Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis or atopy, is a common, often chronic skin disease that affects 10-20% of the U.S. population. It is commonly considered as a type of skin allergy or sensitivity.
Symptoms vary, but may include:
- Itchy skin which can be severe
- Dry, thickened, cracked, inflamed and/or scaly skin
- Discolored patches of skin – often red to browning-gray
- Raw skin from scratching
Atopic / Allergic March
Although atopic dermatitis can occur at any age, it most often affects infants and young children. Untreated, it can remain a life-long condition and often progresses into other diseases.
This progression is sometimes referred to as atopic march, which may last into adulthood or appear later in life. The atopic march predicts that patients with a strong allergic component to their atopic dermatitis will typically develop some or all of the following conditions:
- Recurrent ear infections
- Sore throats
- Wheezing episodes with viral infections
- Chronic sinusitis
- Nasal polyps
- Food allergy
How can allergy drops help with eczema?
Identifying allergies in the context of atopic dermatitis is important not only for treating the disease, but early treatment with allergy drops has been shown to stop the atopic march.
Asthma, in particular, responds especially well to sublingual immunotherapy, and it can be prevented in many children when immunotherapy begins with an early atopic dermatitis/allergy diagnosis.
Controlled studies have shown that allergic children treated with sublingual immunotherapy had a significantly lower risk of developing asthma than children who were not treated at all with sublingual immunotherapy. Airborne and food allergies are typically at the root of the problem, and their contribution to allergic inflammation can be blocked and even reversed when sublingual immunotherapy starts at an early age.