Did you know that there is a strong association between eczema and food allergies? There are studies that have found that children with eczema have a 6x greater chance of developing food allergies than children without it. Studies show that 2 out of 3 people who have eczema may also develop food allergies.
Children with eczema are more likely to also develop seasonal allergies or asthma. These conditions are all classified as ‘atopic’, and doctors call the progression from one to the next the atopic march.
We are unclear about why allergies exist or what causes them, but the leading experts on this topic at NIH mention the following causes.
- Having a family history of allergies can increase the risk for the atopic march
- The dry and broken skin of eczema may allow entry of allergens across the skin barrier, increasing the risk of developing food allergies or respiratory allergies.
- Changes in the microbiome of the skin, airway, and gut may contribute to the atopic march.
The good news is that only a small number of children with eczema go on to follow the complete course of the atopic march. The other good news is that we have excellent success using natural therapies in people of all ages struggling with allergic conditions.
I start by identifying any triggers and minimizing exposure to those. We then use food, herbs, probiotics, and other supplements to support gut health, skin health, and respiratory health. All of these things help to decrease inflammation in the body and calm down the overactive immune response. Many times people can experience complete relief from their symptoms without any medication!
If you have any questions about eczema, allergies, or the atopic march, let’s talk!
Author Dr. Shyron Alston