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Eczema Bulletin, Issue #036 - What is Photoaggravated Eczema?
July 14, 2016

Eczema Bulletin, Issue #036 - What is Photoaggravated Eczema?

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

Sorry that it is abit later than normal, I've had some big changes happen in my life in the last few weeks so everything has been up in the air! Better late than never, so they say :)

This is the 36th 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

  • July's Featured Article – What is Photoaggravated Eczema?
  • My favourite eczema news article
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....use hemp seed oil

What is Photoaggravated Eczema?

Photoaggravated eczema is a type of eczema that is made worse by sunlight, and sometimes heat. It is also known as sun allergy.

It can affect anyone, and is found in 1 in 10 cases of eczema. Although there are no reports that suggest that it runs in families.

If you’re a sufferer of photoaggravated eczema, you’ll find that the symptoms get worse in the summer than in the winter. You’ll also see that the symptoms appear where your skin isn’t always covered, like on your face, neck and hands.

It is treated in the same way as other types of eczema. Treatments used include emollients and topical steroids creams and ointments.

If you find that it is persistent or that you’re suffering from a severe case, then you may be referred for UV treatment at your local hospital. UV treatment is used to help build up resistance to sunlight. It is done gradually over around 5 weeks in the Spring. In the winter the resistance lowers, so the treatment is repeated again in the Spring.

There are some things that you can do to help protect your skin.

  • Try and avoid the sun, especially for long periods and during the hottest part of the day, normally between the late morning and early evening
  • When you’re out in the sun you can help protect your skin by wearing thin layers of clothing
  • Use plenty of a good all-rounder sunscreen. High SPF for UVB protection, and at least 4 stars for UVA protection

It is really important to get photoaggravated eczema diagnosed correctly, especially if you live in one of the more sunnier parts of the world.

It can help to keep a diary for a few weeks as this may show whether your eczema symptoms are made worse by the sun. Once it has been diagnosed it will help you to manage the symptoms better.

Eczema News Article

A widely used additive has been linked to food allergies, according to researchers at Michigan State University, USA.

The additive, tert-butylhydroquinane, or tBHQ, is used in foods including cooking oil, margarine, bread products and chicken nuggets.

The additive comes from benzene, and was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1972. It is hard for us to know if it is in a food as its not listed on food labels.

The researchers have found that tBHQ has an effect on cells which produce the protein cytokines. Cytokines help to fight disease. When tBHQ is present the cells produce cytokines that trigger several food allergies, including milk, nuts, shellfish and eggs.

I’m interested to find out if this research influences how this additive is used, or if they will have to start adding it on to food labelling. I will let you know of any updates.

Tip Of The Month - What is a Paraffin Wax Bath?

Paraffin wax is a soft and waxy substance which has been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for dry skin.

It has some great beneficial properties that can help eczema and dry skin. It is a natural emollient which works from deep within the skin. It moisturises the skin, helping to keep it soft. It also adds a thin protective layer over the skin which helps to keep the moisture in.

Paraffin wax melts at a low temperature which is why it is safe to use on the skin.

You can either use a paraffin wax machine, or you can do it yourself at home. A machine can be quite expensive, but it maintains the temperature of the melted wax so it is safe to use on your skin.

Doing it yourself can work out cheaper, but it’s harder to keep the temperature of the wax right. This can increase the risk of the skin getting burnt.

The baths are especially good for hands and feet as they are easy to place in the machine.

  • Place a hand in the wax for a few seconds
  • You then put your hand inside a plastic bag
  • Then put your covered hand inside a cotton mitten, like an oven glove, for around 10 to 15 minutes
  • Take your hand out of the glove and the bag and peel off the wax
  • Remove any excess wax with a soft towel
  • Moisturise your hand

When the wax is peeled off, it also removes any dead skin cells. If you have tried using a paraffin wax bath, I’d love to hear about it. Was it easy to do, or have you tried to do it yourself at home? Let me know :)

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

5 Ways To.......use hemp seed oil

1. Apply directly to your skin. When it is applied to your skin it isn’t greasy and it absorbs quickly. It can be applied daily. After it has been applied you can wrap a bandage around it. This will help it to absorb even better. You can do this just before you go to bed, and leave the bandage on until the next morning

2. Add it to food. Hemp oil can be added to a number of different foods, including salads, dips, juices and as an ingredient for a smoothie. It shouldn’t be used to fry food in, if it gets too hot it can become toxic

3. Take hemp oil supplements. It is always better to take or use a product directly, but supplements are a good alternative. Hemp oil supplements can be brought at health food shops. The normal recommendation is that you take 1 or 2 capsules each day

4. Take directly. You can buy oil from good supermarkets and health food shops. It is recommended that you take 1 teaspoon, 3 times a day. If you don’t like the taste, then you can add it to some of your favourite juice

5. Use skin products containing hemp oil. Hemp oil is added to some skin products, including creams, lotions and lip balms. They’re available in many stores, and online. I’d advise that you just check the rest of the ingredients in the product. Look out for anything that could irritate your eczema, including perfume and SLS. Also the more ingredients that a product contains that are unknown and unpronounceable, the less natural it is likely to be!

Keeping Up-To-Date With What is Eczema

For the latest news about eczema, and any updates to What is Eczema you can subscribe to The Eczema Blog.

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The August edition of Eczema Bulletin will include

  • August's Featured Article - Contraception and Eczema
  • My favourite news item of the month
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....fill the summer holidays with eczema friendly activities

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


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