Allergens Via A Thin Skin

A recent research report via SkinsMatter made me think about why some of us react to stuff we absorb through our skin and other lucky people don’t.

The recent report from Danish researchers adds more weight to the belief that some people have a genetic mutation on filaggrin, a skin protein necessary for the strength and integrity of the mucosal barrier.

They concluded:

We know that filaggrin affects how permeable a person’s skin is to external factors at the molecular level

Our theory is that people with this skin barrier defect are at an increased risk of getting food allergies because microscopic amounts of e.g. wheat flour can penetrate through the skin.

Read the report on the study here:

Food allergy may arise through our skin

Filaggrin deficiency has previously been linked with asthma, eczema and allergies and actually I wrote about it myself in a report I did for SkinsMatter way back in 2009:

Thinny Skinnies – the low down on leaky skin and allergies

Anyway, it struck me that it could provide a reason why some of us can absorb an allergen via the skin and react where others can slap the same stuff on willy-nilly and have no problem. Could it be because those who do react have a genetic mutation on the fillagrin gene?? Possibly.

Want to learn more about filaggrin? I saw this useful article:

What Is Filaggrin?

Note the interesting mention there of antibodies to filaggrin found in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Is it wholly a gene mutation then or yet another auto-immune consequence of gluten? Would that explain why some people seem to be fine for a long while and then suddenly start developing reactions to stuff via the skin? Who knows, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Right, enough musing. Onward..


6 Replies to “Allergens Via A Thin Skin”

    1. Hi Janet, yes I wrote about that change at the time and changed the Barrier Plan accordingly, but thanks for reminding us. I like his videos. I should really do some! In essence, for people who missed it: coffee is no longer regarded as a cross-reactive food but instant coffee is likely cross-contaminated. I grind my own beans.

      Re antibacterials and AI, yes there is a lot of debate going on, isn’t there? If you have any links to articles, do share. I am swamped with stuff every day here and some get lost. I am constantly sifting for interesting stuff to tell you and what to leave out, I could spend my whole day doing it 😉

  1. Thanks for this…interesting at first glance – yet another thing to just print out and ONEDAY find time to read! I have always had an absorption through skin issue I think – I always insisted, even at a young age that I could not even touch lemon/lime/orange (my biggest allergens at the time) or smell it for that matter. I used to have instant reactions….my auto-immune disease is RA… (y) thanks again for the info

    1. Oh, that fits well for you then FB, doesn’t it?

      Also got this sueful link and comment from C today in case it helps anyone:

      Comment and useful link from C today:

      Eczema Genetics and Filaggrin Gene

      “Interesting in all the research i have done looking at each illness I’ve had (excema, raynauds, allergies, pms, early menopause, crohns like illness) omega 3, vit e and vit C are all sited (sic) as being helpful. Omega 3 and drinking filtered bottled water supplements have made the biggest difference in my life. Our tap water is quite high in nitrates which seemingly can cause major problems to people with digestive problems – Within 3 days of going onto bottled water i was saying I could eat veg and fruits I hadn’t been able to eat for 2 years! Still no to grains but not fused about them if I can eat most veg and fruits without pain. I am so so lucky! ”

      Fab news for C. I suggested an RO filter perhaps might save money on bottled water and get rid of the nitrates that way. See here: Which Water Filter is Best?

  2. Hello Micki
    You comment, “Is it wholly a gene mutation then or yet another auto-immune consequence of gluten? Would that explain why some people seem to be fine for a long while and then suddenly start developing reactions to stuff via the skin? Who knows, but I wouldn’t be surprised.”
    Maybe five or six years ago I used to have regular massages – using massage oil of course. Then eventually I found I was becoming nauseous and feeling ill afterwards. Different oils were tried and I reacted to all of them. So no more massage. The development of my intolerance to stuff on the skin went hand in hand with the development of my gluten intolerance (so that now I don’t tolerate any grains – or any liquids or creams on my skin – even Savlon gives me a rash!). I reckon you’re right.

    1. Interesting, Anthony, thanks. I miss having (and actually giving) facials and massage for the same reason. I am OK so far with coconut and olive oil and have a whole load of oils like borage, jojoba and evening primrose to try. I will not be beaten! My skin thing only started with the dratted NHR cream episode where I was clearly slathering corny.sunflowery stuff on and it obviously triggered the skin sensitivity. I have to be a lot more careful since then.

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