Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition affecting people of all ages and both genders. The affected skin is in almost each and every type of eczema red, dry, hot and itchy. Eczema is not contagious i.e. cannot spread from one person to another. In spite of that, this is a serious medical condition which may be sometimes unbearable and difficult to treat.
As far as pregnant women are concerned, they are most commonly affected by atopic eczema, a hereditary form of eczema associated with exposure to environmental allergens. The chance to develop atopic eczema is higher in pregnant women who are already suffering from asthma, hay fever and some food allergies. Apart from atopic eczema, pregnant women may also develop contact eczema.
Eczema during Pregnancy Approaches and Treatment Options
In case a pregnant woman develops eczema, the condition needs to be confirmed and the doctor also must determine the exact type of the disease. The very pregnancy may aggravate eczema, once typical skin changes occur. Only when the exact type of eczema is determined, doctor opts for the most suitable treatment.
Pregnant women are allowed some medications while they should abstain from certain drugs that can be detrimental for the baby or the pregnancy itself.
Some topical steroids may be allowed during pregnancy. Still, these are supposed to be used in small quantities and for a short period of time. Pregnant women should avoid corticosteroids in all forms. Doctors, however, believe that small doses of steroids, once the drug is applied topically, cannot be absorbed enough to cause systemic effects.
Furthermore, a woman should consult her doctor prior to taking antihistamines, medications that alleviate itchy sensation and other symptoms of eczema.
Cyclosporine, certain topical or oral antibiotics, Protopic and Elidel and many more are efficient against eczema but they are strictly forbidden for pregnant women. The same refers to all herbal and Chinese medicine which if taken prior to consulting a doctor, may cause serious damage to the baby and the pregnant woman herself.
More Reasonable Approach
If women have identified triggers of their eczema, they may bring the condition under control by keeping triggers at bay. Furthermore, if the affected skin is dry, a woman may use moisturizers but she should not opt for fragranced products.
A pregnant woman is also supposed to avoid steam rooms and saunas because the temperature and other conditions in these facilities may only aggravate eczema. Nails must be short and in stead of scratching the affected skin, a woman may use cold compresses and alleviate itching.
Sometimes the skin changes may improve if a woman opts for loose, cotton clothes instead of wearing synthetic fabric.
Finally, by reducing the level of stress, the skin may improve its appearance and the intensity of symptoms may slightly decrease.