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Eczema Bulletin, Issue #042 - How Sleep, Or Lack Of, Can Affect Your Eczema
January 01, 2017

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 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

  • 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.

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

5 Ways To.......make eczema friendly New Year resolutions

1. Try something new. Even it is just one new thing. You could try anything, perhaps something to help either manage or treat yours or your child's eczema. If you haven't tried any natural treatments, like emu oil, you could do a bit of research and decide if they are worth a try. You could also try something that could help you to discover what triggers your eczema, like a food allergy test

2. Drink more water. Water helps to keep the skin hydrated, reducing dryness and itchiness. I have read that we need around 2 litres of water a day. When you have eczema you tend to have a faulty skin barrier. One of it's functions is to lock moisture into your skin. If your barrier is defective then your skin will lose moisture. You may decide that you'd like to drink more than 2 litres a day to make up any loss

3. Cut down on sugar. Sugar can have a detrimental affect on your body. If you have a very sweet tooth you may find that the excess sugar has a dehydrating affect on your skin. Sugar also promotes inflammation. This causes collagen and elastin to break, and both are important to build healthy skin. If your skin isn't healthy then it will take longer for your eczema to heal

4. Join a local support group. It could be great to meet other eczema sufferers and their families. You can hear and share your stories and experiences which could help you to manage and treat your eczema. Also if your child is an eczema sufferer a support group is a good place for them to meet other children going through similar experiences. Groups raise awareness and may take part in events in the community. You can get involved as much or as little as you want.

5. Get a better nights sleep. Sometimes easier said than done I know, but there are many things you can do which may help. There are some ideas on the page about eczema and sleep. They are mainly geared towards children but they could definitely be used to help grown ups. If you need any reasons to why a good nights sleep can benefit your eczema, you can read the above article :)

Keeping Up-To-Date With What is Eczema

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The February edition of Eczema Bulletin will include

  • February's Featured Article - Formaldehyde Allergy
  • My favourite news item of the month
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....use licorice to manage your eczema

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


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