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Eczema Bulletin, Issue #037 - The Contraceptive Pill and Eczema
August 03, 2016

Eczema Bulletin, Issue #037 - The Contraceptive Pill and Eczema

Welcome to August's edition of the Eczema Bulletin e-zine, and thank you for subscribing.

This is the 37th edition of Eczema Bulletin. It will bring you articles and news about eczema, and also any updates to If you would like to add any suggestions for articles or news, or even add your own then I would love to hear from you

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This month's Eczema Bulletin includes

  • August's Featured Article – The Contraceptive Pill and Eczema
  • My favourite eczema news article
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....fill the summer holidays with eczema friendly activities

The Contraceptive Pill and Eczema

There are currently a number of different contraception’s available to use. Can any of them have an effect on your eczema? I’m going to look at the most widely used.

The most popular type of birth control is the contraceptive pill. For a number of years there has been several reports about the negative and positive sides of taking the pill. One positive is that it can help to improve acne. A negative is that it can change your mood. But how can it affect eczema?

The contraceptive pill affects your natural production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The hormonal changes in your body after you start taking or stop taking the pill can cause some changes in your skin.

Some believe that the pill creates inflammation in the gut. This can lead to the lining of the gut being damaged. When the lining is damaged it can cause your immune system to become weakened. This may slow any improvement in your eczema.

The contraceptive pill can also deplete your level of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is important as it helps to keep your skin smooth, and reduces itching and inflammation. You may decide to take a supplement while you’re taking the pill.

If you notice that your eczema symptoms have got worse since you started taking the contraceptive pill, you can speak to your doctor. They may be able to advise on a different pill to take.

All contraceptive pills contain both oestrogen and progesterone. They all contain the same oestrogen, but in different amounts. But they contain different progestin’s. Unfortunately, I’m unable to make any recommendations for the best pill to try, as each one will affect you different to how it affects someone else.

If you’re concerned that your contraceptive pill could be affecting your eczema, then are a number of different birth control methods I’d suggest that you speak to your doctor or a nurse at a sexual health centre about your concerns, and to discuss alternatives.

Eczema News Article

There is currently some research going on into a new medicine for eczema. The treatment would be given as a shot every other week, and it works by settling the immune system.

It would be given to eczema sufferers people who have tried steroid creams without any improvement. When tests have been carried out they have found that 4 out of 5 sufferers have found that their symptoms improved by up to 75 percent over 12 weeks.

The researchers are hopeful that this new medicine could help treat severe eczema. It still needs to get through phase three clinical trials before the FDA will say if it has been passed to use. If they are happy with the results, then it could be available to use in 2017.

You can read more about the story here

Tip Of The Month - Staph Aureus and Bedding

Staphylococcus aureus is the main bacteria that can cause your eczema to become infected.

It is thought that nearly everyone who suffers from eczema, will have the bacteria on their skin. Once it gets into the skin, through cracked damaged skin, it can cause the symptoms of your eczema to get a lot worse.

You’ll find your eczema gets very inflamed and itchy. You might also notice that it is weepy. An infection can make treating your eczema a lot harder.

One place that the Staph aureus bacteria can be found in your home is on your bed.

A test was done on a mattress, from its exterior through to its deepest layer. One of the bacteria found was Staph aureus. One of the ways to kill bacteria is by washing at a high temperature. Obviously it is extremely difficult to wash a mattress! The next best option is to use a mattress protector. Protectors can help to reduce the number of bacteria getting into your mattress, and bacteria getting onto your skin from the mattress.

It has been advised that you change your mattress at least every 8 years. If your child has recently been diagnosed with eczema it may be a good idea to buy a new mattress and protector.

Luckily bedding items, like sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers can be easily washed. Washing them at temperatures of at least 60 centigrade will kill the bacteria.

If you or your child have a Staph aureus infection it would be beneficial to wash the bedding and mattress protector as often as you can. This will help to keep the number of bacteria as low as possible.

There is the option of buying special bedding that is made to reduce the growth of bacteria. It is costlier than bedding you can buy in a home store, but you may feel that it is worth the extra cost, especially if you or your child are prone to infections.

I haven’t tried this type of bedding, so I’d love to hear if you have, and if you found it helped.

Do you have a tip you would like to share? Let me know :)

5 Ways To.......fill the summer hoildays with eczema friendly activities

1. Free taster sessions for different sports. Sports centres sometimes offer a free session for children to try a new sport. If you’re concerned about your child getting hot, sweaty and itchy, then they could try one of the less physical sports. In the city I live I’ve found free sessions for golf, archery and yoga. If your child would rather run off their extra energy, then any sport is an option. Just give them lots of water, a towel to remove excess sweat and layer them up in thin cotton clothing

2. Geocaching. This is an extremely popular outdoor treasure hunt using GPS. You need to sign up for an account, but it’s free, unless you want a premier account. Once you have an account you can pick which geocache you want to look for. A geocache is a container, which can be of any size. You’ll then be given the coordinates of where the geocache is. When you get to the right area you have to look for the geocache, some are hard, some are easy and some are quite ingenious! Once you’ve found it you sign the log book and put it all back for the next person to find. You can do this in your own area or it’s a good excuse to visit somewhere new. You can find out more about geocaching

3. Make allergy free Play Dough. Play Dough is fun but can be irritating for some eczema sufferers. I’ll be honest I didn’t know you could make your own dough, so here is a recipe for rice play dough. I think I might give this a go!

4. Make a holiday book. If your child likes arts and crafts, then this may be an idea for them. All they need is a scrap book, pens, glue, scissors and some pictures. They can fill it with everything that they do in the school holidays. They could actually fill it with anything. Drawings, photographs, writing, leaves, handprints…anything! Children have such good imaginations, so they will fill it with things that I would never think of!

5. Baking. Most children love mixing and making a mess, as baking and cooking could be for them. If your child has any food allergies you could make a simple recipe with them that only includes the food they can eat. You could even take them to the supermarket to help pick what ingredients they need. If your child has hand eczema they may need to wear latex free gloves when they touch any food. I’m not allergic to onions, but if I touch them they can irritate my skin for a couple of days. There are many websites with both kid friendly and allergy free recipes

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The September edition of Eczema Bulletin will include

  • September's Featured Article - Eczema and Hypnotherapy
  • My favourite news item of the month
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....manage perioral dermatitis

Hope you enjoyed August's Eczema Bulletin, and thanks for reading


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