Will your Second child get Eczema?

Marcie and a sibling???

Are you considering whether to have a second child? I am, as Marcie is turning two years old, and I am really scared that my second child will have eczema. It feels like we’ve just got past the ceaseless scratching, the blood, the tears and still struggling with a good night’s sleep. Can I, should I, really have a second child?

I did a search online, and sad to say there’s no conclusive research on whether a second child will get eczema, here’s a quick summary of the research results:

1. Having older siblings have a protective effect on the younger siblings, because the younger sibling has more chances to mix with an older child, thus immune system more likely to be strengthened with more chances of infections

2. Having older siblings have NO protective effect! (so, you see it’s really contradicting) There are more instances of younger siblings with eczema due to filaggrin (FLG) deficiency, which is a deficiency in skin barrier protection. This FLG deficiency leads to dry skin, and increased chances of allergic march (i.e. getting asthma, allergy after eczema). When the younger siblings attended day care, there is less instance of this FLG deficiency.

3. There is a higher chance of the younger sibling getting eczema when both one parent and one sibling has eczema. There is also a stronger association between eczema in siblings and with parents.

4. Having more children protects the younger siblings. Problem is there is no answer as to how many children you need to have for one not to have eczema/allergy.

5. Younger siblings’ cord IgE is less, i.e. younger siblings have fewer instances of allergy than the older child. The first born tend to suffer from hay fever and pink eye from food or other allergies.

So, there you go, still no answer, anyone have more than one child, do share how the eczema in your children is. I’m really at crossroads…

For some links to the research, click here, here, here and here.

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