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what is the atopic triad and eczema

What is the Atopic Triad and why is it important for eczema?

What is an Atopic Triad?

So, you have found out your child has eczema, so it’s the right time to let you know that eczema is commonly associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and food allergies and the Atopic triad refers to the genetic likelihood of developing these conditions together.

Children who have eczema are more likely to develop asthma and hay fever, and this is because they have their immune system can over-respond to allergens. The various conditions of the Atopic triad usually present early in life, soon after birth. The best way to deal with your child’s allergic conditions is to track down potential triggers and maintain a skincare routine that suits your child. Generally, eczema is the condition diagnosed first as part of the atopic triad, then hay fever and asthma.

Why do people get eczema and allergies?

There have been many questions of whether eczema and allergies are due to a problem with the skin barrier, which allows allergens to enter the body, triggering eczema, or vice versa – due to an over-active immune system that leads to inflammation and then a broken skin barrier, which results eczema. After several years of research, there has been evidence that there is a skin deficiency which allows allergens and irritants to more easily enter the skin. The environment also plays an important role in flare ups so watch out for what triggers your child’s eczema and try your best to avoid them.

The Atopic Triangle

The conditions of the Atopic triad are genetic, so there is a higher chance of your child having these skin conditions if you have suffered from them in the past.  Studies have shown that roughly 70% of those who suffer from one of the allergic conditions, may experience symptoms from another one of these conditions from the triad.

Signs that your child is suffering from the Atopic triad

Some of the early warning signs that your little one might show are:

  • The development of eczema from a very young age. Symptoms include, itchy dry skin, redness, rash, scaly and crusted sores.
  • Children may not develop all three conditions together, and may suffer from asthma and hay fever later in life, but it is important to be aware for their signs and triggers.
  • People who have hay fever mostly have their allergies triggered by pollen, dust and mould, especially during spring time. Some of the common symptoms include sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, and an itchy nose and throat.
  • You should watch out for any signs of asthma, such as coughing at night or during exercise, as well as having difficulty breathing, wheezing, breathing fast through the mouth or tight feeling in the chest. If you think your child may have asthma, please contact your doctor.

What can I do to manage my child’s symptoms?

  • Setting up an air purifier in your child’s room can help to keep the area clear of allergens and dust.
  • Wet dusting and regular vacuuming to decrease house dust mite.
  • Being aware of the pollen count especially during spring time when deciding how to spend your day.
  • The most important way of managing your child’s symptoms are to maintain an appropriate skin care routine by giving your child a daily bath to keep irritants away, providing a protective barrier to help reduce the risk of infection. And remember, moisturise moisturise moisturise.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

child have asthma eczema hayfever

What is the risk of my eczema child developing asthma and hay fever?

Eczema is commonly associated with hay fever, food allergies and asthma. Children who have eczema are more likely to suffer from asthma and hay fever because they are all connected in a group of diseases called the Atopic Triad . This refers to the genetic chance of your child having other conditions as well as eczema. Generally eczema is the condition diagnosed first as part of the atopic triad, then hay fever and asthma.

What is the link between eczema and asthma?

According to research, around 50-70% of children with eczema eventually develop asthma and both are associated with allergies and hay fever. Inflammation occurs in both and with asthma the inflammation happens in the lungs, and eczema on the skin. Researchers have discovered the gene that produces a protein that stops the skin becoming dry (filaggrin) isn’t effective in children who have eczema. Lack of filaggrin may also lead to foreign bodies entering your child’s lungs and result in asthma.

We do not know the exact cause of either of these conditions but we know that genetics play a part, so if you have a history of allergies, hay fever and asthma, there is a greater chance for your little one to develop eczema.

Studies also showed that:

  • Up to 80% of kids with eczema get hay fever or asthma later in childhood.
  • Approximately 35% of adults with asthma have had eczema when they were kids
  • Around 37% of kids with moderate to severe eczema, also have food allergies.

What is the link between eczema and hayfever?

Recent research suggests that a lack of filaggrin also increases the chance of experiencing hay fever. Children with eczema may have a defect in their skin barrier and these small gaps make the skin dry out quickly, allowing germs and allergens to enter the body, resulting in inflammation. If this inflammation reaches the lining of your child’s nose, it will cause a runny nose, resulting in hay fever. Histamine is also released as a result of pathogens entering the body, causing a stuffy nose, sneezing and increasing the risk of hay fever.

Another important reason to manage your child’s eczema

It is important to always remember to stick to your little one’s regular skincare routine because it provides a protective barrier from allergens and keeps moisture from escaping. This helps to lessen the risk of irritants entering the air passages of the lungs, which can result in asthma or hay fever.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.


Eczema and asthma

Managing your toddler’s asthma

Winter infections are made a little more serious if you have a toddler with asthma. We know if your toddler has eczema there is a higher chance they might also have asthma. In our house with two toddlers with eczema, only one of them, my eldest, also has asthma. Having been admitted to hospital a few times with chest infections made worse by asthma, there are a few extra things we do this time of year.

what is an asthma action plan?

Every six months our asthma action plan is updated by our pediatrician, but a GP would also be able to do this. Getting on top of our action plan is the first step we take to managing our toddler’s asthma in winter. Not only does it remind me of important steps to take, but also my toddler’s medication might be changed for the winter months.

Read more