A cure for eczema may just be on its way, as scientists have recently discovered the trigger for this debilitating skin condition.
About 20% of the Malaysia population (source: The Star) is currently suffering from eczema. With our humid climate, rising levels of pollution, stressful lifestyles and poor diets, more individuals are now facing the physical and emotional struggles of atopic eczema.
Up until now, doctors and dermatologists have only been able to relieve the symptoms. However, researchers at Newcastle University have discovered that a missing protein is responsible for this chronic condition – a protein known as filaggrin.
According to Nick Reynolds, the university’s Professor of Dermatology, “We have shown for the first time that loss of the filaggrin protein alone is sufficient to alter key proteins and pathways involved in triggering eczema. This research reinforces the importance of filaggrin deficiency leading to problems with the barrier function in the skin and predisposing someone to eczema.”
“This type of research allows scientists to develop treatments that target the actual root cause of the disease, rather than just managing its symptoms.”
During the study, the Newcastle team created a model of human skin that was lacking in filaggrin, and it was found that the skin became inflamed, damaged and lacking in cell structure. In fact, removing this protein triggered the exact same pathways that occurred in eczema sufferers. This new understanding will serve as a stepping stone in the creation of effective drugs that will nip eczema in the bud, by boosting protein production and preventing any flare-ups altogether.
The research was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Reference: Telegraph UK