Infants with eczema suffer later with a greater likelihood of food allergies, hay fever and Asthma, what "atopic Marsch" is referred to. Researchers from National Jewish Health in Denver have identified dry and cracked skin as a major cause of the atopic March and work on a prevention strategy.
The skin forms a barrier to moisture, microbes, and allergens to keep. Studies have shown that in patients with eczema important proteins and fats are absent in the outer layers of the skin, causing the skin to dry out, cracked and prone to itching. Scratching damages the skin barrier in addition. The children’s allergist Donald Leung has found that food particles, which enter through cracks in the skin in the body, can cause allergic reactions. When this reaction was set in motion, may, hay fever in addition to the eczema and food allergies over time, and Asthma develop.
Leung explains: "If food on the skin instead of the digestive system in the body, the likelihood is great, that they cause allergies. Once eczema has developed, is the restoration of the skin barrier is the best way to stop the atopic March, and to prevent the emergence of allergic diseases."
The baby’s skin is particularly prone to dehydration, and smaller studies have shown that regular treatment with moisturizing creams can help reduce the risk of eczema in infants and the atopic March. Dr. Leung is currently working to confirm these studies and to identify the best possible moisturizing components for an ideal prevention.