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Eczema and Asthma

Eczema (a.k.a. Atopic Dermatitis)

Mayo Clinic (.com) describes Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) as a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically and then subside. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.

Eczema is based upon complex interactions of genetic predispositions, environmental triggers, and immune dysregulation.

External Links for Additional Research:

National Eczema.org
Medical News Today.com
Images for Eczema

Asthma

Irritated and swollen airways which have difficulty properly carrying air to and from the lungs is known as Asthma. Common symptoms include: wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness.  Asthma is a chronic condition and is not curable.  Asthmatics can have multiple triggers/allergens that lead to attacks.

Cold Induced Asthma is different from Asthma.  It is a form of Angioedema where unlike hives which are on the surface of the skin and itch, the reactions are either below the skin surface or within the lining of the respiratory (and non-pulmonary areas like the digestive) tract.  Those with Cold Urticaria or other Cold Allergies are susceptible to asthma like reactions when running, playing hard which increases frequency and volume of breaths entering the lungs or prolonged exposure to cold air, which increases chances for anaphylaxic reactions.

Increased levels of IgE may contribute to symptoms of Asthma.

The Connection Between Eczema, Asthma and Other Allergies (Including Cold Allergies)

Many young children who get a severe skin rash develop asthma months or years later. Doctors call the progression from eczema, or atopic dermatitis, to breathing problems the atopic march.

The Atopic March – Read more at this link.

the-allergic-march-diagram

According to the World Allergy Organization, Atopic eczema is eczema with demonstrable IgE association.

Links to websites for further research:
World Allergy Health Organization
Eczema and Asthma Link: Health Central.com

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Nuggets of Wisdom

Yes, there is such a thing as having an allergic type reaction to temperatures. This is defined as a physical urticaria. Other physical urticarias include Solar, Aquagenic, Pressure, Vibration and Exercise.

Most reactions are pseudo-allergic. By definition, an allergy involves inhaling or consuming an allergen. Physical urticarias have no known allergen. Despite the terminology and medical definitions, systemic reactions can be life threatening.

Cold has an arbitrary definition based on an individual feeling. For a person with a cold urticaria, cold can be defined as any temperature cooler than their own body temperature.

You do not have to be cold to have a reaction to the cold; contact with cold can trigger a reaction.

You can have an allergic type reaction to both cold and heat simultaneously.

Most reactions considered anaphylactic are really anaphylactoid by definition.

Moving to a warmer climate as a treatment for Cold Urticaria is a myth. Warmer climates present their own issues for those with Cold Urticaria.

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