A link has been discovered between a common gene defect and eczema, nasal blockage, and wheeze among babies as young as six months old. Filaggrin is a protein that is present in the skin and nasal cavity and helps maintain the skin barrier. Previous studies has shown that defects in the gene synthesizing filaggrin are strongly linked to developing eczema and how serious eczema and asthma get over childhood and throughout life.
Some of the babies with these gene defects could be getting primed from birth or soon after for a life of suffering from allergy related disease. The GO-CHILD study recruited 2312 pregnant women in England and Scotland who gave a cord blood sample at birth or saliva in infancy for genotyping of babies. A letter was sent out as a follow up for symptoms such as dry skin, eczema, and nasal blockage ar 6, 12, and 24 months. Gene defects made eczema, wheeze, and nasal blockage worse at 6 months. Defects were affecting eczema at one year but weren't worsening wheeze or nasal blockage. At two years, eczema and nasal blockage worsened, but wheeze didn't. The use of simple emollients from birth targeted towards those who have these gene defects may help correct this problem, alleviating suffering in infancy and life. Since some aren't affected, a defective outer barrier in skin and mouth could make some babies more vulnerable than others.