Asthma & Ichthyosis - Is there a Connection?
Dr. Sarah Asch, Member of FIRST Medical & Scientific Advisory Board (MSAB)

The topic of asthma and ichthyosis continues to be a frequent question and discussion amongst the ichthyosis community. Recently we sat down with FIRST MSAB member Dr. Sarah Asch and asked whether or not there is a connection and if any research has been done on this specific subject. Here's what she had to say...

Allergic disease, such as asthma, has complicated beginnings and not all children who have asthma have impaired skin barriers.  However, there are children whose impaired skin barrier likely predisposes them to allergic diseases such as asthma.  The most well studied and understood link so far is in filaggrin, an important protein located in the upper portion of the skin.

The filaggrin gene is mutated in ichthyosis vulgaris.  There are a group of people who have moderate to severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) that is due to an underlying mutation in the filaggrin gene.  Asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema) are a well known association.  There is some data to show that an impaired barrier early in life may predispose people to more allergic disease down the road (such as asthma and allergies).  There is some early data to support that emollient use early in life decreases the development of atopic dermatitis, but we do not yet have long term data to show that this will prevent asthma.

People with Netherton syndrome are more likely to have asthma and eczema due to impaired skin barrier function.  However, this condition is due to mutations in a different gene, the SPINK5 gene.

For more information visit

What is Fillagrin?


Share This Page: