Baby Health, Education, Maternity

Eczema During Pregnancy: Finding Safe Treatment Options

by-the-window-561744-mThere is good reason for excitement at the prospect of having a baby, but pregnancy itself is stressful on your body. This can sometimes manifest itself through the triggering of eczema.

When you are pregnant, your ability to use medications is minimized, so skin barrier optimized skin products are your best bet to help in calming itchy, dry pregnancy skin.

Does Pregnancy Cause Eczema?

This is a debated question. Pregnancy does cause eczema flares in some people; however, it actually improves the condition of eczema in others. One study that concentrated on skin conditions in over 500 pregnant women found that almost half of the women presented with symptoms of eczema at some point in their pregnancy.

More than three quarters of women with pregnancy-related eczema had never experienced the itchy dry skin before becoming pregnant. Though their initial episode occurred during a pregnancy, they did show risk factors for dermatitis.

When you are pregnant and experience eczema, use gentle, hypoallergenic or vegan skin products that are helpful in easing the itch and keeping you more comfortable.

A Skin Care Plan for Pregnancy

Skin care for pregnant women is an important step in ensuring that flare-ups are not serious. Take proper care of your skin while you are pregnant and nursing, and you will be able to minimize them. Some good practices for skin care if you have itchy dry skin:

Rinsing should be done with warm water, not hot water. Hot water tends to dry out skin. The water you use should not redden your skin or feel overly hot.

Take lukewarm baths or showers, and don’t stay in the water for too long. A bath or shower lasting less than 10 minutes is more effective in keeping your skin hydrated. If you stay in the water longer, it may dry out your skin.

Apply a gentle, moisturizing ointment or cream (no lotion) within a few minutes of your bath or shower.

Use Gentle Cleansers for Pregnancy Skin

A recent study discovered that almost 30% of adults who live with dermatitis do not use any cleanser. This is probably a good idea in general, but if you are dirty and the dirt cannot be removed with plain water, then choose a cleanser that is free of antibacterial agents, fragrance and any chemicals that may irritate your skin.

Do not use your cleansing products on any area of skin that has flared up, since this could further irritate the area.

Avoid Using Sponges, Loofah Sponges, and Wash Cloths to Bathe or Shower

It’s a good idea to eliminate mesh sponges, washcloths and other similar products, especially when you are pregnant and dealing with flare-ups, or trying to avoid them. Dermatologists consistently recommend that patients who have eczema should avoid any products that exfoliate or scrub the skin.

These items irritate skin that is already sensitive, and may cause or add to flare-ups. For washing, you should use your fingertips to apply cleanser, and use your hands gently, to rinse.

Moisturize Your Skin Frequently when You Are Pregnant

Dermatologists advise that moisturizing is the first defense against eczema or other skin conditions that may cause you problems during your pregnancy.

Moisturizers relieve dry skin and keep skin from itching. Apply your gentle moisturizer right after you shower, bathe or wash your hands, and use it at other times during the day, as needed, to keep your skin moist and well hydrated.

Skin care is even more important during pregnancy, and using gentle skin care products will help you to relieve any itchy skin you may develop during this period.

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+Dr.Cheryl Lee Eberting blogs regularly about skin problems, treatment and after care at