Cure to eczema: Pregnancy?
By Jennifer Sygo, registered dietician in Toronto.
I don’t like my skin. You see, I’ve lived with eczema (not to mention food allergies) for most of my life, which means that I spend a lot of time nursing angry, red, itchy, and occasionally broken skin. My hands have had it the worst in recent years, which not only becomes tricky for writing and typing (let me assure you, the sensation of your skin cracking open when you bend your fingers is not a pleasant one), but also makes handwashing a remarkably stressful event.
So what do I do to manage my eczema? I’ve tried a lot of things: gluten-free, dairy-free diets (no luck); supplements, including omega-3s, evening primrose oil, and coconut oil (nothing); and a litany of creams, soaps, and moisturizers. So far, very few have panned out, but perhaps most surprisingly, the best thing for my eczema was two rounds of pregnancy and breastfeeding: other than some flair-ups in the first trimester, I enjoyed nearly flawless skin, and soft hands that I didn’t want to hide for once. So what have I learned about eczema so far? That it is complex, and symptoms are not always easily explained. So until we have more research, I, like many, am left with a lot of trial and error.
Scientists are getting closer to understanding the genetic connection between allergic diseases, bringing hope for future therapy for eczema sufferers. Here’s an in-depth article about the latest findings via SkinInc.com