Can you be allergic to your own hormones?



The short answer: Yes

Symptoms of hormone allergy

Itchy rashes that flare 10 days before your period and improve after your period starts may represent a rare entity called autoimmune progesterone-induced dermatitis. This typically occurs in women of childbearing age. The rash that arises can range from raised, red bumps that are extremely itchy, to swelling of the face and lips, dry flaky patches of skin and even large blisters on the skin. Flushing, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and even anaphylaxis can be associated with autoimmune progesterone-induced dermatitis. 

How to diagnose hormone allergy

To diagnose autoimmune progesterone-induced dermatitis small injections of progesterone are put under the skin. If a raised red bump results larger than an injection of saline then you may be allergic. 

What can be done if you are allergic to your own hormones

Autoimmune progesterone-induced dermatitis treatment involves preventing ovulation with subsequent resolution of the rash and other symptoms.  Medications such as ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel have been used as well as danazol, and other hormone releasing antagonists. In severe cases with anaphylaxis unresponsive to other treatments, removal of the uterus and ovaries has been performed. 

To find out more information or to schedule an appointment for evaluation contact us at

Sandra A. Ho, MD

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