Asthma linking to eczema?

Following a diagnosis of asthma back in 2014, and difficulties in 2016 which led to my spending a few days in hospital with asthma, I am now managing fine, just trying to learn to understand and correctly interpret my own symptoms.

However, I am now having another experience, minor by comparison, but annoying. I believe I have had signs of asthma all my life, but was only diagnosed in my sixties, so I suppose it could be called late onset. Or not.

Since early September I have developed a rash, which I now know to be eczema. It started small and has got quite a lot bigger. It doesn't itch so much, mostly if I am arm, and isn't particularly inconvenient,but doesn't look good. I have never had this before, and I wonder if there is a link between my worsening asthma earlier this year, taking loads more steroids in inhalers or something. I have had generally minor signs of allergies all my life. I don't believe this is connected to change in washinpowder or some such, as nothing I do has really changed. I am currently on a steroid/antifungal cream, which I am not sure is working, and if it doesn't I think the gp was talking of prednisolone next. I will of course discuss this first.

Has anyone else had this experience?

7 Replies

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  • Eczema is often linked to asthma. I certainly had ezcma as a small baby and then went on to develop asthma when I was three; the same thing happened to my younger son. I started getting mild eczma (after fifty plus years of not having it) round my nose and mouth a couple of years ago. The cause of that was wearing a mask over my face whilst doing some dust heavy work. I've no why I suddenly developed it. I've worn dust masks many times over the years and never had a problem rbefore.

    Have you changed shower gel, shampoo or soap, by any chance, or washing powder come to that? Any of those might account for its sudden appearance. Scented items can cause issues too. You might not have had a problem in the past, but allergies can change and something that hasn't caused any trouble in the past may now be doing so.

  • Thank you for your response. I am aware of the eczema/hay fever/asthma triad. My surprise is that eczema is new to me; can't think I have changed any washing powder etc - though perhaps worth having a go at changing it; not contact dermatitis - it doesn't match anything I have used or done. And so on. And I feel I am too old for this!

    But could the fact I inhale a fair amount if steroids cause this? Or is it a general longer term run downness? Should I change my diet? Is it a coincidence that my asthma worsened the same year I got eczema?

    This is all vague, I know. I am not looking for exact answers.

  • I think the only thing you can do is to think back to when it first appeared and consider what you were doing at that time. You say warmth makes it itch (I can sympathise with that) is there any chance that turning on the heating and wearing extra layers or long sleeves might be aggravating it. Did you change your diet? When my younger son was a child he used to get eczma whenever he had uncooked cheese (interestingly cooked cheese didn't seem to affect him in the same way).

    You could try keeping a diary of what you eat, wear, do, and note whether the eczma gets worse or better.

    I'm afraid that's all I can suggest. Others on this site might be able to think of other things. Inevitably with allergies it can take time to track down what is causing the problem.

  • One other thought, do you wear a lot of synthetic fabrics? Such fabrics do not allow skin to 'breath' and so are more likely to irritate the problem.

  • I have always had the allergy triumvirate & said for years if I could lose one of them I'd choose eczema. At it's worst I've felt like chopping my finger off. I don't know what might have triggered it, but on top of prescribed creams, get a tub of aqueous cream as well, which will help moisturise the dry skin.

  • No, not synthetic clothing. I was in Spain when it started.......+42. But I was still recovering from my asthma attack, more mess. Maybe more layers......but if no layers then I freeze. No change in food that I can think of, from my current perspective (given my asthma and meds I needed to take) if it mafpde me more vulnerable.

    But I agree, this is trivial for me compared to not being able to breathe!

  • Some hours later: I have just noticed (duh!) that the rash loosely follows my bra edge line, or the part that touch the skin. Just one side, bizarrely. So I think I am going to do two things: replace my bras to see if it helps; and get some Ecover laundry liquid. Just as part of my research.

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