Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that affects one in five school children in Singapore.
But isn’t caused by one single thing.
“It is a multifactorial disease caused by interactions between your genes and the environment, as well as the body’s immune system,” says Dr Rachael Teo, specialist in dermatology and consultant, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics.
Although, there appears to be a strong genetic component – if a family member suffers from asthma, atopic eczema or allergic rhinitis, the risk of a child developing eczema is higher, Dr Teo adds.
Dr Elisa Villa, a specialist in allergy and clinical immunology at Maggiore della Carita University Hospital in Novara, Italy, also shares: “Research has also shown that 20 to 30 per cent of people with eczema lack a protein called filaggrin, which maintains epidermal stability and helps skin retain water. Filaggrin deficiency is caused by a genetic mutation.”
Here’s how you can help your child.