Hormones play an important role in a woman’s life. Hormones are working to full capacity when a girl begins to menstruate, each time she menstruates, during pregnancy and when a woman is enduring menopause. Some women report that pregnancy causes their eczema to flare-up, while other women see a great deal of improvement in their skin condition.
The human endocrine system consists of both hormone-manufacturing tissues and organs. Hormones are natural chemicals produced in one place, secreted into the bloodstream, then used by specific other target organs and systems. It is the hormones that enable the target organs to do their work. Some of the organ systems use hormones as well as their own internal control systems. Aging and body changes occur in the management of the systems are managed. Unfortunately, some tissues have a habit of developing decreased sensitivity to the individual hormone that controls them.
As time progresses and a woman ages and goes through different stages in her life, the hormone blood levels change. Some increase while others decrease and still other see no change. Hormones commonly metabolize at a very slow rate. The hormone-manufacturing organs in the body are, in many cases, controlled by yet other hormones. Aging and reproductive cycle changes play a role in all of this. To use an example, endocrine tissues very often produce a decreased amount of hormone in middle age as compared with how much it produced when the individual was younger, but in other incidences it might produce the same quantity over the years but do so at a much decreased rate of speed.
For eczema sufferers, a good rule of thumb is to not begin any new types of therapies for your condition while you are enduring a hormonal change. For example, do not begin ultraviolet therapy, topical immunomodulators or steroid creams while waiting for your menstrual cycle because hormonal changes could wreak havoc with your desired results. It is best to wait until a few weeks after menstruation is passed.
Pregnancy in particular causes hormones to enter a state of flux. A woman’s heart sees a great increase in the volume of blood when she is pregnant and this increase in both blood and hormone production can bring about skin changes. These changes are not standard across all women. Some women’s eczema skin becomes flakier, drier and itchier while others find that their natural oil level is plentiful. It is extremely important to continue with regular visits to your doctor or dermatologist during pregnancy to keep abreast of your skin changes, whether it be improvements or increased breakouts.
Menopause causes great hormone changes and eczema-prone skin needs some extra tender loving care. However, when it comes to eczema, is not as common in women of menopausal age. Atopic eczema is very rare in menopausal women whereas varicose and discoid eczema are increasely common among this age group. After the end of menopause many women have lesser amounts of the hormones estrogen, estradiol and prolactin.