Eczema and the Immune System | Daily Easy Tips to Soothe Eczema
Eczema and the Immune System, Daily Easy Tips to Soothe Eczema
You might remember that annoying itch after a mosquito bite. It’s uncomfortable, and you feel like scratching the itch. It is the same level of discomfort felt by people suffering from Eczema, but all the time. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), is an inflammatory, chronic relapsing, non-infectious, highly itchy skin disease. The uncontrollable itching and the desire to scratch often cause skin breakage, bleeding, and even the discharge of tissue fluid. After sweating in summer, Eczema becomes more serious, and the condition repeats. Patients with severe Eczema also face difficulty concentrating on their regular tasks, affecting their studies or work in their daily life, causing insomnia and substantial emotional distress.
In this article, we discuss the immune system and the effects of fucoidan on Eczema. In addition to exploring whether having Eczema means you have a weak or oversensitive immune system; we also cover some tips to relieve eczema symptoms.
The relationship between Eczema and immunity
According to the National Eczema Association (NEA), researchers have not yet found a main cause of Eczema. However, many experts believe that genes, environmental factors, and immunity all play a role that could trigger Eczema.
Having Eczema does not mean that our immune system is weak. In reality, our immune system is sensitive and often overreacts to irritants that are not actually threatening to our bodies. The immune system produces an inflammatory response when triggered by substances inside or outside the body. This inflammatory response causes itching and pain common to several types of Eczema. In addition, work stress and eating habits may lead to immune dysfunction, which can easily cause skin inflammation and Eczema.
Natural Killer Cells
Researchers have been exploring Eczema treatment by boosting Natural killer cells (a type of immune cell also known as NK cells), which is also a potential treatment for cancer. These cells play a unique role in attacking cells that the immune system recognizes as foreign, including some tumor cells. In the new study, researchers were surprised to find that natural killer cells also effectively treated Eczema in mice.
The studies also revealed that patients with Eczema consistently had very low numbers of NK cells in their circulation. So, the researchers designed a mouse experiment. They used a mouse model with Eczema and disrupted the ability of the mice to produce NK cells. This led to a worsening of the condition and an increase in the levels of various markers of inflammation. They concluded that the deficiency of NK cells in mouse skin led to an increase in Type 2 inflammation of skin tissues. This was due to the lack of an essential immunoregulatory step performed by NK cells.
Later, they treated the mice with a new drug, an interleukin-15 (IL-15) superagonist that is still in experimental stages and has been under development to treat cancer. It works by increasing the number of NK cells. Furthermore, as the inflammation subsided, treatment with an IL-15 superagonist resulted in a significant improvement in symptoms, relieving eczema lesions, and restoring the patient’s immune function against viral infections. In the current mouse study, the skin of the treated mice showed significant regression of skin damage compared to any other therapy tried so far. What delights the researchers is that this may also reflect human responses to the therapy. Thus, giving hope that it could be used as an eczema treatment in the future.
The triggers and symptoms of Eczema differ for everyone, so it's best to consult your doctor for the best treatment options. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Eczema, but we can still manage it effectively. Eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising daily will help keep your skin and body healthy and prevent eczema flare-ups.