Researchers looking for asthma-eczema link

May 19, 2009 2:09:32 PM PDT
Scientists have known for years about the link between eczema and asthma. But now they have found a molecule that may result in that link. They believe a substance secreted by eczema-damaged skin might trigger the asthma in children.

The theory comes from a study of mice with an eczema like condition. It suggests that early treatment of eczema and inhibition of the trigger substance just might help prevent asthma.

Scientists reporting in the journal PLoS bioLogy say their study has shown that skin can act as a signaling organ and drive allergic inflammation in the lungs. Now they say it will be important to address how to prevent defective skin from producing this molecule, and if that can be done, the link between eczema and asthma could be broken.