Issue #042 - How Sleep, Or Lack Of, Can Affect Your Eczema
Welcome to January's edition of the Eczema Bulletin e-zine, and thank you for subscribing.
This is the 42nd edition of the 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
- January's Featured Article – How Sleep, Or Lack Of, Can Affect Your Eczema
- My favourite eczema news article
- Tip of the Month
- 5 Ways To.....make eczema friendly New Year resolutions
How Sleep, Or Lack Of, Can Affect Your Eczema
We spend a lot of our life's sleeping. I would spend more time if I could!
Sleep, or lack of, affects our bodies in many ways. We all know how good we feel after a restful night, and how rubbish we can feel after a night of disturbed sleep. But just how does sleep affect your eczema?
You may find that your eczema causes your sleep to be interrupted. Your skin gets hot and becomes itchy. The itchiness becomes a distraction. As you try to find any way to reduce it you find it extremely difficult to actually get to sleep. When you do finally nod off you wake up to find yourself in the middle of a scratching frenzy. The itch scratch cycle has started and, again, you struggle to get back to sleep.
If this happens every now and again you'll find that the next day you feel tired and irritable. Also the symptoms of your eczema may be a little more severe if you scratched during the night.
If you're affected by disturbed sleep regularly it will
start to have a negative impact on your health. It is when you sleep that your body is in the best state to heal, for example, it repairs cells.
If the healing isn't completed it can mean that your skin barrier won't be able to do it's job properly. One of it's functions is to lock moisture into the skin. This can cause your skin to be dehydrated, dry and itchy. Another function is to keep out bacteria. When certain bacteria enters the skin it can cause eczema to become infected, making it harder to treat.
A lack of sleep can also cause you to feel stressed. Both when you're lying in bed looking at the clock, and the next day when you feel like you don't have the energy to do everyday tasks. When stress levels are increased it can make your eczema symptoms worse. This is because of how your body responses to stress. There are some simple ways to reduce stress.
If it is your child that
is having restless nights then it will affect both you and them, and perhaps the rest of your family. As well as affecting their mood, sleep is also important for young children as it boosts their immune system. Their immune system helps their eczema to heal better and quicker.
There are some things you can do for you, or the eczema sufferer in your family, to help sleep better. You can read more about them, here.
Eczema News Article
Back in the July 2014 issue of Eczema Bulletin I wrote about the drug Dupilumab. It was being tested to see how effective it is in the management of eczema and asthma.
The study showed that dupilumab works on the immune system and decreased eczema symptoms and asthma attacks by 87%.
In an update it has been reported that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has accepted dupilumab for review as a treatment for eczema.
In the US the process is a bit further along than in Europe. It looks like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will make a ruling around March 2017. The EMA will still be reviewing the drug at that time.
Dupilumab, which will likely be sold as Dupixent, is predicted to make a big difference to some eczema sufferers. I will keep you updated :)
Tip Of The Month - Are You Allergic To Someone In Your Life?
Have you ever noticed that your eczema looks more sore and drier, and feels itchier after you've spent time with a certain someone?
If it has happened numerous times then you may be allergic to them...well perhaps not to them, but to something in their life.
Here is a list of potential irritants.
- Detergents they use to wash their clothes
- Pet dander on their clothing and furnishings
- Clothing. It could be the material or any dyes that they contain
- Fragrance. This can be anything from the deodorant, perfume or aftershave, and the hairspray they use
- Lotions or creams, including moisturisers
- Pollen. It could be in their hair or their clothing, and even in their home
- Hair dye
- Semen. It contains a particular protein that can cause an allergic reaction
Anything that normally triggers your eczema could be on this list. Although you may find that something new
may become an issue. If you find that you're getting an outbreak after being around someone, look at the obvious things first, the things that normally are an issue. Then look further.
You may find that you need to do an allergy test to find out if you have an allergies that you're unaware about.