Can Melatonin Help Itchy Skin (So You Can Sleep)? | Jennifer Fugo

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Welcome to the healthy skin show with jennifer fugo where we’re flipping everything you’ve been told about your chronic skin issues upside down and connecting you with alternative solutions your dermatologist never told you about welcome back to episode number 105 of the healthy skin show in today’s episode i wanted to talk to you about a hormone called

Melatonin and can it actually help you get some rest at night if you find that you’re being woken up in the middle of the night super itchy now sleep as you probably know is really important when you can’t sleep or you don’t sleep every single night very well it has almost this snowball effect on your life you feel awful then you can’t sleep and then you feel

Even worse and this goes on day after day after day until you get to a point where you don’t feel like yourself anymore you’re so tired that you almost can’t sleep it’s a very vicious cycle a lot of my clients complain about before we begin working together one critical piece of the puzzle in my book is to always normalize certain lifestyle factors that are

Causing issues like sleep sleeping well is so important to making sure that you feel well to seeing an improvement in the health conditions that we’re really fixated on in the moment and right now it could be eczema psoriasis whatever but it doesn’t matter sleeping well is important it’s sort of like your computer as you keep it on and do things day after day

Not ever shutting it down or turning it off the processes that it has to do gets slower and slower and slower and the computer doesn’t operate as well that’s why it’s imperative that you shut your computer down you reboot it right and the same goes for the body we need it to go to sleep that sleep part is sort of like rebooting your entire system so where does

Melatonin fit into all of this it’s a good question most people have heard of it as a supplement that you can buy in a grocery store and take if you’re having trouble sleeping but the reality is that most people don’t know what melatonin is if it’s safe and if it’s even a good idea for someone with chronic skin issues all right let’s talk about what melatonin is

So it’s a hormone that is secreted by your pineal gland that is produced by the amino acid called tryptophan now this specific hormone is there to help you get into a deep sleep once a long time ago it was thought that the only things beings etc that produced melatonin were animals and humans since then scientists have discovered that it is produced in other

Living organisms things like bacteria produce melatonin insects fungi so mushrooms and even some plants the reason that i’m talking about melatonin today is because people who have eczema tend to have lower levels of melatonin production the exact reasons why are not entirely clear there’s a lot of disruption in one’s ability to go to sleep or stay asleep

But there can be other factors at play and there is some interesting research out there demonstrating that doctors have been testing out using melatonin as a potential aid to help people with atopic dermatitis or eczema sleep better at night so i thought let’s go through some of the things that are critical for you to produce your own melatonin before we talk

About the supplement form and if it’s right for you the first thing you need to know is that your evening rituals are critical they are so important because what happens in the evening directly impacts your body’s ability to produce melatonin so you’ve probably heard a lot about going to bed at the same time and waking up also at the same time sleeping in a

Really cool environment i’ve read that the low 60 degree fahrenheit range seems to be the best spot for people in general and that you need to make sure that the room is dark so blacking out the windows and getting rid of any extraneous devices that are generating light and consider leaving your mobile devices outside so that any vibrations or ringing do not

Interfere with your ability to sleep but the other one that you may have heard about depends on what all you tune into is that blue light that is generated from computer screens tablets mobile devices your cell phones etc is highly disruptive to your body’s melatonin production your body doesn’t really know that it’s looking at a tv instead it thinks that it’s

Still daylight so when you sit there until one in the morning watching tv and then expect yourself to be able to go to bed when you’ve had this chronic issue that can be part of the process that’s actually hijacking your body’s natural ability to produce melatonin and if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night and then go watch tv or start looking at

Facebook or whatever on your phone probably not the best idea because while yes it may be a distraction it may not be the best healthiest distraction for you in that particular moment because now you’re flooding your body with this light that tells it as a signal it’s daylight i’m not suggesting that you should shut off all your lights shut off all your electronic

Devices read by candlelight and then go to bed when the sun goes down that’s not what i’m saying and there are certainly things that you can do to mitigate the effects of these lights so say you really do like to wind down in the evening with an hour of tv maybe the best option for you would be to purchase some sort of blue light blocking glasses that way yeah

You’re going to sit there and watch with these glasses on that are going to block the blue light but at least it’s not impacting your body’s ability to produce melatonin because believe it or not part of this process that helps signal the production of melatonin happens in your retina so your eyes are associated with this that’s why those glasses can be very

Helpful i certainly don’t want to beat the whole like you need a nighttime routine like a dead horse okay but it is important and the stats show us that i’ll give you a couple of interesting stats one for adults one for kids so as far as having sleep disturbed we find that about 33 to 87.1 percent of adults and 83 of children with eczema are dealing with some

Sort of sleep disturbance or difficulty staying asleep um insomnia that kind of stuff so real difficulty with sleeping in general so it’s pretty significant and it’s worthwhile if you are struggling to bite the bullet and begin looking at your evening time routine and work on that it’s actually really important i’ve also talked about some other interventions

That you can also test out like magnesium for example but let’s focus on what happens if you’ve done all of this stuff you’ve got your nighttime routine dialed in and so now you’re like all right should i bite the bullet and give melatonin a shot there are certain foods that contain melatonin most people know about tart cherries cranberries are also a good source

Of melatonin eggs cow’s milk fish specifically salmon and even nuts like pistachios pistachios have a really high source of melatonin in them and remember they’re a great source of butyrate which is a short chain fatty acid that is great for your gut and your skin if you decide that the food sources are not your thing or it’s just not working and you’re like

All right maybe i need to give the supplement melatonin a try know that melatonin is broken down by your liver specifically in phase one of liver detoxification this system or section of it is also known as the p450 cytochrome system the enzyme cyp1a2 is most responsible for breaking it down though there are other enzymes involved if you need a refresher on

Liver detoxification go check out episode number 47. now most studies that i’ve seen or read that address the use of melatonin in general for better sleep seem to use somewhere between three to five milligrams of melatonin usually taken about 30 minutes before bedtime but that said it doesn’t mean that you have to take that much nor do you have to take what’s

Suggested on a bottle for example because if you’re really sensitive to something that might be too much for you and i’m also the mindset that you should use the smallest possible dose of anything in order to get the desired effect because more is not always better so if you are sensitive especially to supplements and medications that in and of itself is a

Sign that you probably want to start with as little as possible and slowly work your way up there are some liquid formulas out there that can give you that kind of wiggle room where you can figure out exactly what the appropriate dose is for yourself because if you take too much it can make you feel really groggy or even drunk when you wake up in the morning

And since we’re talking about a hormone talk to your doctor first you don’t want to mess around with hormones unnecessarily and you need to make sure that this is a good option for you so talk to your doctor talk to your medical professional get their support just because it’s natural does not mean it’s safe for everyone there are a laundry list of medications

That may actually interact with melatonin and make it inappropriate to take you know just another reason to check with your doctor i’ll link up the list in the show notes and melatonin is contraindicated to take if you’re on immunosuppressant therapy which some people may be using immunosuppressants as part of their protocol and keep in mind it may not be a good

Idea if you’re under 20 years old so if this is for a child or a baby you got to talk to your doctor also if you’ve been diagnosed with depression hypertension impaired liver function or a seizure disorder again that’s got to be sussed out by your doctor to determine whether it’s really right for you and a couple of other things to consider first of all it’s

My opinion that melatonin should not be the first thing that you try work on your diet work on going to bed more consistently put the devices away so you’re not bombarding yourself with blue light get some blue light blocker glasses try taking some magnesium do everything else first before considering melatonin and number two i don’t believe this is a long-term

Solution either ultimately supplementation is a band-aid here and it’s critical that if melatonin supplementation helps you which you know is great if it does but it means that you need to work on the underlying issue that are causing the disruptions to the sleep in the first place so that you don’t have to rely on melatonin in order to sleep from what i can

Determine everybody’s still trying to figure out the role that melatonin plays in chronic skin issues like eczema it does seem that some supplemental melatonin can be helpful but again that’s for you to determine with your medical team if that’s the right fit for you i personally i’m really curious to hear from you guys if you have experience using melatonin

And you’ve tried taking it at night head on over to forward slash one zero five and leave your thoughts and experiences there and then head on over to your podcast platform of choice rate and review the show and hit the subscribe button that way the next episode will land on your mobile device without you having to do a thing and if you know

Anyone who is struggling to sleep at night dealing with really poor sleep quality waking up a ton of times really struggling right it is so awful to not sleep share this episode with them because if they could get a good night’s sleep imagine how much better they would feel and how appreciative they would be thank you so much for tuning in and i look forward

To seeing you in the next episode you

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Can Melatonin Help Itchy Skin (So You Can Sleep)? | Jennifer Fugo By Jennifer Fugo