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Reason to keep your baby away from Cat

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CatsParents, who own a cat, might increase their kids’ chances of developing eczema in infancy, for a new study has suggested that cat exposure at birth along with a mutation in the gene, called filaggrin gene (FLG) may make a child more prone to develop eczema during their first year.

Filaggrin is a protective protein normally found in skin. It acts as a physical barrier to potentially harmful substances in the environment.Filaggrin

Led by Professor Hans Bisgaard (University Hospital Gentofte, Copenhagen, Denmark), the researchers studied the association between mutations in the filaggrin gene (FLG) and exposure to environmental factors with the development of eczema.

It is know that Eczema is hereditary and evidence suggests it is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Recently, the researchers discovered that two common “loss-of-function” variants in the gene encoding filaggrin (FLG) predispose people to eczema. The researchers hypothesized that inheriting one or two defective FLG genes might weaken their physical barrier, affecting their response to environmental substances.

This hypothesis was tested by conducting a cohort study in two independent groups of infants – a high-risk group consisting of 379 infants born in Copenhagen, Denmark to mothers with asthma and a group of 503 infants born to women from the general population in Manchester, UK.

EczemaLater, it was found out which FLG variants each child had inherited and classified those with either one or two defective copies of FLG as having an FLG mutation. They determined pet exposure in early life by asking whether a dog or a cat was living in the parental home when the child was born and then analyzed how these genetic and environmental factors affected the age of onset of eczema.

They found that in both groups, children with FLG mutations were twice as likely to develop eczema during the first year of life as children without FLG mutations. In case of children without FLG mutations, cat ownership at birth had no effect on eczema risk but for children with FLG mutations, cat ownership at birth (but not dog ownership) further increased the risk of developing eczema.

These results indicate that filaggrin deficiency causes weakening of the skin’s protective barrier, increasing a child’s susceptibility to factors associated with cat exposure.

If confirmed, these findings suggest that, filaggrin-deficient individuals may need to avoid cats (but not dogs) during the first few months of life to reduce their risk of developing eczema.

One Response to “Reason to keep your baby away from Cat”

  1. caitmin Says:

    Often children’s skincare products can contain unnecessary ingredients such as colors or fragrance. But also look out for harsh preservatives, like parabens, which can trigger an eczema flare-up.

    This is a more common trigger of eczema than cats !

    I found a really useful site that lets you compare the ingredients of several leading brands, its from a company called exederm

    They make ultra hypoallergenic skin care products for kids with eczema or dermatitis

    Children’s Eczema

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