Eczema Bulletin, Issue #011 - Genetics and Eczema
Welcome to June's edition of the Eczema Bulletin e-zine, and thank you for subscribing.
This is the 11th edition of Eczema Bulletin. It will bring you articles and news about eczema, and also any updates to what-is-eczema.com. If you would like to add any suggestions for articles or news, or even add your own then I would love to hear from you
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This month's Eczema Bulletin includes
- June's Featured Article – Genetics and Eczema
- My favourite eczema news article
- Tip of the Month
- 5 Ways To.....eat wheat free
Featured Article - Genetics and Eczema
In some people eczema can be genetic. In these people their eczema can be triggered and made worse by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
There are many types of eczema. And there are many things that can trigger an outbreak. Some types of eczema can run in families, so there could be a genetic cause. But they are not always caused by it.
In Atopic Dermatitis, the underlying cause is thought to be your genetic make up. If a child has one parent with atopic eczema, then they are 60% likely to develop it themselves. If both parents have it, then the chances of developing it jump to 80%.
Now for the science part. I have simplified it, even just for me to understand it!
A recent study has shown that there is a main genetic reason why some families are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.
Your skin is your protective barrier. Guarding you against irritants, allergens and bacteria, and from the loss of water. The
barrier is formed partly of filaggrin. Filaggrin is a protein that is part of the skin's structure. It also helps to keep your skin moisturised, by holding water inside of your skin cells.
When there is a mutation of the filaggrin gene, this can cause the skin barrier to be less effective. A mutation is when there is a permanent change in genetic material. So the changed gene could be inherited, and passed through families.
When the filaggrin gene has been changed permanently it can make it less effective at doing it's job. When your skin's protective layer is not doing it's job, it can allow the baddies in. This causes irritation and allergies to form. It is also unable to keep your skin as moisturised as it should. This leads to dryness and itchiness, so eczema is more likely to develop.
Eczema News Article
During May, the first ever International Eczema Conference was held in Nottingham, UK.
Researchers from all over the world met up at the University of Nottingham. They spoke about recent and upcoming research being done to learn more about the causes, prevention and treatment of eczema.
They will also talk more about the study being completed, to find out the effectiveness of silk clothing on eczema. I mentioned this study in a Facebook post in January, so looking forward to reading the results.
As of writing this, the discussions and findings of the conference have not been published. I will keep you up to date when anything is reported.
Tip Of The Month - Why Giving Up Smoking Could Help Your Eczema
It is well known fact that smoking cigarettes has many negative effects on your health.
One part of the body that can be affected is the skin. It has been reported that smoking can trigger some skin conditions, and make skin inflammation worse.
There are two main reasons for this
- tobacco smoke can dry out your skin
- it constricts blood flow. This reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to the skin
If you are a smoker you may find that any eczema on your hands becomes irritated and inflamed after having a cigarette.
Also if you have a child with eczema, it is always recommended not to smoke around them. But cigarette smoke will still likely be in the atmosphere. As well as on clothes and fabric furniture. So any contact your child has with the smoke could irritate their eczema.
The best way to eliminate the negative effects of smoking, is to eliminate the cigarettes. Easier said than
done, I know, but worth it for many reasons, especially if you have children. And especially if they have eczema.
If you have someone close to you who smokes, explain the situation to them, and your concerns. If they still want to smoke, then send them to the far end of the garden, away from you and your child's skin!! :)
Do you have a tip you would like to share? Let me know :)
5 Ways To.......eat wheat free
1. Check food labels. First look for wheat free or gluten free on the label. If it is gluten free, then it is wheat free too. Gluten is a protein that is in wheat. When checking the ingredients in food, also look for
- all purpose flour
- cous cous
- enriched flour
- malt and malt extract
- plain and self raising flour
This is a short list of ingredients to look for. Click here for a more detailed list
2. Cook from fresh. This is one way to avoid eating hidden wheat often found in processed foods. Fresh foods, like fruit, vegetables, and meat, are the staples of a healthy diet. You can also find alternatives for your favourite wheat filled foods. Including pasta and bread. There is a tasty wheat free bread recipe at number 5
3. Plan ahead when eating out. It can be a worry to eat out when you have a
food intolerance or allergy. Many eating places have menus online now. If the meal you fancy has wheat in it, you could request the meal without it. Also you can let the restaurant know that you are allergic to wheat. If they are a good restaurant they will know, or find out, which meals you can and cant eat
4. There are many wheat free foods you can eat. Some common ones are kidney beans, beef, eggs, fish, popcorn, quinoa, potatoes, chickpeas, rice and beetroot. You could make many tasty meals out of these ingredients
5. A wheat free bread recipe. Here is a Jamie Oliver recipe which is easy and simple to make, and makes 1 loaf
- 325 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 450 g gluten-free brown bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
- 1½ x 7g sachet dried yeast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Warm the milk in a small pan over a low heat, then leave to cool slightly. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the vinegar, then gradually stir in the warm milk until combined.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in another bowl, then, using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until it forms a sticky dough. Add the olive oil, then bring it together with your hands into a ball, adding a little flour if it's too sticky.
Place onto a lightly oiled baking tray, cover with a damp tea towel, then leave to prove in a warm place for around 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Once risen, place the tray in the hot oven and bake for around 35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool slightly on a wire cooling rack, then slice and serve.
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The July edition of Eczema Bulletin will include
- July's Featured Article – Eczema Friendly Air Travel
- My favourite news item of the month
- Tip of the Month
- 5 ways to.....deal with Occupational Hand Eczema
Hope you enjoyed June's Eczema Bulletin, and thanks for reading