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Will I Pass On Eczema to My Kids?

Will I Pass On Eczema to My Kids?

Skin conditions are common, and 31.6 million adults and children in the U.S. struggle with some form of eczema, the vast majority with its most common form — atopic dermatitis. An estimated 10% of Americans are likely to get this skin condition. 

Eczema affects people of every ethnicity, tends to affect women more than men, and often causes sleep problems, anxiety, or depression. A number of factors can affect your chances of developing eczema, but how much of a role do hereditary conditions play? 

Below, Dr. Javier Zelaya and the dedicated medical staff here at Skinworks Dermatology discuss the role of genetics in developing eczema. At any of our three New York City locations, we can help you find relief from eczema or other skin conditions.

Eczema basics

Eczema is a skin problem that often starts in early childhood (sometimes in infancy) and results in dry, itchy, reddish, irritated skin. It’s a condition that often comes and goes, and outbreaks can be triggered by various environmental factors, including:

Other eczema triggers include stress, sweating, and upper respiratory infections.

Atopic dermatitis is one of several types of eczema. Another common type, contact dermatitis, results from your skin reacting to direct contact with a substance.

Genetics and eczema

A number of factors affect your risk of eczema, such as chronically dry skin, immune system dysfunctions, and some endocrine disorders like thyroid disease.

As to whether eczema can be inherited, there’s interesting research on the subject that suggests a link. This study found several genes that significantly affected the skin in people with eczema. 

One such gene, FLG, which helps maintain moisture and protect skin from allergens and more, was found to have a mutation in some people with eczema that undermined its role. That led to problems such as allergies, dry skin, and an increased risk of other issues, such as asthma.

Will you pass on eczema to your kids?

Genetics may lead to eczema in future generations, but it’s not guaranteed. With many possible causes, eczema might result from a combination of factors, including some of the environmental conditions mentioned above.

Also, note that eczema doesn’t always show up during childhood; your child may not develop eczema until their teens or even adulthood.

If you or your child is struggling with eczema, whatever the cause, we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Zelaya and our team at Skinworks Dermatology today. Call the office in Maspeth, Chelsea, or Park Slope, or request your appointment online.

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