Eczema is the umbrella name given to a few different skin conditions. Endogenous, (or atopic dermatitis) is eczema that comes from within the body, the immune system makeup, and skin proteins. Exogenous, (or contact dermatitis) is from outside the body, for example, direct skin contact with irritant or allergen. Eczema is not contagious. However, it affects 30 percent of the population, with 85 percent of sufferers being younger than five years old. Almost anything can cause eczema.
Studies show that in some people, there is a gene flaw that causes a lack of filaggrin, which is a specific type of protein. Filaggrin functions within the outer layer of skin as a protective barrier, keeping out germs. Someone with the gene flaw that inhibits filaggrin production has microscopic gaps in their skin where germs can come in. Once germs have entered, the body retaliates with swelling and redness and inflammation. This condition, called atopic eczema, is genetic. If one or both parents have this condition or a similar condition like asthma or allergies, their child is likely to as well.
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