This ubiquitous ingredient increases the risk of dry skin, itching and eczema

This ubiquitous ingredient increases the risk of dry skin itching

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    Family history and allergies can be risk factors for certain chronic skin diseases, including eczema. Which can be accentuated by pollution, perspiration, cold, hard water, certain cosmetics, and even certain foods. A new American study points to an omnipresent ingredient on our plates, responsible for an increased risk of dry skin and itching.

    According to Insermthere atopic dermatitisalso called atopic eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, (…) characterized by dry skin associated with eczema-type lesions (redness and itching, blisters, oozing and crusts) which progress in outbreaks“. The scientific research organization particularly involving genetic and environmental factors, and evoking the impact of such an illness on mental health. Numerous studies around the world have reported for several years a increase in cases of chronic disease, particularly in industrialized countries, linked to environmental changes and our lifestyles.

    How does the environment influence eczema?

    An observation which led a team of American researchers, from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), to focus on the impact of an everyday ingredient on skin dryness and itching, and more broadly on eczema. To do this, they analyzed data from 215,832 adults aged 37 to 73 from the UK Biobank, a large long-term study carried out in the United Kingdom to assess the influence of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure on the development of many diseases.

    Urine samples and electronic medical records were analyzed for the purposes of this work. The objective being to determine the quantity of sodium, a component of salt, consumed by the participants, and to compare this data with a possible diagnosis of atopic dermatitis. Published in the journal JAMA Dermatologytheir research shows an increased risk of eczema diagnosis (+11%), eczema cases (+16%), and chronic disease severity (+11%) for each additional gram of sodium expelled in urine over a 24 hour period.

    Half a teaspoon of salt = 22% increased risk of eczema

    To validate these results, the researchers examined data from another population, namely 13,014 American adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. And the finding is the same: consuming an extra gram of sodium per day, the equivalent of half a teaspoon of salt, increases the risk of suffering from an active case of eczema by 22 %. The authors of this work actually advise affected patients to limit their salt consumption to better manage eczema flare-ups.

    Most Americans eat too much salt and can safely reduce their intake to recommended levels“, says Katrina Abuabara, associate professor of dermatology at UCSF, in a statement. And to conclude: “Eczema flare-ups can be difficult for patients, especially when they can’t anticipate them and don’t have recommendations on what they can do to avoid them.“.

    According to data made public by the National Eczema Association, more than 31.5 million people suffer from some form of eczema in the United States, or approximately 10% of the population. In France, more than 2 million people are affected by this chronic disease, including 100,000 who suffer from severe eczema, according to the French Eczema Association. Which indicates that the number of patients has tripled in 30 years.