In this episode, you’ll also learn all about:
– Why your eczema (or TSW) flares before your monthly cycle
– How your hormones impact your eczema and TSW
– How pregnancy and breastfeeding affect your eczema & hormones
– Top strategies to prevent flares before your monthly cycle
– Why menopause affects your eczema (and TSW)
– What factors determine if you flare before your period?
– The impact of Estrogen, Progesterone, and Estradiol on eczema & TSW
Are Your Hormones Causing Your Eczema Flares?
As women, we know that our menstrual cycle can affect our mood, weight, and cravings. However, there are other things that it can affect too.
Have you noticed that there might be changes in your skin rashes based on your menstrual cycle?
There is a relationship between the hormones involved in the menstrual cycle and eczema.
This article will discuss how significant hormonal changes in pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause can affect your eczema flares.
Understanding The Menstrual Cycle
Before I dig into the relationship between the menstrual cycle and eczema, it is important to understand the basic concepts of the menstrual cycle.
The first day of the menstrual cycle is the first complete day a woman menstruates. From there, you start counting until your next bleeding day. On average, it might last 28 days, but other women might have longer or shorter menstrual cycles.
Four primary hormones are involved in the menstrual cycle: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone.
The follicular phase is the first part of the menstrual cycle. It lasts from day one up until day thirteen. Here, the follicles in the ovary are maturing the egg for its release.
The two main hormones during this phase are follicle-stimulating hormone and estrogen, with its most significant peak around ovulation (day 14).
If the egg is not fertilized, it moves to the second part of the menstrual cycle, the luteal phase.
During the luteal phase, luteinizing hormone and progesterone are released. You can still find the estrogen slightly increased (but not as much during ovulation), with a sudden drop at the start of the new menstrual cycle (bleeding).
How your hormones impact your eczema and TSW
While there is still no underlying cause of eczema, research shows that hormones can affect the immune system causing eczema flares.
So, first, we need to know about our immune system to understand why our hormones are related to eczema flares.
T-cells are in charge of any immune response.
Th1 cells and Th17 cells help keep your Th2 levels low.
Th2 cells are immune cells that respond to allergens in the body. They are seen in higher amounts in any type of eczema.
So, a sudden rise in Th2 cells leads to increased eczema flares.
But what can make your Th2 cells go up?
An increase in estrogen and progesterone can decrease the response of Th1 and Th17, leading to a higher response in Th2 cells (more Th2 cells are now in your body).
This is why during your ovulation or right before your next menstrual cycle, you might find yourself having more symptoms of eczema.
Pregnancy and Eczema
The immune system changes during pregnancy since its main job is to protect the baby instead of focusing on the mother.
Due to the increase in estrogen and progesterone levels, they turn down the immune response to external invaders. In other words, it turns down the response of Th1 and Th17 cells.
So, as mentioned before, a decrease in Th1 and Th17 leads to an increase in Th2 cells. This opens the door for symptoms of eczema to come back.
It is important to stop eczema medication during this time since it can affect the baby.
Breastfeeding and Eczema
During breastfeeding, the eczema reactions are again linked to your menstrual cycle returning to normal.
However, unlike pregnancy, here you can start treatment again.
If the medication is suitable for children, it is okay to have it while breastfeeding.
Make sure to consult with your doctor to find the right medication for you.
Menopause and Eczema
Estrogen helps strengthen the skin barrier.
When women are in perimenopause or menopause, their estrogen levels get very low. Consequently, there is a reduction in collagen production, leading to drier skin.
Also, the irregularities in hormone production lead to an imbalance in the immune system, which, combined with drier skin, can lead to more eczema symptoms.
Top strategies to prevent flares before your monthly cycle
Now, let’s talk about what you can do to prevent your hormones from affecting your eczema.
- Keep your skin healthy. Moisturize and treat your skin with the appropriate treatments for you.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. They have nutrients and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in your body. Make sure you consume at least three to four different color vegetables to ensure you are getting different nutrients throughout the day.
- Hydrate. For your skin to be healthy, it needs adequate hydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. To determine how much water you need, divide your weight in pounds by two. This gives you the number of ounces of water your need per day.
- Have a good night’s sleep. During your sleep is where your skin regenerates. Make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep.
- Manage your stress. Stress can negatively impact your eczema. While eliminating stress might be challenging, find healthy ways to cope with stress.
- Supplement. You can take some collagen to help boost the quality of your skin. Also, research shows that you can supplement with amino acids called L-histidine and L-glutamine to help increase ferritin.
Ovulation and Luteal Phase (Day 14 to Day 28)
As we saw in the article, during the ovulation and luteal phase, your estrogen and progesterone levels are high, which leads to an increase in the symptoms of eczema.
Supplementing with herbs like quercetin, vitamin C, and nettle leaves can help reduce any possible allergic response.
The Bottom Line
Your levels of estrogen and progesterone are linked to your eczema flares. An increase in these (ovulation, before bleeding, and during pregnancy) can decrease your immune system, making you more prone to eczema flares.
During perimenopause or menopause, the drop in estrogen can also decrease your immune response and make your skin drier. This can also affect your eczema.
Make sure you have healthy habits like keeping your skin healthy, hydrating, eating fruits and vegetables, having a good sleep, and reducing stress.
In this episode, we interview Dr. Julie Greenberg, a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and Registered Herbalist RH (AHG) who specializes in integrative dermatology.
Book a free eczema breakthrough call with us here if you need help conquering eczema.
Watch my FREE training here: on the top 3 biggest mistakes stopping your eczema from healing.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST BELOW:
If you’d like to listen to the audio-only version, click below to listen.
Have a podcast question that you want to submit?
Click below to record a question and you’ll have a chance for it to be featured on the podcast!
(Note: by sending a voice message, you are agreeing to allow your question to be featured on the podcast).
If you want to hear everything she shared, head on over to iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play to listen to it.
Want more eczema resources?
You can also find products to help your skin below:
- Book a FREE eczema breakthrough call
- Get personalized coaching
- Shop all eczema products
- Conqueror Dry Skin Soothing Balm
- Calming Bath Treatment
- Eczema gloves
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who has been featured in Women’s Health Magazine, Self Magazine, WebMD, Everyday Health, and Thought Catalog. She is the creator of Eczema Conquerors, founder of Conqueror Skincare, and host of The Eczema Podcast, which has over 100,000 listens and 500,000 views on YouTube. Her mission is to empower others to help them overcome eczema and topical steroid withdrawal (TSW).
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.