We know you’ve been there, ladies. At some point, pregnancy stopped making you feel beautiful and just made you feel as scaly as a dragon (hubby might have agreed with this as hormones can have you breathing fire). Unfortunately, there are no sorcerers or evil witches to blame. Eczema is the reason for your discomfort, and after stretch marks, it is the most common skin condition women can experience during pregnancy. But there’s no need for crafty spells or charms this October, it’s National Eczema Awareness Month. That’s thirty-one days chock-full of awareness to help bring a glowing shine back to your skin!
In nearly 80% of cases, dermatitis conditions can remain dormant for years and only wake up because of those raging body changes courtesy of pregnancy. Women with a history of allergies or asthma are more prone to these chronic and inflammatory bouts of itching, and the dry, flaky skin on top of a bun in the oven may just have you at your boiling point (understandable since the word eczema comes from a Greek term meaning “to boil over”). Pesky genetics and airborne irritants can also exacerbate super sensitive skin and produce problems.
Eczema will most commonly show up as red patches on the elbows, knees, wrists and neck. If the itching becomes so bad that it begins to interfere with sleeping, talk to your doctor. When not expecting, eczema is super easy to manage. But with bambino moving and grooving inside, you have to pay extra special attention to the medications you pick up. The FDA breaks down pharmaceuticals specifically for mamas-to-be because in some cases, chemicals found in everyday products might not be the safest for baby.
Your doctor will be able to advise you of a good treatment path that may include highly-monitored, minimal corticosteroid use. The biggest thing she’ll probably recommend is to make some simple lifestyle changes, such as avoiding scalding hot baths, changing your laundry detergent or buying a purifier (or two) for your home to keep the air clean.
It doesn’t take Harry Potter or the Wicked Witch of the West to slay the eczema beast (again, partners, keep your mouths shut!). But this October, just beat your body’s tricks and load up on informative treats for a healthier, happier pregnancy!