• Expecting Eczema When Expecting

    My last post circled around seasonal allergies and the link to atopic dermatitis, or eczema. Although eczema is found in both men and women, it is more prevalent in women. An interesting statistic came about through my research: Eczema is the most common skin condition during pregnancy, accounting for 33%-50% of all cases. On top of that, 60%-80% of these women experience eczema for the first time during pregnancy. To those already suffering from this condition, pregnancy typically worsens symptoms. Now that is something most women don’t expect when expecting! Could pregnancy cause eczema?

    It seems to be a trigger, at the very least. Among the myriad of changes the body experiences during pregnancy, one of these affects our immune system, switching our cellular responses towards that which makes for a healthy, normal pregnancy. However, this switch is also associated with atopy- which may explain why eczema can worsen during pregnancy. The good news is that there is no evidence that developing eczema is harmful for the mother or child, although the research is ongoing.
    More important is how to care for a client with eczema. If a woman with Atopic Dermatitis is planning pregnancy, the more knowledge she has the better before conception. Prescription medications should always be consulted with the patient’s primary care physician.

    Some helpful tips before and during pregnancy are:

    *Avoid irritants and allergens.
    *Use emollients for moisturization. Those including Oat extracts are exceptional at soothing irritation.
    *Avoid hot showers and soap.
    *Some topical steroids are still relatively safe during pregnancy, although consultation with a doctor is always advised.
    *Barrier repairing ingredients high in gamma linoleic acids, sterols and ceramides are a must for a healthy lipid barrier.

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