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Parents' Vaping Might Help Spur Eczema in Kids
  • Posted May 23, 2024

Parents' Vaping Might Help Spur Eczema in Kids

A mom or dad who vapes at home might be setting their child up for eczema, new research suggests.

In a study involving data from over 35,000 U.S. households, children with a parent who used e-cigarettes had a 24% higher odds for eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) than kids with two non-vaping parents did.

"Our results suggest that parental e-cigarette use was associated with pediatric atopic dermatitis," concluded a team led by Dr. Golara Honari, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Stanford University, in California.

Her team published its findings May 22 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

According to the researchers, there is science backing up the notion that exposure to the toxins emitted in e-cigarette vapor could trigger changes in children's skin.

Prior lab studies have "demonstrated increased oxidative stress in human keratinocytes and 3-dimensional skin models exposed to e-cigarette fluids and aerosol residues," they noted. Keratinocytes are cells that make up about 90% of the skin's outer epidermal layer.

"We hypothesize that secondhand exposure to e-cigarettes is associated with a similar response among children, elevating atopic dermatitis risk," the Stanford team wrote.

The new study drew on 2014-2018 data from the National Health Interview Survey, involving about 35,000 households. It's a face-to-face survey of families conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents were asked about any cases of eczema diagnosed in their child, plus any use of e-cigarettes in the home.

Overall, about 13% of children in the survey had a history of eczema, which is consistent with typical estimates.

However, kids exposed to a parent's vaping were 24% more likely to have eczema, compared to those who weren't, Honari's team found. That was true even if a parent also smoked traditional cigarettes in the home.

The Stanford team were quick to point out that the study wasn't designed to prove cause-and-effect.

However, this preliminary look at vaping's effect on kids' skin health was needed, "given the exponentially increasing prevalence of e-cigarette use and its unstudied association with the health of nearby family members," Honari and colleagues said.

More information

Find out more about eczema in kids at the American Academy of Dermatology.

SOURCE: JAMA Dermatology, May 22, 2024

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