The word eczema refers to skin problems that lead to inflammation and irritation. Studies reveal that genetic changes, immune problems, and environmental factors cause eczema.
Also, studies reveal that 1 in 50 adults and 1 in 5 children are affected by eczema. Even though anybody can come up with eczema, investigations show individuals with asthma, eczema, and allergies have more tendencies to give birth to children with eczema.
Eczema and heredity
Eczema can occur in anybody. But according to an investigation in 2015, if eczema runs in your family, your chance of developing eczema is about 75%.
Genes carry the information to make protein. And every human has two copies of all genes, one from the mother and the other from the father. So if you inherit defected (mutated) gene from any of your parents, your likelihood of developing eczema will be increased.
Even though the genetics of developing eczema is unknown, studies suggest that many genes are involved. But in a few cases, you can inherit a single gene that will cause eczema from any of your parents.
A typical example of such a gene is called CARD11. This gene contains the required information for making proteins for immune effectors cells called lymphocytes. These immune effectors cells help protect the body against diseases.
As a result, mutation or error in the CARD11 gene can lead to atopic eczema due to defectiveness in the immune effectors. This is backed up by studies that revealed about five CARD11 genes could be mutated in individuals with atopic eczema. Furthermore, according to research carried out in 2017, eczema can occur even when a single copy of the two CARD11 genes is mutated.
KIF3A is another essential gene in eczema development. This gene codes for proteins that are responsible for cell signal and transportation. According to research conducted in 2020, genetic variation in KIF3A can raise your chance of developing eczema. And the reason is due to the skin’s loss of water and the weakness in the skin barrier.
One of the major proteins involved in skin hydration and protection is called filaggrin. And the gene responsible for this protein is called FLG gene, which codes for protein profilaggrin which in turn is responsible for the protein filaggrin.
And about 20-30% of people with FLG gene mutation developed atopic eczema. So this is an indication that there is a form of connection between FLG gene and atopic eczema.
Can someone spread eczema to me?
Eczema cannot be spread. This implies that touching someone with eczema will not cause you to develop it yourself.
But, people with eczema may be more susceptible to diseases because of the breaking in the skin barrier that eczema creates. As a result, eczema patients frequently develop skin infections, which can spread to others.
For instance, those who have atopic eczema are more likely to acquire eczema herpeticum caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Blisters appear on the skin, and they may bleed or drip. And eczema herpeticum is a contagious disease condition.