A research team from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and other institutions has identified a genetic mutation that causes eczema—a chronic skin condition also called atopic dermatitis. This discovery could lead to better treatments for atopic dermatitis.
Eczema affects up to 30 percent of the U.S. population and often occurs in young people alongside asthma, hay fever, or other allergies. It’s thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
For the study, researchers analyzed gene sequences in eight people with severe eczema from four families that had a specific mutation of a gene, called CARD11, that affects the immune system’s response to infection. In addition to linking the mutation with eczema, the results of the also indicate that people with mutations in the CARD11 gene can have eczema alone, without having other medical issues common in people with immune system disorders.