(WYTV) – Eczema, food allergies and asthma, we see these conditions in children and they all have a common link.

Treating a baby’s skin may save a child from a lifetime of allergic diseases.

Doctors call it atopic march, a sequence of allergic diseases that starts in infancy with eczema and often progresses to food allergies, asthma and hay fever. Here’s how it happens.

“These people have dry, cracked skin, which allows allergens from the environment to penetrate through,” said Dr. Donald Leung.

When food particles enter the body through the skin rather than the digestive system, they are more likely to cause allergies.

Parents can practice ‘soak and seal,’ which starts with a warm 20 minute bath for the child, followed by moisturizing ointment.

This not only heals the skin but also stops the atopic march before it gets started.

Understanding what causes the atopic march opens the door to finding solutions. Right now, doctors are looking at what weakens the skin barrier and how to repair it.