Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Eczema Gene


    Eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition that affects over 31 million Americans. While the condition develops in early childhood, one can be diagnosed with the condition at any point in their lifetime. While there is no cure for eczema, recent scientific breakthroughs are revealing more about the genetic background of the disease. A study conducted in August of 2020, showed that two main mutations occur in eczema patients involving the KIF3A gene and the FLG gene. The KIF3A gene is responsible for skin barrier function. The mutation on this gene is what causes the onset of atopic dermatitis and impaired skin barrier. In addition, mutations in this gene promote skin dehydration causing the eczema itch. Furthermore, the FLG gene mutation comes with an increased risk of developing asthma. This is why many eczema patients are also asthma patients. This gene mutation may also increase the risk of hay fever, food allergies, and skin sensitivities.

    Overall this study had groundbreaking findings that allow people to understand the genes involved in the development of eczema. Knowing which genes are mutated allows researchers to potentially find a cure for eczema, or at least be able to conduct better genetic testing to identify high-risk eczema in infants, and thus treat them accordingly.

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