In an earlier post, we examined two current concepts about the increased prevalence of the allergic skin disease, atopic dermatitis. The allergic diseases – atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis – have long been known to run in families. But the inheritance of these ‘atopic’ diseases is complex and involves more than one gene, like many other common conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or psoriasis. To date, variations , called ‘polymorphisms’, in over 100 genes have been linked to the risk of developing one of these allergic disorders. [Read more…] about Atopic Dermatitis: Its In the Genes
Skin Disorders: When the Barrier Fails
Atopic Dermatitis: A Modern Epidemic Because We’re Too Clean?
The prevalence of atopic dermatitis (or eczema) is soaring, as are its related allergic disorders, asthma and hay fever (or allergic rhinitis). No one knows exactly why, but a popular theory blames our too healthy urban lifestyle – the so-called ‘hygiene hypothesis.’ We no longer live on farms. No longer are we exposed early in life to pathogen-enriched rural soils. Our babies have less contact with animals, and, with our smaller families, fewer siblings. The immunizations and antibiotics they receive protect them from many of the more severe childhood illnesses. [Read more…] about Atopic Dermatitis: A Modern Epidemic Because We’re Too Clean?
Aging Skin: Beyond Wrinkles
Wrinkles come with age – and for most of us they are unwelcome guests. Sunlight is a well-recognized cause of wrinkles. Slowly adding up over time. we pay the price of our past hours in the sun, as year by year our skin accumulates wrinkles. And just as nothing is fairly distributed in life, so, too, sun-induced wrinkles come sooner and with more intensity to some of us.
The unpleasant discovery of new wrinkles can begin quite early in life for those of us with lightly pigmented skin, and especially for those who are red-heads. The cautionary tales we hear about sun exposure and wrinkles are true, of course, as are the far more serious concerns about sun-induced skin cancers. But we should not equate sun-damaged or ‘photoaged’ skin – the aging that is produced by ultraviolet light – with chronologically or ‘intrinsically-aged’ skin – the aging that comes to all with the passage of time. Age itself does take its toll on skin, but it does so in a manner less obvious to the eye than the wrinkles that are formed by a life in the sun. [Read more…] about Aging Skin: Beyond Wrinkles
Psoriasis – Another Disorder of the Skin Barrier?
Psoriasis is quite a common skin disease. About 2% of people throughout the world will develop psoriasis at some point in their lives. Typically the spots (or ‘lesions’) of psoriasis are red and scaly. [Read more…] about Psoriasis – Another Disorder of the Skin Barrier?