Skin allergies are complex and moody beasts and can literally change with the weather!
I have "managed" urticaria for over 12 years and have gradually dealt with what makes it better or worse.
However, life occasionally brings up a new experience that teaches me something else about my skin and its ticks.
One of the real joys during my last pregnancy was that my urticaria completely disappeared. In fact, I had the best skin I ever had – radiant, moist, and calm . But then came baby and with it urticaria. And boy, it has returned with all its might!
I have been thinking about the effects of hormones on the skin, and a research center has shown some clear connections between our hormone cycles and skin health.
Hormones & Skin Health
When I think back, my urticaria was always bad at this time of the month – and we hear from many women who say the same thing.
One reason for this is the body temperature, which increases immediately after ovulation and remains higher for about 10 to 16 days and covers the days before and the beginning of your period.
Excessive heat in the body is often associated with skin flare-ups – eczema in Greek means " boiling over ".
Skin prone to blemishes can also be worse shortly before your period due to a sharp increase in progesterone. Progesteron interrupts the skin's estrogen receptors, which regulate the sebaceous glands. The result is an increase in sebum production and these premenstrual pimples.
Pregnancy and Skin Health
So if hormone peaks are responsible for skin problems, you would expect my urticaria to get worse during pregnancy, not better if the hormone level rises.
This is where the immune system comes into play because it strengthens considerably during pregnancy.
A recent study showed a relationship between high levels of progesterone during pregnancy and the thymus – the key organ in our immune system that is dependent on progesterone.
Urticaria, like many allergies, is classified as autoimmune – which is why it is worse when you are down and better when you are fighting fit. An enormously strengthened immune system during pregnancy would logically lead to calmer, happier skin.
Have other allergy sufferers experienced this? Or can someone share scientific evidence to support or disprove these theories ?!