Immune Changes In Pregnancy
A switch from cell-mediated to humoral immunity during pregnancy is important to make sure the mothers body does not reject the developing fetus. This influences a womans susceptibility to skin disease, increasing the tendency towards autoimmune disease and reducing her cell-mediated immunity.
Diseases that are TH1-driven, such as psoriasis, tend to improve while TH2-driven diseases, such as atopicdermatitis and systemic lupus erythematosus, are exacerbated. Reduced cell-mediated immunity during normal pregnancy probably accounts for the increased frequency of and severity of certain infections such as candida, herpes simplex, and varicella/zoster.
Apply A Cold Compress
As you know, cold compresses have a numbing and cooling effect, which makes them the perfect remedy for your itchy skin. Also, if youre noticing some swelling from all the itching, youve found the perfect treatment.
If you want immediate relief from your itchy skin during your pregnancy, apply a cold compress to the affected areas.
It can be as easy as soaking a towel or cloth in cold water. Wring it out, then place it on your itchy skin and leave it on for about five minutes. Its that simple!
Gently Pat Yourself Dry Instead Of Rubbing
Preventing itchy skin during pregnancy is all about being gentle. Your skin is becoming more delicate with each passing day. Any vigorous rubbing can cause micro-tears that result in irritation and dryness.
This is especially true when you dry off after a bath or shower. We recommend gently patting your skin dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing back and forth to remove excess water. Patting is just as effective at drying off, but it doesnt pull and stress your skin like rubbing does.
Patting yourself also feels great like a mini massage and can help relax you after a long day.
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Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy
Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jan 15 75:211-218.
Common skin conditions during pregnancy generally can be separated into three categories: hormone-related, preexisting, and pregnancy-specific. Normal hormone changes during pregnancy may cause benign skin conditions including striae gravidarum hyper-pigmentation and hair, nail, and vascular changes. Preexisting skin conditions may change during pregnancy. Pregnancy-specific skin conditions include pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, prurigo of pregnancy, intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, pemphigoid gestationis, impetigo herpetiformis, and pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy. Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy are the most common of these disorders. Most skin conditions resolve postpartum and only require symptomatic treatment. However, there are specific treatments for some conditions . Antepartum surveillance is recommended for patients with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, impetigo herpetiformis, and pemphigoid gestationis.
There are three general categories of pregnancy-associated skin conditions: benign skin conditions from normal hormonal changes, preexisting skin conditions that change during pregnancy, and pregnancy-specific dermatoses. Some conditions may overlap categories.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
High-potency, broad-spectrum sunscreens may prevent melasma.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Use A Moisturizing Shower Gel
Reducing the temperature of your shower or bath is a great way to prevent itchy skin during pregnancy, but theres even more you can do to keep skin healthy. We recommend using a moisturizing shower gel to keep your skin hydrated and soft while you bathe.
Choose a gentle, soap-free formula so you dont scour your delicate skin with harsh cleansers. Consider choosing a shower gel with a citrus-scented formula, which can re-energize you when youre feeling tired.
We also suggest that you skip the loofahs and other exfoliating bath accessories during your pregnancy. These tools are great for getting rid of dead skin cells on the surface but can leave your skin dry and itchy afterward. You dont want to undo all the hard work youre putting into keeping your skin hydrated and itch free!
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The Pregnant Womans Guide To Eczema Psoriasis And Hpv
Swelling. Nausea. Extreme fatigue. Being pregnant can be quite a challenge. Itchy, dry, and cracked skin while pregnant only add to the changes happening to your bodyand none of them make life better.ut theres no doubt: pregnancy skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and HPV can really up the ante while youre expecting. In addition to being uncomfortable, youve got to think carefully about any skin treatments you pursueand whether theyre safe. Plus, they might cause you to worry about what youll pass along to your baby.
It can all be confusingand it doesnt help that some of these pregnancy skin issues might be brand new to you. Thats why weve put together a guide to the three most common skin conditions experienced by pregnant women. Find out how pregnancy can either bring on or alter these conditions, what treatments are safe to use, and whether or not your baby is at risk.
Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Tame Eczema Symptoms
Also keep in mind that many of the eczema treatments involving lifestyle tweaks can be safely incorporated regardless of whether youre pregnant. The treatment of eczema during pregnancy begins with warm showers and the use of moisturizers and synthetic soaps in order to limit overdrying of the skin, Friedmann says.
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Home Remedies For Pregnancy Eczema
Apart from medication, there are some home remedies and lifestyle changes you could try to keep your eczema under control.
- Avoid triggers Triggers can include common allergens such as dairy, nuts, wool and pet hair. You may want to pay attention to some unexpected irritants such as meats, fruits, fake jewelry, cigarette smoke or products containing alcohol. If you just discovered you have eczema, you probably have no idea what triggered it. In this case, it may be helpful to start a journal tracking your symptoms and your contact with the above allergens. After a while, you may begin to see a pattern between your rashes and something youre eating or exposed to.
- Avoid getting too hot Another trigger for some people is getting hot and sweaty. To prevent this, wear loose and comfortable clothing. If you live in a cold climate, wear layers and adjust as necessary. Taking warm instead of hot showers can also help.
- Dont get dry Many things you can do to prevent dryness will also help, especially if youre pregnant during winter. This can include getting a humidifier and drinking lots of water. Try to use a moisturizer made for eczema or sensitive skin. Stay away from fragranced body butters and similar products. In addition, whenever you get out of the water , apply lotion right after drying off.
Ruling Out Other Skin Conditions When Youre Pregnant
Complicating the picture is that pregnant women are prone to developing other rashes that might look similar to eczema. For example, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy is another common pregnancy rash. The itchy, red patches tend to first appear toward the end of pregnancy around stretch marks, though they can spread to the arms, legs, and butt, according to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Thats different from eczema because eczema during pregnancy usually appears on the face, chest, or neck, per the aforementioned study in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. And about 75 percent of the time, pregnancy eczema occurs during the first and second trimesters, according to the BMJ research.
If youre not sure what type of rash youre dealing with, consult your dermatologist to have it checked out, Yin suggests.
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Eat Foods Rich In Omega
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and great for restoring your guts natural balance, which affects your skin.
Nuts, seeds, and green vegetables are all high in omega-3s, as is fish but its best to limit your fish consumption during pregnancy due to the risk of heavy metal contamination.
For natural, safe omega-3s, try sticking to plant-based sources. Otherwise, do your research before consuming fish or fish oil to make sure youre choosing a source thats safe for you.
What Are The Symptoms
Eczema outside of pregnancy and pregnancy-induced eczema have the same symptoms. Some women experience some of the symptoms, while others experience all. A smaller percentage of women have very severe symptoms that hinder them from doing some activities. Eczema symptoms include itchy skin, rough patches that leak fluid or crust, pigmentation on parts of the skin and inflamed, red, dry, and sensitive skin.
Atopic dermatitis is mostly genetic and other times triggered when one is exposed to environmental allergens that do not affect others. There is a high probability that if you have pregnancy-induced eczema, someone else in the family probably suffers from severely dry skin, asthma, food allergies, other allergies, or hay fever. Other times eczema can be caused by irritants such as metals, detergents, chemicals, or yeast, hence the name contact dermatitis. You might start to notice that your ring will begin to feel itchy. Pregnancy hormones can also make the situation better or worse if you have had a history of eczema.
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Skin Disorders During Pregnancy
Women experience dramatic changes during pregnancy and the skin is not spared from the effects. Pregnancy-specific skin dermatoses can be experienced during all trimesters, although most conditions resolve after child-birth. Hormonal activity during pregnancy results in physiological changes and women with a predisposition to eczema may suffer from a flare-up of symptoms requiring dermatology solutions.
Tolerating additional discomfort is an unwelcome disruption for pregnant women. Fortunately, most skin disorders in pregnancy can be treated and the professional staff at Pymble Dermatology are on hand to assist. Once skin disorders are resolved and controlled, expectant mothers can once again dedicate their full attention to caring for their babies.
Whats The Difference Between Eczema And Other Pregnancy Rashes And Skin Conditions
While the symptoms of eczema are rather distinct, you may confuse them with similar skin rashes, bumps or redness. Here are a few other common skin conditions seen in pregnancy:
- Heat rash. Itchy, pimply redness on your cleavage, inner things and under your breasts are the telltale signs of heat rash.
- Melasma. Also called pregnancy mask, these dark brown spots and patches on the upper lip, nose and cheeks are caused by excess melanin production due to a rise in hormones.
- PUPPP. Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy is a mouthful, but it simply means an itchy, bumpy rash found on the belly, thighs, buttocks and arms.
- Linea nigra. Latin for black line, this dark vertical mark can show up between your belly button and pubic area by the second trimester.
- Stretch marks. Your growing pregnant body tugs at your skin, which can cause these reddish or brownish lines on the stomach, buttocks, breast and thighs to appear.
- Pregnancy acne. Surging hormones and fluid retention can cause red, pimply breakouts of the kind you thought you left behind in high school.
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Should You Eat A Special Diet
A recent Cochrane review found insufficient evidence to recommend any specific maternal diets or supplements to prevent atopic eczema in their babies. A few studies suggest that probiotics may help to reduce the risk, but the evidence so far is weak and its unclear which strains are the most effective. For simple, evidence-based guidance, go to the NHS guidance on foods to avoid during pregnancy.
How Is Eczema Treated During Pregnancy
In most cases, pregnancy-induced eczema can be controlled with moisturizers and ointments. If the eczema is severe enough, your doctor may prescribe a steroid ointment to apply to your skin. Topical steroids appear to be safe during pregnancy, but talk to your doctor about any concerns. They can help you understand your treatment options and associated risks. There is some evidence that UV light therapy may also help clear up the eczema.
Avoid any treatments that involve methotrexate or psoralen plus ultraviolet A during pregnancy. They can harm the fetus.
You can also take steps to help prevent eczema or stop it from getting worse:
- Take warm, moderate showers instead of hot showers.
- Keep your skin hydrated with moisturizers.
- Apply moisturizer directly after you shower.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that wont irritate your skin. Choose clothing made from natural products, like cotton. Wool and hemp clothing may cause additional irritation to your skin.
- Avoid harsh soaps or body cleaners.
- If you live in a dry climate, consider using a humidifier in your home. Heaters can also dry out the air in your home.
- Drink water throughout the day. Its beneficial not only to your health and the health of your baby, but also to your skin.
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How To Treat Hyperpigmentation And Melasma During Pregnancy
As well as being totally benign it is not possible to prevent this condition. Sometimes the severity, particularly on the face, can be reduced by avoiding exposure to UVA and UVB rays such as avoiding going out in the sun, wearing a sunhat, keeping covered, and wearing a high factor sunscreen. It is also suggested that eating foods rich in folic acid may help reduce hyperpigmentation.
While sunscreen is the best prevention for hyperpigmentation and helps to reduce its progression there are some other ingredients that may help. The first is L-ascorbic acid or vitamin C has been shown to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and is considered to be safe during pregnancy but always consult your doctor before making lifestyle or skincare changes.
The second is retinol or retinoids, this is only for use after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Retinol is often used to help to reduce the appearance of post-pregnancy hyperpigmentation.
Moderate Your Shower Temperature
It undoubtedly feels relaxing to have a hot bath during your pregnancy days. It reduces your body aches and helps you rejuvenate. But exposing your skin to hot water can be harmful to your skin, especially if you are suffering from eczema. So, moderate the temperature and take shower with relatively lukewarm water.
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Can I Use Steroid Creams Are They Safe
While high dose steroids such as those used for people who need to take steroid tablets can have a variety of side effects, milder steroid creams rarely cause side- effects if theyre used sensibly, explains Sarah.
However, most GPs and midwives usually recommend that, if possible, you avoid using the strongest forms of topical steroid cream during pregnancy. There is some evidence that the steroids can be absorbed into your bloodstream and affect your babys growth.
It is usually recommended that you use the lowest dose you can, in the smallest amount and for the shortest time possible to control your symptoms, explains Sarah.
Lelly did use steroid cream to treat her pregnancy eczema she says, I have had eczema and I have used my steroid creams all through pregnancy.under my Drs direction, I have Eumovate at the moment which works perfectly and I just make sure I keep thoroughly moisturised as well!.
I opted to ditch my steroid creams and used a simple aqueous cream during the whole of my pregnancy. I paid for it in the fact that my eczema got worse, but it made me feel more comfortable.
Faithie says, I got eczema on my feet while I was pregnant and the GP said that she would try non steriod creams first as it is preferable to avoid steroid creams in pregnancy but if it didnt respond it was a case of weighing up the benefits to mum against the potential risk to the baby .
When To Call Your Doctor
If itching becomes severe, is concentrated on your palms or soles, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea or jaundice, call your doctor. These are all signs of intrahepatic cholestasis and require medical attention for you and your baby.
Also let your doctor know before you try any over-the-counter itch remedies, because some might not be safe for pregnant women.
You dont need to suffer through eczema or psoriasis, either. Ask your doctor which treatments are available to you during your pregnancy. Dont take any prescriptions without speaking with your doctor first.
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Glandular Function Changes In Pregnancy
- Eccrine sweat gland activity increases across the body, except on the palms, during pregnancy and may present clinically as hyperhidrosis and miliaria.
- Sebaceous gland excretion of sebum tends to increase during pregnancy due to increasing levels of maternal progesterone and androgen in the third trimester.
- Montgomery glands provide lubrication to the nipples and areolae for breastfeeding. They enlarge during pregnancy and appear as papules on the areolae . .
What Causes Eczema During Pregnancy
Eczema can worsen or even erupt for the very first time during pregnancy, though the most common variety, atopic dermatitis, is often hereditary. If you have atopic eczema, there’s a good chance that you or someone in your family probably suffers from asthma, hay fever, allergies and/or food allergies as well.
Atopic dermatitis and other eczema types like contact dermatitis are impacted by irritants such as chemicals, fragrances, detergents, cosmetics, dust mites and viral infections. Where you live and what youre exposed to can also affect eczema, including cold damp weather, stress, pollution, tobacco smoke and even metals .
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Which Eczema Medications Should You Avoid During Pregnancy
Its critical to get the green light from your doctor or dermatologist before taking any medication to treat eczema when youre pregnant. Here are a few drugs and remedies to avoid:
- Cyclosporine. This drug has long been used to treat severe cases of eczema, but research indicates that it may be associated with an increased rate of premature birth and low birth rate in babies. Skip this medication and check with your practitioner before taking any topical or systemic antibiotics.
- Protopic and Elidel. Topical prescriptions known as TIMs, or topical immunomodulators, are made to reduce inflammation, but theyre off-limits during pregnancy, because they havent been well-studied in pregnant women and cant be ruled as safe.
- Herbs or aloe vera. Herbal medications should definitely be discussed with your practitioner in advance, and aloe, both in gel and latex form, may be unsafe during pregnancy and when nursing.