Eczema Bulletin, Issue #031 - Eczema and the Menstrual Cycle
Welcome to February's edition of the Eczema Bulletin e-zine, and thank you for subscribing.
This is the 31th edition of Eczema Bulletin. It will bring you articles and news about eczema, and also any updates to what-is-eczema.com. 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
- February's Featured Article – Eczema and the Menstrual Cycle
- My favourite eczema news article
- Tip of the Month
- 5 Ways To.....manage foot eczema
Eczema and the Menstrual Cycle
You may find that your eczema symptoms get worse at certain times during your menstrual cycle. This happens to around 30% of women.
The main reason for this is the hormonal changes that happen. Not only go these hormones cause the symptoms of PMS, but also the flare ups of eczema.
The hormones involved are progesterone and oestrogen.
Oestrogen is prominent in the first half of the menstrual cycle. As the cycle moves into the second half the levels of oestrogen drop. This drop can cause the symptoms of PMS.
As the levels of oestrogen drop the level of progesterone increases. Progesterone is the opposite to oestrogen. It makes your body feel good as it balances it out.
When the body has a high level of oestrogen or a low level of progesterone the symptoms of PMS, and more importantly for us, the symptoms of eczema can get worse. The skin can become more inflamed and itchy.
So, how can you increase your levels of
There are a few natural ways you can do this. What you eat is always a good place to start. You can avoid foods that are high in oestrogen, like meat, as some animals are fed with hormone enriched grain. Also wheat products and foods that belong to the nightshade family, including potatoes, peppers and aubergine (eggplant), are best avoided.
Also eating foods high in zinc and magnesium will help. Zinc helps to increase the levels of progesterone in the body. Zinc rich foods include pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and shellfish.
Magnesium helps with hormonal balance. Good sources of magnesium include spinach, pumpkin seeds and nuts.
One think that can affect your levels of progesterone is stress. When our stress hormone, cortisol, increases it limits the productivity of progesterone. So we need to find some ways to reduce stress...here are some ideas
If you find
that your eczema symptoms get worse during your menstrual cycle you may find keeping oestrogen levels low and progesterone levels high not only helps to reduce eczema flare ups, but also reduce your PMS symptoms...double yay! :)
Eczema News Article
An 18 month study of more than 1,000 newborns has found that eczema is triggered by different things, depending on how old the sufferer was when their eczema first appeared.
The study involved information about the development of eczema from their parents over the 18 months. At the end of the study the children were tested for common allergens. The researchers also looked at the patients lifestyle, and their family's allergies history.
The results found that when a baby developed eczema before the age of 6 months it was found to be linked to a family history of allergies.
When it developed between 6 and 12 months they found it was associated with going to day care or nursery. This is thought to be because they were exposed to more allergens which might sensitise some children.
When eczema developed after 12 months the researchers found it could be to do with antibiotics taken in the first 6 months. One reason for this is that antibiotics
can disrupt the gut's flora which can affect how the body responds to allergens.
The researchers are taking the study further and looking into how diet and weight gain, as well as environmental factors can influence how allergic diseases develop in children.
Tip Of The Month - The Difference Between Soap and Detergent
Both soap and detergent can be an irritant to some eczema sufferers. But some people may find that their kitchen cleaner irritates them more than their bar of soap. So is there a reason for this?
Pure soap is natural. Its made of salts of fatty acids blended with fats and oils.
Detergents are synthetic. They are mostly petroleum based.
As soap is natural it is gentler on the skin, and better for the environment.
Detergent is harsher on the skin, but it also pollutes our rivers which is detrimental to wildlife.
Detergents are generally cheaper to make than soap. This is why a lot of commercial cleaners, like washing up liquid and hand washes, are made from it.
Soap is made from either vegetable or animal fats and oils. Vegetable based soaps tend to be gentler on the skin. Animal based ones can dry the skin and are less recommended if you have eczema.
Soap is also naturally alkaline, with a pH of between 9.5 and 10.
Because of this no preservatives need to be added to stop bacteria growing.
Detergents are either more neutral or can be a little acidic. This can cause bacteria to grow. To combat this preservatives are added. This preservatives can also irritate the skin.
Both soaps and detergents are great cleansers. Natural soaps are definitely the best choice for body cleansing. One of it's benefits is that it naturally prevents the loss of moisture from the skin.
Detergents are good at cleaning the home, but if you suffer from eczema I advise that you wear gloves whenever you use them. If you use hand cleaners with detergents then don't leave them on your skin, and apply an emollient after.