Eczema and Hormonal Changes

Hormones play a role in a womans life and the hormones are working to full capacity when a girl begins menstruating, every time she menstruates, during pregnancy and when a woman is going through menopause. It is unclear while some women report that pregnancy causes their eczema to flare-up worse while other women see a great deal of improvement.

What are Homones?

The endocrine system of the human body consists of both tissues and organs that manufacture hormones. Hormones are “natural chemicals produced in one location, secreted into the bloodstream, then used by certain other target organs and systems.”

It is the hormones that allow the target organs to do their job. Some of the organ systems have hormones as well as their “own internal control systems.” Aging and changes in the body occur in the way the systems are managed. Some tissues have a habit of developing less sensitivity to the individual hormone that controls them.

Changes over Time

As time passes and a woman ages and goes through different stages in her life the blood levels of a variety of hormones changes. Some increase while other decrease and still other remain the same. Hormones have a tendency to metabolize at a very slow rate. The organs of the body that manufacture hormones are in many cases controlled by yet other hormones.

Aging and changes in a womans reproductive cycle play a role in all of this. To use an example, endocrine tissues very often produce a lesser amount of hormone in middle age than it did when the individual was younger, but in other incidences it might produce the same quantity over the years but do so at a much slower speed.

Treatment Considerations

For those suffering from eczema a good rule of thumb is to not begin any new types of treatments for your condition while you are going through a hormonal change. For example do not start ultraviolet therapy, topical immunomodulators or steroid creams when you are getting ready for your period to begin because hormonal changes could wreak havoc with the results you hope to achieve. Instead begin a few weeks before or a few weeks after menstruation is passed.

Pregnancy in particular causes hormones to go crazy. The volume of blood a womans heart pumps increases a great deal when she is pregnant and this increase in both hormone production and blood can bring about changes in a womans skin. These changes are not the same for every woman. Some womens eczema skin becomes drier, flakier and itchier while other find that their level of natural oils is plentiful.

Keep your Doctor in the Loop

It is extremely important to schedule regular visits to your doctor or dermatologist during pregnancy to keep abreast of all of the changes in your skin, whether it be improvements or increased incidences of breakouts.

Menopause causes a shake up of hormones and requires that eczema prone skin needs some extra tender loving care. However in a great deal of cases eczema is not as common for women of menopausal age. Atopic eczema is very rare in menopausal individuals whereas varicose and discoid eczema are more common among this age group of women. After menopause has ended many women have lesser amounts of the hormones estrogen, estradiol and prolactin.