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Skin Care and Diseases

Eczema

09/30/2011

Question:

I have 3 autoimmune diseases. I also have eczema. Is that also considered and autoimmune disease? Now does that mean I have 4 autoimmune diseases?

Answer:

The term 'autoimmune disease' may be used to describe diseases caused by antibodies circulating in the bloodstream that target organs such as the thyroid. An autoimmune disease associated with severe eczema is alopecia areata. Eczema is skin inflammation that is mediated by the immune system, but there are many components such as poor skin barrier function, inflammatory response to bacteria and yeast on the skin, and allergy. Because there is not a consistent identifiable antibody ciculating in the blood of eczema patients, eczema is not usualy classified as an autoimmune disease.

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Response by:

Susan T Nedorost, MD Susan T Nedorost, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University