Hi everyone – I apologize that it has been a while since I’ve uploaded a podcast. After giving birth to my son, I wasn’t able to upload blogs as frequently. But, I’m thrilled to announce that I hope to be updating these regularly again! I have missed sharing these podcasts with you (have you missed them too?!) 😉
With that being said, I have been so excited to launch this podcast for you all, because I know many of you have been wanting more information on pregnancy and eczema.
If you have been experiencing symptoms of eczema or dermatitis in pregnancy, then this is the podcast for you.
I have had many people tell me that they’re afraid of flaring. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest questions I constantly get on this topic is:
- “Will my skin get better or worse during pregnancy?”
- “If I flare, what treatments can I use for my skin?”
IN TODAY’S PODCAST, YOU WILL LEARN:
- how your skin changes during pregnancy
- treatment options for pregnancy induced eczema
- what happens to your skin after giving birth
- best oils & moisturizers to use for your skin during pregnancy
If you don’t already know, pregnancy can change your skin in so many ways.
Your skin may change throughout each trimester – and it can change again after you give birth.
Surprisingly, it seems that pregnancy-induced eczema is possibly the most common skin condition that occurs during pregnancy. Only 20-40% of patients are estimated to have a pre-existing history of eczema; the rest develop symptoms for the first time during pregnancy. 3/4 of these patients develop symptoms within the first two trimesters. 
Research also shows that pregnancy does also seem to have an effect on eczema in most women with the condition—approximately 25% improve, and more than 50% experience a deterioration (however, I have spoken with a dermatologist who said that in her practice, she sees 25% of patients who improve, 25% who stay the same, and 25% who get worse).
Although available data is limited, pre-existing eczema may deteriorate at any stage of pregnancy, and a slightly higher rate is seen in the second trimester. Approximately 10% of cases flare in the postpartum period. 
In my own personal experience, my skin got a lot better during pregnancy. But after giving birth, it unfortunately flared up a lot and it was extremely difficult. It also became incredibly painful and inflamed. Thankfully, it has finally healed a lot after implementing many changes. However, I will leave this story for another day that I will write up in a blog post 🙂
In today’s podcast, I’m so excited to bring back Dr. Peter Lio, who you may have heard about in this podcast interview here and here. He’s a Doctor & Clinical Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. He also received his medical degree (and internship) at Harvard Medical School and he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Eczema Association. He also founded the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center, and I love that he also incorporates both eastern and western medicine.
In today’s podcast, we will hear him talk about how pregnancy changes your skin, treatment options for eczema, and whether eczema tends to get better or worse during pregnancy.
Without further ado, here is the podcast.
WATCH OR LISTEN TO THE PODCAST BELOW:
You can also click here to view the transcript.
If you’d like to listen to the audio only version, click below to listen.
Below is a list of the treatment options that Dr. Lio mentions in the podcast, which can be used during pregnancy (you can also read the transcript for more details on it):
- Phototherapy/light therapy
- Ice packs/cooling wet wraps
- Soothing moisturizers
- Epsom salt baths
- Bath oils
- Apple cider vinegar baths
- Really dilute bleach baths (anti-itch and anti-inflammatory)
- Oils: coconut oil, sunflower oil, etc.
- Topical vitamin B12 – safe and hard to overdose. Mix with shea butter (to make “pink magic”)
- Florsaone Cardiospermum Cream – (is anti-inflammatory & anti-itch) – is a cortisone-free, homeopathic cream for temporary relief
- Light steroids (can’t use strong steroids/medications)
- Sedating antihistamines (to help you sleep)
- Anti-itch creams – can’t use too much as we don’t want to absorb too much
Keeping your skin moisturized during your flare-up is also very important. Since some women experience more dryness during pregnancy (because the fluid goes to nourishing the baby), keeping your skin moisturized can give your skin the opportunity to properly heal.
This Conqueror Soothing Dry Skin Balm that I created can be used on pregnant women with eczema. I personally used it on my face and body throughout my whole pregnancy (and still use it daily to this day) and didn’t get any stretch marks, either!
Not only is it gentle, but it contains all natural, hypoallergenic ingredients, such as coconut oil, evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, neem oil, tea tree leaf oil, aloe vera, Vitamin E, green tea extract, and calendula oil.
Besides moisturizers, Dr. Lio also shares that natural oils like coconut oil and sunflower oil can also be helpful.
Aside from moisturizers for eczema, Dr. Lio also shares that bath treatments, such as epsom salt baths and apple cider vinegar baths, can also be used to help your skin. You can read my article & video here for more detail on epsom salt baths and the 6 types of bath treatments that you can do. You can also look into my calming bath treatment that I created here to help your skin find relief.
In addition to bath treatments and moisturizers, Dr. Lio also shares that many eczema sufferers can do phototherapy in pregnancy. The most common type of phototherapy used to treat eczema is narrowband ultraviolet light. This light acts as natural sunlight to help eczema.
Phototherapy is generally safe for pregnant women, but you may want to apply sunscreen to your face can help prevent melasma (a condition common in pregnant women that causes brown spots) .
Before choosing this treatment, it’s best to talk to your doctor to decide if this would be a good solution to treat your eczema.
Bamboo Eczema Treatment Gloves
If you suffer from contact dermatitis or hand eczema (which can be very uncomfortable!), or you need help to stop scratching your eczema on your body, then you can check out these Bamboo Gloves. These gloves are super soft and they’re made with biodegradable bamboo and have a nice cooling effect. They also won’t stretch out overtime like ordinary cotton gloves. You can wear them overnight with a cream (like the Conqueror Soothing Dry Skin Balm) underneath to lock in some moisture to your skin.
Manage your Stress
I remember being under so much stress when I was pregnant with my son. If you want to heal, remember that it’s important to reduce your stress, as it can cause eczema flare ups for some people. Studies have also shown that a mother’s stress can harm the fetus’ brain development as early as 17 weeks .
To help combat stress, you can try to get your mind off the stressor by prayer, meditation, doing something you love, or even taking a walk in nature. These are all very emotionally healing for your body.
When you’re pregnant, you’ll want to ensure that you’re drinking enough water or liquids (in the form of smoothies, fresh juices, or coconut water). This is important for healthy skin – and especially important for your baby.
Since some women experience more dryness during pregnancy (because the fluid goes to nourishing the baby), you’ll want to ensure that you drink an amount that keeps you well hydrated (usually you’ll know if you’re hydrated if your urine is clear in colour. Yellow colour in urine often means that you are dehydrated).
Despite the cravings that you may get – remember that what you eat will affect your body, whether or not it shows up on your skin. It will also affect the nutrients that your fetus receives.
If your eczema is flaring up, you may want to keep a clean diet and consider removing offending foods from your diet.
For some great ideas on anti-inflammatory diets that are healing to the body, you can read these blog posts:
Diet can be so powerful in helping eczema sufferers. Just remember to check with your doctor during pregnancy on whether dietary changes will be appropriate for you and your baby.
Are you pregnant and suffering from eczema? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
- Eczema in pregnancy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=22702506
- Treatment with light therapy. https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/phototherapy/
- Managing pregnancy-induced eczema & dermatitis. http://modernalternativemama.com/2014/02/21/tips-for-managing-pregnancy-induced-eczema/
- Soothing eczema in pregnancy. https://itchylittleworld.com/eczema-during-pregnancy/
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.