A research letter published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has outlined the degree to which symptoms of atopic dermatitis (AD) may be exacerbated during the premenstrual period.
The study, conducted by Dr. Giacomo Dal Bello and colleagues from the University of Verona in Italy, evaluated women of child-bearing age (18 to 45 years with AD [87 patients] or psoriasis [85 patients]). The results showed that evaluation indexes such as EASI, DLQI and itch rating scales for AD all worsened during the premenstrual time period.
After completing a questionnaire about their skin disease, gynecologic history and comorbid conditions, the study participants were evaluated for three consecutive months during the premenstrual, menstrual and postmenstrual periods. Patients being treated for AD or who had been treated with systemic agents in the previous three months were excluded from the study.
Results showed that women with moderate-to-severe AD had significant exacerbations in disease severity, itch and deterioration in quality of life in the premenstrual versus the menstrual period. The exacerbations were much worse when compared to the postmenstrual period. The researchers reported the mean worsening of symptoms in the EASI score was 17.7%, 35.3% in the numerical scale worst itch, and 26.3% in the DLQI. They noted that AD exacerbation during the premenstrual period was associated with higher age at menarche and a longer menstrual period.
The authors added that these menstrual variations of disease symptoms were not seen in patients with mild AD or psoriasis.