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Eczema Bulletin, Issue #031 - Eczema and the Menstrual Cycle
February 01, 2016

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 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

You can contact me here

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 progesterone?

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 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.

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

5 Ways To.......manage foot eczema

1. Use a wrap with emollient. Using a wrap can be very effective in treating and managing eczema. I t would probably be better to use one at night. Not only for the practical side of it, but if you can just leave the wrap on overnight it gives the emollient time to absorb into the skin and for the skin to heal. All you need to do is smother the skin with emollient then wrap a bandage around the area. To help hold the bandage in place and to help prevent the cream getting on your bedding, you can cover it with a pair of socks or a foot bandage

2. Choose some good shoes. Getting the right shoes can help to prevent foot eczema. The material of the shoes can be important. It's better to go for a canvas or open shoe, rather than leather shoes or trainers. It's also better to wear shoes that aren't too tight. Tight shoes can make your feet sweat. Try to avoid footwear that contain dyes, as these may irritate your skin, especially if no socks are worn

3. Limit sweating. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you do you can't stop your feet sweating. But there are ways that you can limit it's irritation. At the end of your day take off your socks and shoes and clean your feet. Pat them dry then apply moisturiser. You can also rotate your shoes, to allow them to dry out between wear

4. Avoid woollen socks. Woollen socks are not only irritating but can also make your feet hot. Try wearing 100% cotton socks that allow your feet to breathe. Also change them often as any sweat or dirt can irritate your eczema. Go for socks that are natural and don't contain any dyes

5. Soak your feet. A nice foot soak can help to relieve any itching and moisturise your skin. A good one to try is an oatmeal soak. Put 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal into a big bowl three quarters filled with warm water. Mix it well. You can soak your feet for around 15 minutes, and I'd advise for no longer than 20 minutes. After the soak pat the excess water off with a soft towel, then apply an emollient

You can read more about foot eczema, here

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The March edition of Eczema Bulletin will include

  • March's Featured Article - Eczema and Rosacea
  • My favourite news item of the month
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....manage eczema while pregnant

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


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