Eczema is a chronic skin disease affecting more than 10% of the population. The most common form is atopic dermatitis, or atopy, which is often caused by allergy.

Although atopic dermatitis can occur at any age, it typically affects infants and young children. It can last a lifetime with significant distress and complications and can progress into other diseases. This is referred to as “atopic march,” which may last into adulthood or show up later in life.

What is the atopic march?

The “atopic march” predicts that patients with a strong allergic component to their atopic dermatitis typically develop some or all of the following conditions:

  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Sore throats
  • Wheezing episodes with viral infections
  • Asthma
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps

Identifying and treating allergies early is important for treating atopic dermatitis, and research shows that early treatment using allergy drops can slow or stop the atopic march. Asthma triggered by allergy responds especially well to sublingual immunotherapy. Studies also show that allergy drops and shots can prevent asthma from developing if treatment begins early based on evaluation for atopic dermatitis.

Controlled studies have shown that allergic children treated with allergy drop immunotherapy had a significantly lower risk of developing asthma than children who were not treated at all. Airborne and food allergies are typically at the root of the problem. Treating them early with allergy drop immunotherapy can reverse and block their contribution to allergic inflammation.

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Completing food allergy treatment and finishing food challenges has been life changing for Colton and his family. After 7-month-old Colton’s first ambulance ride when he ingested a small amount of milk-based formula, his family was told his milk allergy was so high that he would likely have a life-long milk allergy. As months went by,…
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