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Is eczema an autoimmune disease? What to know – Medical News Today

Summary

Eczema is an umbrella term that describes various inflammatory skin conditions, or dermatitis. Several types of dermatitis involve an overreaction from the immune system, and some research suggests autoimmunity may play a role.

An autoimmune disease is the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the body’s healthy tissues. Typically, this is different from other types of immune response, such as an allergic reaction, which happens when the body perceives ex…….

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Eczema is an umbrella term that describes various inflammatory skin conditions, or dermatitis. Several types of dermatitis involve an overreaction from the immune system, and some research suggests autoimmunity may play a role.

An autoimmune disease is the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the body’s healthy tissues. Typically, this is different from other types of immune response, such as an allergic reaction, which happens when the body perceives exposure to a specific substance as a threat.

However, a study in the Journal of Autoimmunity notes that one type of eczema, atopic dermatitis (AD), may start as an allergic reaction and progress to an autoimmune response.

Eczema refers to a group of conditions that cause itchy, inflamed rashes on the skin. If an individual has a light skin tone, eczema may appear in red patches. The patches may appear brown, purple, or gray on darker skin tones.

Doctors currently recognize seven types of eczema, which are:

Most types of eczema appear to have some links to the immune system, but the evidence is limited.

This article looks at three types of eczema: atopic, dyshidrotic, and nummular eczema and explores their possible links to autoimmunity.

Learn all about autoimmune diseases here.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association states that (AD) is a common form of eczema that does not have a single cause. Researchers think AD develops due to a combination of genetics, a sensitive immune system, and environmental factors that trigger the symptoms. Some evidence suggests that autoimmunity may also drive it.

Dermatologists believe that people with AD have a genetic trait that means their skin loses moisture too quickly, causing gaps in the skin barrier. This can lead to dry, less well-protected skin.

Learn more about eczema and genetics here.

This alone is not always enough to cause AD. Other factors that may put people predisposed to the condition at risk of developing it include:

  • living somewhere that is cold and damp for at least some of the year
  • exposure to pollution and tobacco smoke
  • stress

Autoimmunity may also contribute to AD. The authors of a 2021 study suggest that AD may start as an allergic response before progressing to an autoimmune response. They argue that this may be what causes chronic inflammation and relapses.

A large 2021 population-based study also found higher AD rates in people with one or more autoimmune condition, particularly those that affect the skin and digestive tract. This suggests one may increase the risk of, or cause, the other.

However, more research on how AD develops is necessary to confirm that it is an autoimmune disease, and if so, what treatments might help.</…….

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/eczema-autoimmune