Eczema and Pregnancy

Eczema sucks. It itches. It burns. It sets my entire body on a stressful edge. The most popular treatment by my dermatologist is to use steroid cream. When that didn’t work, she upped the level of steroids in the cream. But now I am pregnant. And steroids are a no-no. I have scratched my foot raw because it is an itch that I cannot ignore – I have even shed tears from the pain.

So, what do I do? I haven’t found a solution yet. I have tried baking soda paste, coconut oil, olive oil, calamine lotion – nothing works. Many times eczema is connected to a food allergy. I know my skin is better when I avoid dairy and wheat. But being pregnant, I have gone back to eating yogurt.

I would love to find a natural or home remedy.

I do follow some of the preventive methods suggested by What to Expect:

  • Moisturize early and often to lock in the skin’s own moisture and prevent dryness and cracking.
  • Use a cold compress – not your fingernails – to curb the itch. Scratching makes the condition worse and can puncture the skin, allowing bacteria to enter and cause an infection (which is especially dangerous during pregnancy).
  • Keep nails short and rounded to decrease the likelihood that when you do inevitably scratch, you won’t puncture the skin. [My nails got seriously long last month and that aided in my scratching, you get a much deeper scratch with long nails. LOL.]
  • Stay cool by wearing loose, cotton clothes and avoiding synthetic fabrics, wool, or any material that feels rough to the touch. (Your partner’s oversize T-shirt is a great choice for your sensitive skin and your growing belly!)
  • Stay calm. [This one is tough. The itch really stresses me. Being pregnant and needing to get ready for a third child is stressful.] Stress is a common eczema trigger, so try to avoid situations that make you tense. When you feel anxiety creeping in, focus on how incredible your baby will be or how delicious he or she will smell.

Any suggestions? What sort of things have you used?

By Trulybst

Pursuing life to its fullest. A woman, a mom, wife, and struggling teacher who knows the importance of treating myself right.

4 replies on “Eczema and Pregnancy”

When I turned 25, I basically stopped getting zits and started getting eczema on my face, all the time (particularly in my nose creases and on my upper lip). I found the biggest thing was to wash my face with an unscented, non-irritating moisturizing facewash and moisturize (I use something called spectro-gel, the grossest sounding facewash name ever) and to do this immediately after I exercise. I often go to the gym in the evening, so I would typically just pull on my clothes and commute home without showering and shower at home. Now, I always wash my face immediately after exercising and I’ve found it’s improved a lot probably because I’m not sitting with sweat on my face for an hour. Eczema often prefers clammy, warm skin, that’s why people get it in their elbow creases and behind their knees too. I use Aveeno Eczema Care lotion in my elbow creases and behind my knees and I take a bath with oatmeal in a slightly hole-y sock (or wrapped in cheese cloth) so it doesn’t clog the drain.

What about oatmeal baths? Those are supposed to help itching, right?

It’s not a natural or home remedy, but some antihistamines are OK to use in pregnancy. They might help. Before I was pregnant, my allergies would cause itching EVERYWHERE, and the only thing that helped me was Zyrtec. Also, you could check with your doctor or midwife about Benedryl cream. Maybe it would provide some relief?

I hope you find some relief soon, especially if it’s hot where you are! Itching and heat is even worse than just the itching alone.

Oh goodness. I had the “itchies” while I was pregnant with Little Juniper and it was distressingly difficult at times. I started using E45 and little else; I still used shampoo on my hair, but once washed, I’d put my hair up in a clip and then wash the rest of myself using the E45. There was a point though where I had to have a steroid cream. I had a patch just below my neck that went from healthy skin to bleeding and horrible in just a few days; I was in tears because of the urge to itch, then the GP gave me steroid cream and the first time I put it on, I almost cried from relief. The only other things I could do were to make sure my nails were cut super short, that I kept hydrated and that I kept moisturised. That along with counting down to my section date got me through!

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