Do you flare every fall? Here's my theory why!Oct 09, 2023
I flare every fall without fail.
Granted my flares can be mild and I know how to get rid of them but it continuously makes me curious about why. I am not the only one either. Many people with eczema flare in the fall time.
Less sun equals...
Here's where things got interesting for me. Recently I haven't been feeling my happy bubbly self as much as I usually do. I woke up extremely tired and can't seem to get enough sleep. In fact, almost every October I go through the hardest mental health months of the year. I feel sad a lot more often, cry more, and feel low more often. I needed to know why this could happen and did a quick search which told me this... Around October the sun starts setting earlier and earlier. Did you know that a decrease in sunlight also means a decrease in serotonin? Serotonin is a happy hormone!
Then the wheels started turning.
Things started really clicking in my head about serotonin and eczema flares. I have preached for years about the negative effects of stress on eczema. I actually found some really fascinating articles:
"Stress and anxiety may worsen atopic dermatitis (AD) through the serotonin system."
"Serotonin content was significantly lower in the patients with severe AD (MADRS >12), and there was an adverse relation between the serotonin content and the score of depression, the features not noticed in the control group. We conclude that severe AD, as expressed by the intensification of skin lesions, associates with depression and with the lowering of serum serotonin content. The findings point attention to the cognitive and affective problems in AD patients which could worsen the course of the skin disease."
"There is a modulation of the expression of serotonergic markers in the eczematous skin and brain of the atopic-like mouse during chronic mild stress."
What does this mean?
I uncovered part of the mystery about why we flare in the fall. There is a decrease in sunlight which decreases serotonin which is linked to an increase in eczema. Isn't this fascinating? I am going to investigate further about what we can do about this. One thing I did find is tryptophan, an amino acid, helps the body produce serotonin which according to this source the best food sources of the amnio acid are: turkey/chicken, beef, soy (tofu, tempeh), and salmon.