Having shiny and smooth skin is a shared dream of many women who care for their beauty. If you are pregnant, the conditions of your skin will change just like other parts of your body.
You may not have had skin problems such as acne on your face or back or darker skin due to changes in skin pigmentation in some areas. But an itchy belly and stretch marks on the hips and breast will inevitably occur. Pregnancy causes all of them.
Another skin problem that affects between %20-%40 of pregnant women is eczema. But what is Eczema? Is normal eczema different from eczema during pregnancy?
Mild itching of the skin is not a strange phenomenon during pregnancy. It is usually resolved with simple home treatments, such as using a moisturizer. Still, you should see a doctor if you notice more severe and resistant symptoms.
Know Pregnancy Eczema
The increased activity of hormones in a pregnant woman's body prepares her to raise and give birth to her baby.
At the same time, for your body to make room to grow another human being, you will notice stretch marks, redness, and itching in your belly and breasts over time and as your baby grows.
So far, the problem is not a medical one. Still, you should be more careful if it develops into rashes and irritated skin patches.
How Many Types of Eczema do We Have?
The Eczema of pregnancy or AEP Eczema is widespread among expecting moms. It doesn't matter if you had eczema before you got conceived or not. Usually, pregnancy eczema is expected in the first and second trimester and disappears after delivery.
The pregnancy eczema called Atopic Eruption of Pregnancy (AEP) may happen to first-time moms-to-be. It has inflammation, rash, itching, and burning sensation with it.
Women who have experienced eczema will likely face eczema flares of previous symptoms during pregnancy. Eczema symptoms often manifest as patches in specific areas around their wrists, neck, knees, and elbows.
Their eczema may worsen during pregnancy compared to the past.
Of course, it is also possible that the itchy bumps appear anywhere on your body. In addition, they may group and occupy an area; hence the appearance of that area changes completely and gets covered with crusts. As long as you don't take particular medications, eczema is not dangerous for your baby but discomforts the mother.
The Causes & Diagnosis
The exact cause(s) of eczema is unclear, and doctors attribute it to environmental and genetic conditions. Eczema appears to be an autoimmune reaction, and eczema during pregnancy can be associated with asthma or hay fever. Doctors perform a physical examination and sometimes a biopsy to diagnose eczema.
Eczema occurs if your immune system is overactive. Your skin becomes dry and stretched, discolored in some areas, or leathery and rough, which is not a pleasant sight. To be more precise, you can consider that eczema results from a gene mutation.
To determine the severity of the condition, your healthcare professional may ask questions like when the skin changes have started. The recent changes you've made in your lifestyle, and how much eczema affects your daily life?
Note: Usually, when mothers find out that they have eczema, they prefer not to treat it because they are afraid of posing unwanted harm to their baby. This is wrong. This way developing eczema in later stages is possible, and rashes become infected.
Treatments for Eczema
The best eczema treatment to ease the side effects of pregnancy eczema is to keep the skin constantly moist by applying moisturizers and anointments on its surface. But in addition to these, lifestyle changes also have some benefits.
If the eczema is severe, your doctor prescribes topical steroids like steroid creams or UV light therapy. These drugs are usually safe to use during pregnancy by pregnant women, but be sure to ask the opinion of your gynecologist.
- It is good to wear loose clothes made with natural materials like cotton. This way, the clothes create less chanting contact with your skin surface.
- Drink enough water and keep your body hydrated. You must know that drinking water is essential for having healthy skin and hair.
- Use moisturizers and ointments several times a day depending on the condition of your skin eczema. Be sure to apply moisture to your skin after showering. Forget showering with hot water instead of warm or cool water showers.
- Use mild soaps and body cleansers. Some even suggest taking oatmeal baths. Oatmeal has been known as a skin-soothing product since ancient times, and today it comes in the form of a variety of skin-care products. It holds moisture-retaining properties.
- Make changes in your diet. For example, avoid foods that have inflammatory properties, including those that you have had a history of food allergy reactions to them after consumption. Also, foods that make your skin itch should be avoided; processed foods such as sausages and hams are among these. So you need to pay more attention to your diet during pregnancy.
Note: Eating foods that contain probiotics can be a way to increase the level of good bacteria in your immune system. Nowadays, you can easily find probiotic yogurt, milk, and cheese in stores. In addition, don't forget to add foods containing omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. These beneficial fatty acids are found in fish, green vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
Skin problems are common during pregnancy and affect many mothers. Hormonal changes in your body may lead to pimples appearing on your skin surface after getting pregnant. Or you may experience eczema during pregnancy without any previous history. Eczema results in dry skin, rashes, and an itchy feeling in some areas.
To treat eczema, you can make lifestyle changes in your clothing, diet, and personal hygiene, in addition to using moisturizers and ointments. Our advice is to take the treatment of eczema seriously and prevent eczema from evolving into a more severe skin condition.
Pregnant women with previous eczema experience may also face it in their subsequent pregnancies. Still, in general, eczema disappears after delivery and will not cause any problems for future pregnancies.