Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that may cause itchiness, redness, blisters, and more. While visiting a dermatologist can provide great insight into your specific condition and how to care for your skin, it has recently come to light that eczema may be caused by an underlying medical condition. If you have eczema, you may have noticed that flare-ups are accompanied by horrible migraines.
This chronic condition requires great caution when engaging in skincare or choosing what clothes to wear. Patients with eczema typically find that it is difficult to go about their daily lives because plenty of materials and particles can trigger eczema flare-ups.
Eczema is an "umbrella" medical term that describes a variety of inflammatory skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, nummular eczema, and more. This condition is very common within all age ranges and is said to affect everyone at least once within their lifetimes. It is easy to mistake eczema for being contagious because it resembles other skin diseases that can spread upon contact. In fact, much is still unknown about what causes eczema, but it cannot be "caught" through contact.
Eczema is typically triggered by two factors: environmental and genetic triggers. When the body comes in contact with a particle that it classifies as an allergen, the immune system may cause inflammation in the site of contact. This can happen inside or on the surface of the body. The inflammation caused by the immune system is what we can view on the surface of the body as flare-ups.
If you are diagnosed with eczema, you may have experienced one or a mixture of the following symptoms during your lifetime:
Most patients who have not assessed their condition with a dermatologist might not know what exactly is causing their flare-ups. The body can define nearly anything as an allergen, from seafood to even milk. Here is a concise list of common eczema triggers:
Experiencing a migraine is coined as one of the norms of life. Regardless of what age we are, there are stressors at almost every point in our lives. If you have been diagnosed with eczema, you may not believe that there is a connection between the two at all, simply because of how normal migraines are. A study published in the year 2008 by the American Academy of Neurology suggests that chronic migraines may increase skin sensitivity.
In addition to pain, migraines can cause a condition known as allodynia, increased sensitivity to touch. Touch is one of the senses controlled primarily by nerve endings. When we experience migraines, the nerve endings beneath our skin can become so sensitive that even the slightest touch may hurt.
It has been shown that 80% of patients suffering from chronic migraines experience allodynia during an episode. Allodynia can be worsened by extreme temperatures, slight touches, and the pressure of an object against your skin. As the skin sensitivity increases, it is almost guaranteed that objects that you would normally be able to touch are now seen as allergens by your body. For this reason, you may experience flare-ups even by the clothes that you wear on a daily basis.
An easy way to determine if you are experiencing allodynia is by performing a nerve sensitivity test. The skin is one of the most sensitive organs of the human body and contains over 1,000 nerve endings. Some of these nerve endings may be more sensitive than others. For instance, being injured near your knees may hurt more than on the surface of your arm. To perform this test, choose a location of your body that is not as sensitive as compared to the rest of your body, such as the back of your hand.
Once you have located a region for the test, begin by rubbing a small cotton pad against your skin. Next, moisten the pad to either a hot or cold temperature and place it against your skin. If any of these stimuli provoke pain, you may have allodynia. Of course, it is always advisable to visit a doctor for a proper assessment and diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with chronic migraines, it may help to receive treatment before complications, such as eczema and allodynia arise. Upon visiting the doctor, you may be prescribed antidepressants, NSAIDs, anti-seizure medications, or beta-blockers. Typically, chronic migraines are caused by underlying medical factors, such as hormonal changes, inflammation, or infections. In some cases, you may find that the prescribed medications are ineffective, as they do not work for everyone.
If this occurs, it is recommended to create a headache diary in which you list all of your headache triggers. This will help you avoid certain triggers and experience fewer headaches. Other at-home treatment options include lifestyle changes, such as drinking less caffeine or exercising regularly.
Chronic migraines are caused by stress, and the most important thing you can do to eliminate stress is to take care of yourself. Doctors recommend getting more hours of sleep each night, eating three meals per day, avoiding overuse of medications, and simply spending less time engaging in activities that may stress you out. These simple changes may make a considerable difference in your life in terms of experiencing fewer migraines and living a better quality of life.