predominately high income.

On the other hand, there was virtually no incident of eczema in families living in the poorest sections of the world. This is when the Hygiene Hypothesis was developed.

As you learned earlier, some bacteria is good for you. For thousands of years the human immune system has fought off and guarded against all forms of bacteria from the common cold to the plague.

Modern science has given us inoculations, anti-bacterial soaps, super-sanitizing detergents, and many other germ killers.

However, only families of means are able to effectively obtain and use these methods regularly. Therefore, each generation is exposed to fewer and fewer germs.

Although each generation has quickly become germ free, the immune system has not adapted. Without germs to fight, the immune system is free to overreact.

As soon as you encounter an allergen or irritant that would normally go unnoticed, the immune system starts a full-fledged attack on the substance which results in an eczema flare up.

This does not mean you should not practice good hygiene. You should always wash your hands and have all of the other hygiene habits to prevent infection and the spread of major diseases.

However, simple soap and water will do. You do not need the anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. You do not need to super bleach every surface you encounter.

Granted, you may catch a cold from time to time, but that is how your body should function normally. If your immune system can resume its traditional fight against common bacteria it will not overreact to eczema triggers.

Talk To Your Family

Family SupportYou will be surprised how much you can learn about which unique treatment for eczema will work for you by simply talking to your fellow family sufferers.

Those older than you have been dealing with the problem longer than you have. They may have found treatments that help them heal and prevent eczema better than others. They may also have a clue as to which allergens and irritants cause flare up.

While you cannot rely on your family to give you all of your treatment advice, it will get you started in the right direction.

Finally, take good notes of all of the eczema information you learn about your family. Keep good notes about your own journey too. If you ever have children, you will be giving them vital information that may help them stay eczema free.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dr Tim Howden April 5, 2011 at 6:30 am

Its great to read another professional group providing information about the underlying causes of this condition esp. the hygiene hypothesis. I am getting great results addressing these causes in the children I treat in clinic.

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