Genetic changes in the gene are responsible for around half of the most serious eczema cases, revealed by researchers at the University of Dundee in Scotland.
Researchers have discovered 15 different mutations within a gene called filaggrin that is known to be involved in the debilitating conditions of eczema, when it malfunctions, after analysing the data from eczema patients in the UK and Ireland.
“Once we cracked this exceptionally difficult gene, we were surprised to learn how many different defects in filaggrin were waiting to be discovered, not only in European people, but other populations worldwide,” said Irwin McLean at the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing at the University of Dundee in Scotland.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis (AD), is a noncontagious inflammation of the skin that is characteristically very dry and itchy. The condition is frequently related to some form of allergy, which may include foods or inhalants.
Eczema diagnosis is generally based on the appearance of inflamed, itchy skin in eczema sensitive areas such as face, chest and other skin crease areas. For evaluation of the eczema, a scoring system can be used (for example, SCORAD, a scoring system for atopic dermatitis).
Given the many possible reasons for eczema flare ups, a doctor is likely to ascertain a number of other things before making a judgment:
An insight to family history
Any prescribed drug intake
Any chemical or material exposure at home or workplace