Because some types of eczema are triggered by a woman’s menstrual cycle, progesterone is sometimes part of the treatment plan. Many women complain of worsening acne and water retention during the menstrual cycle, but a few actually have autoimmune progesterone dermatitis (APD) a condition in which the menstrual cycle is associated with an number of skin conditions such as urticaria, eczema and others.
In affected women, the flare-ups typically occur three to ten days prior to the menstrual flow and they generally resolve two days after menstruation begins. Women with irregular menses may not have a correlation that is this clear and that can make autoimmune progesterone eczema more difficult to diagnose.
Because of the association between the menstrual cycle and eczema, progesterone creams and supplements are often used to treat the condition. Most women prefer to use supplements and creams that contain natural forms of progesterone. The amount and type of progesterone may vary from woman to woman. The regimen is closely associated with a woman’s monthly hormonal changes.
In addition to hormonal changes, food allergies can play a big role in eczema. Women who suffer from autoimmune progesterone eczema should be very aware of foods that aggravate their condition and avoid those foods altogether two weeks before menstrual flow begins.
Women who suffer from this skin condition should be extremely diligent about keeping the skin moisturized, especially in the week preceding their period. Frequent moisturizing locks in the skin’s own moisture to prevent dryness and cracking. One of the best ways to lock in moisture is to apply moisturizers immediately after bathing. It is also important to avoid irritating the skin by using harsh soaps or body sponges.
Irritants that can aggravate eczema include soaps, bubble baths, perfumes, cosmetic, laundry detergents, household cleaners and certain types of jewelry. Avoid personal care products that contain alcohol. Wash clothes only in hypoallergenic detergents and send them through the rinse cycle twice. Women with autoimmune progesterone eczema should wear clothes made from 100 percent cotton with no synthetic fibers. Bed linens should also be made from 100 percent cotton.
Women who are taking estrogen supplements for menopause symptoms should talk with their physicians before using natural or synthetic progesterone. Progesterone creams may increase the sensitivity of your skin to estrogen receptors. If you are taking progestin, such as Provera, you should stop using it immediately when you begin using progesterone cream. Many types of hormone replacement therapy, especially prescription strength medications, may interact adversely with progesterone.
A qualified holistic practitioner can help you decide if progesterone is the best method for treating your eczema. Autoimmune progesterone eczema has been treated successfully with natural products for many years.