My Pregnant Niece Has Eczema

Updated on February 29, 2008
D.L. asks from Red Bluff, CA
42 answers

My niece is six months pregnant and has developed eczema on her hands, arms and neck. We are hoping this has something to do with her being pregnant and will clear up after and not come back, shes never had it before. She has seen a doctor and was given some creams and lotions. I've looked up information online, but cant find if it has anything to do with being pregnant.

Has anyone else ever experience this while pregnant. And was it only during pregnancy and not at any other time?

Thanks for your help

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H.S.

answers from Sacramento on

When I was pregnant I got eczema on my face right around my mouth. I had never had it before. Occasionally it comes back, but much milder than before and it is much easier to clear up than it was when I was pregnant. No one in my family has eczema, but my son's father had it really bad. About 2 years after my son was born, he started getting small patches of eczema and now has it pretty severely. There is nothing that I or any of his doctors have been able to do to get rid of it. The only thing we have been able to do is control the itching and dryness with prescription creams and OTC ointments. I don't know if this helped any, but there are some really good OTC creams that you can get such as Aquaphor. Also, the doctor recommended that my son take very short, warm (not hot) showers and only use a non-soap cleanser such as Cetaphil. As soon as he gets out, I lather him with the Aquaphor and it really seems to help keep things pretty much under control.

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L.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a terrribly itchy rash that began at the onset of the
3rd trimester. It was never diagnosed as excema, but rather something else that's called PUPPs. It does go away after baby is born, but it's so aggravating that I've heard it called the "kill me now or induce me" rash. Mine happened to clear up about 5 weeks post partum. I saw a dermatologist to control the insane itch and even received a steriod shot at one point. My OB not only lacked the sympathy, but also had no idea what it was and didn't help with the symptoms. I had to find out anything I could from asking around and looking on the internet. I managed to get by with creams, powders and warm,soothing oatmeal baths usually at 3am when it seemed it's near worse. I aslo found relief from a warm shower. I hope someone knows more now to help her. Good luck!

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A.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I've read cod liver oil is good for inflamation related to eczema so I'm going to try it. It's also good for baby's brain development and many other things so it sounds like an excellent supplement while pregnant. They sell Carson's Lemon Flavored Cod Liver Oil in stores like Whole Foods (I heard) but you can get it for half the cost on line. Good luck!

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L.Y.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Debbie,

I don't know in what city your niece lives, but I highly recommend that she see an experienced hypnotherapist for help with her eczema. Often situations such as what you're describing are a subconscious reaction to the pregnancy. A good hypnotherapist will be able to explore with your niece what might be the subconscious "objection" to the pregnancy, as well as using mind-body (non-pharmaceutical/drug) techniques to clear up the eczema.

L. Grace Yaldezian, CHT, CHC
[email protected]____.com
San Ramon, CA

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A.E.

answers from San Francisco on

I have a few friends that got really bad eczema after their pregnancy. One of them has struggled with eczema for years. I just started selling a skin care product called Arbonne and the skin conditioning oil is awesome for eczemz. It has made a huge difference in clearing up their eczema. If you would like to try it out for free let me know. All of the products are hypoallergenic, pH- correct, botanically based and 100% vegan. It has helped them. Just let me know if you would like a sample to try it out.

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R.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I am a life long eczema sufferer and the only thing I knew to do was call my brother, the pharmacist. Call your local pharmacist and ask for a list of pregnancy-friendly options. They should have a list of drugs, etc. which are considered safe. Not to worry. Your child, however, may develop it and it eventually should clear up. My son got if from me and was over it in a few years. Good luck.

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D.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi D., I had excema on my face when I was pregnant with my son (now 11 months old). It was awful and itchy and I looked a mess, but it disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived about 6 weeks after I gave birth. I'd never had it before and my doctor said it was just hormones. My skin has been perfectly clear since. I hope that helps and please wish your neice well for me. All the best, D.

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R.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi D. - everyone I know who develops eczema have almost no idea why... my daugter developed it and no creams or lotions that the doctors gave her worked... I finally took a look at what she might have been eating more of lately that could have triggered it; it happened to be soy milk... and we took that away and it helped a little. We also decided to try Arbonne's Baby Body Wash; she is having great luck and almost all traces of her eczema are gone! Yeah.

Hope this helps,
R.
Oh, and I can help you find the Arbonne products if you are interested.

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P.P.

answers from Stockton on

Hi, this is my first foray into Mamasource, hope it helps you. Do you know about the nutritional fruit juice Xango? I have been drinking it everyday for about 18 months now. One of the MANY benefits has been skin renewal. I had terrible scalp eczema and facial rashes and they are completely gone. Anyone can drink it, as there is only juice (85% mangosteen) in the product. I believe in it so much I became a distributor, as it available only through distributors. Please feel free to call me ###-###-####) or send me a mailing address and I will send you information. The juice contains a phytonutrient called xanthones that work at the cellular level and helps everything from arthritus to cancer. I look forward to hearing from you. P. Pollock

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A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I would see a dermatologist and see if it's realy eczema or if it's PUPS, which is a pregnancy related rash, which I had. My (60 year old +) OB had never seen it before and it wasn't until she sent me to a dermatologist that I was accurately diagnosed.

Good luck!

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B.B.

answers from Chico on

I had the same problem when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was all over my stomach and chest, the doctor gave me some kind of cream (I forget the name of it) but it was like a antifungal cream of some sort and it cleared up a little bit. But ever since I had her which was almost 3 years ago. I have never experienced that ever again. So maybe its just something that some women get when they are pregnant. Just tell her to hang in there, it will go away eventually!!

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S.S.

answers from Sacramento on

HI D.,
I had eczema as a kid. It went away in college, but would come back during finals week. It has flared up during my pregnancies also. Eczema is usually related to allergies, but can come on from stress. Her is stress and hormone related and will go away after the baby is born. If it continues she may want to look into allergies to see what to avoid. Good luck.

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S.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I also had eczema while I was pregnant. My dr said it due to the hormone levels and some women get it. It lasted through my whole pregnancy and finally went away about a month or two after I gave birth. I recommend her using euseren cream (not sure on the spelling) but it helped keep mine under control.

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G.B.

answers from Sacramento on

All I know is that a woman's body goes through some amazing changes during pregnancy, and many "systems" become altered (i.e. nervous system, immune system, etc) - some permanently, some temporarily. Eczema is an allergenic response to something. It's nothing to be concerned about. She should use the cream that the doctor prescribed and otherwise just enjoy her pregnancy. It's hard to say whether she'll have it afterwards, but it's really no big deal (in the grand scheme of things). So don't worry about it. Me immune system was idyllic while pregnant and seemed to get worse after I stopped nursing. It took about 2 years to bring things back into balance. Just "go with the flow"

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J.B.

answers from Salinas on

D.,

Hi. I had eczema on both of my feet when I was pregnant with my first child. It started about the six month mark and lasted til the doctor prescribed prednisone aand it went away within days of finishing the prednisone. with my second pregnancy, I didn't get it.

Good luck to your niece.

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D.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Eeczema is often caused by allergies. I get it from eggs. Perhaps she has changed something in her diet because of the pregnancy? If she is eating something like eggs or dairy more often than she used to, that could explain it. Could also be caused by a change in soap or skin care products.

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I had it and so did my mother... It came on while we were pregnant and didn't go away until after we finished nursing. I've tried LOTS of things... prescription and non-prescription. The best stuff for me was switching ALL the soap in the house to liquid Cetaphil soap. It is very gentle and was the only soap that visibly made a difference. I also used the Cetaphil lotion and cream. I had it badly on my hands so I wore gloves at night after applying the lotion. It was always worse for me at night. The tough part about this is that even once your hormones calm down your skin is still damaged. It takes 1 month for skin to heal... after the eczema is cleared up. With a new baby it's going to be hard to allow the time for the skin to heal. The best thing to do is also to have boxes of gloves (surgical gloves you can buy at costco) for when you do the dishes and change diapers. The less you have your hands submerged and washed the better. Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I really wouldn't be surprised at all if this went away after the pregnancy is over. I didn't get eczema, but I had other skin problem and my Dr. assured me that "skin issues" are common. Having said that, I have 2 children with Eczema and I have mild cases myself that come and go. Mine and my daughter's are both liked to food allergies. When I became pregnant the 1st time I not only gained a baby, but food allergies that I had never had before. She may be having an allergic reaction to something whether it be food, milk, iron supplements, or even if she has changed her detergent.

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D.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Are you sure it's eczema? There is something going all around Danville/Alamo that my almost 2 year old son got a few weeks. It's a bad rash that is an allergic reaction to a flu virus. It's incredibly strange, but I know at least 5 people who have broken out in this rash. It's not contagious, but does last about 2 weeks...

But of course, it may be eczema. It took me forever to figure out what was going on with my son - thought he was getting eczema, but it just turned out to be this gross rash.

Hopefully she's feeling better soon!

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G.M.

answers from Modesto on

I had this toward the end of my first pregnancy. My doctor said it was the bodies reaction to actually being pregnant. A kind of allergic reaction. It was extremely itchy, and would actually wake me up at night. The doctor gave me cream, a pill that helped me to get some sleep at night, and said to take Aveeno baths to help. To tell you the truth, the only thing that really helped was having the baby. It went away when my hormones got back to normal. And the nice thing was, I didn't have it with the next pregnancy.
I'm a work at home/office, mother of a 4 year old boy, and 2 year old girl.

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I had severe eczema on my elbows (cracked, scaley, bleeding... gross!) and Curel lotion worked wonders for me. Plain old Curel body lotion that you can get at any drugstore. There are people all over the net that swear by this as a way to help eczema, which is why I tried it. We all agree that the Curel people should market the hidden benefits of it... kind of like how "Skin So Soft" lotion by Avon ended up being a great insect repellant. Who knew!

My son started getting eczema on his elbows and knees too, so I had him use Curel in the AM and PM, and it worked great. Definitely worth a try, especially since it's not expensive.

Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My mother experienced eczema while she was pregnant with me. And I had eczema as a child. It cleared up for her after she gave birth. It cleared up for me as I grew older. It was primarily in my armpits and the creases inside my elbows. I think it disappeared by age 12. Although my skin is still quite sensitive and will break out in a rash when irritated by cheap cosmetics or lotions.

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi D.:

Eczema is a funny little thing. People can have it in their family and it can sort of lay dormant until something changes their body chemistry or they age. I am six months into my second pregnancy and for the second time I have developed eczema on my legs and arms. Once the first pregnancy was over the eczema disappeared. My little one had a bad case until age 2 and my father also has it, but for some reason mine only manifests during pregnancy.

Tell your neice to try Aquaphor. Its a little pricey for lotion, but a great over the counter Eucerin product for extremely dry skin. As well, she should drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated and help with skin moisture.

Let her know that it likely will pass once the baby comes - then she'll have other things to focus on.

Best,

M.

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L.M.

answers from San Francisco on

During my second pregnancy I developed a thyroid condition (which wasn't diagnosed until almost a year later). I had terrible eczema on my hands (I thought they were going to peal off) and head. It wasn't until after I had my baby and I realized there were other symptoms. I couldn't lose the baby weight (I as breast feeding, exercising and eating right), I was depressed and cried all the time (we thought it was postpartum depression, was always tired (again, because of the new baby). It wasn't until a year later with all the symptoms continuing that I had my thyroid tested. My doctor said this occasionally happens during pregnancy. I don't want to scare you or your niece, but see if that is the reason. After it was under control all my symptoms went away. Also, my cousin recommended "bag balm" for the excema. It is found in a feed store (for cow udders)!!! Really helped her and so I gave it a try. Really worked!

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W.W.

answers from Sacramento on

D.,

I have heard that eczema can occur with candida (a yeast overgrowth in your body) There is a candida diet that you can look up on the internet - You should avoid sugar, white flour, cheese (except parmesan, romano and fresh mozzerella), white rice, fruit, alcohol, mushroom, milk (except soy, brown rice milk, almond milk - but with no sugar) vinegar, peanut products and fermented foods.

I believe that sometimes babies can be born with thrush which is also an overgrowth of yeast- passed on from mother to baby - not a big deal but if you can get it under control now, I believe it would benefit your baby!

A good Dr. in the Grass Valley/ Nevada City area is Dr. Tucker - he is a naturopathic doctor.

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Excema is often a sign of an off-kilter immune system and/or overgrowth of yeast. I would suggest taking probiotics regularly. They will colonize the gut with good bacteria, hopefully crowding out the yeast. The gut is also the home base for the immune system, so probiotics are great immune-boosters. If your niece ever has to take antibiotics, now or after the baby is born, or every for anyone really, take ample probiotics to prevent yeast overgrowth.

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H.L.

answers from San Francisco on

i would venture a guess that this is more of an allergic contact dermatitis... especially if NO history of atopic dermatitis (eczema), allergies or asthma as a kid... but there are some very specific pregnancy associated rashes... she needs to go to a dermatologist as treatment can be a little tricky... but the diagnosis is the most important part at this point!

PS... this doesn't sound like PUPP

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C.T.

answers from San Francisco on

I have mild eczema when I am not pregnant, but it has worse during both my pregnancies. It clears up a little after I give birth, but I do find that ir remains a bit on my hands due to the constant handwashing that is needed when yo have small children. I use an oily hand lotion and some mild hydrocortizone cream, and that helps.

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I also had eczema while pregnant. The dermatologist suggested Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. It didn't go away right after pregnancy either and found I developed food allergies during my pregnancy. I noted every time the eczema started to itch and thought about what I just ate. Basically keeping a food diary would help. I found I was itching b/c of salmon and dried cranberries (was never allergic to these things before!). So I took that out of my diet and now I no longer have the problem, but when I do eat salmon and cranberries even after pregnancy, I still break out! I've also used Baby Bees Skin Creme and the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion which really helped when it itched. The baby bees skin creme (a product of Burt's Bees - baby line) took away the redness and kept my skin from drying out when taking showers. I believe when you're pregnant, your skin gets much drier and can make your skin more sensitive. I hope this helps! Good luck to your niece!

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L.R.

answers from San Francisco on

During my first pregnancy, I developed a pregnancy rash. In my first trimester, it developed around my tummy, then went away and came back in my last trimester. The last trimester was pretty bad, it spread all over, arms, back, tummy and legs. The Doctors could not prescribe anything for me! All they could tell me was it was a form of pregnancy rash and to use anti-itch cream (Sarna - highly recommend, available at Rite-Aid). Fortunately, the rash did go away after giving birth. All I recommend are cold showers, cold compresses and Sarna. Good luck and I hope this helped!!!

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M.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I occasionally experienced eczema prior to being pregnant. Both times I became pregnant, the eczema came out on more spots on my body all at one time. It also came out a little more after I had my babies while my hormones stabilized.

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C.Q.

answers from Sacramento on

I got a really bad rash when I was 4 months pregnant and it was actually worse than eczema so the doctor gave me a script for prednisone, (steriod). It was horribly itchy and couldn't sleep at night. We think it was caused by my natural histamines protecting my body when I got the flu and a bad cold. Sometimes your body reacts to protect itself on the outside. If she is miserable I would have her ask about the steriod method. It will clear up fast and will actually help the baby grow faster. Won't hurt the baby at all. They pump you full of Steriods if you are showing signs of premature labor to quicken the baby's develpoment. Thank gosh I was put on it, becuase I had my son prematurly and the prednisone probably had something to do with him being fully developed and going home only after 5 days. I gave birth at 34 weeks. Just to make her feel more comfortable about the drug usage. Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Chico on

my question is this her first pregnancy ..? Because my daughter developed eczema when she was 15 years old just out of the blue she was not pregnant,and was miss diagnose from our family doctor at the time and we did change doctors. However it has not gone a way so its allergy that her skin has.With eczema you are not to take hot showers,warm to cool to wash with Aveeno wash w/o fragrance, were cotton clothes and even sweating can cause irritation. So our Dermatologist has help us with this. You won't know till after her pregnancy if this happens only when she is pregnant

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H.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I also have eczema, but for me it didn't start with pregnancy. I've had mine for about 12 years. Over the years, I've noticed that it flares up with stress (finals, wedding, pregnancy, etc.), heat (summer's just no fun), and chemical reactions (cleaning products, bath products). The creams only do so much, so prevention and maintenance go a long way. It can be as simple as wearing gloves when you do housework or as complex as changing every soap, lotion, detergent in your house. For me, I have had to change all my bath products, laundry detergent, lotion, and I have to avoid chlorinated pools like the plague. Try to pick laundry detergents that say "Free and Clear" and pick bath products and lotion that are free of fragrance and alcohol (anything that ends in -ol is most likely an alcohol base). Typically the bath products advertised for sensitive skin are fine (I prefer Dove). I even have to go so far as picking out "Clean and Smooth" hand soap, otherwise I just break out like nobodys business. Hope this was helpful for you and not too much info.

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J.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I developed eczema when I was pregnant with my two year old daughter. My case is not severe, I just have itchy patches on my back and get little bumps on my hands. My daughter also has eczema on her face. I recently was looking for vitamins for PMS and read about Evening Primrose Oil which is suppose to be good for PMS and eczema. I have not tried it yet, but am looking forward to seeing if it works. Also in my research I found out that pro-biotics are critical for treating eczema and I even read that taking pro-biotics while pregnant will help keep the baby from having it after they are born. I wish I had know that when I was pregnant, maybe my daughter would not have the issue she now does with her face.

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I developed eczema, which I still suffer from, during my second pregnancy eight years ago. I find it triggered by stress, eating too much wheat and sunshine. I have used cetaphil only for showering, high level corisones for skin eruptions, and Zyrtec nightly. These help keep things in check. Have your neice see a dermatologist asap. M.

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S.B.

answers from Chico on

Hi D., My daughter has eczema really bad. I took her to my allergist who actually had to give her antibiotics for her hands, as they were so infected from the constant scratching. She also has it on her legs, inside her thighs, and her tummy and feet too. She has severe allergies which she will have to take 5 years of shots for. She is only 14, well 15 on March 3rd. The cream she uses is Protopic. The over the counter one that works is Aveeno. Hope I have helped. She only uses Cetaphil on her face, body and they make a non soap bar for the shower. Works really good.

S.
Mother of 3. 2 boys ages 23 and 25, and Raechel who is almost 15.

P.S. I also have had very dry skin and 6 years of allergy shots which cured my allergies.

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M.G.

answers from Sacramento on

I have had problems with eczema on and off throughout my life. However, I had not had a problem for many years prior to delivering my son. Days after he was born I got eczema on my face and neck like I had never seem before. My lips and eyes became very swollen on bad days. The doctors gave me creams and a steroid pill to help my body adjust. They said sometimes eczema is your body’s way of dealing with hormones. I was able to control the eczema on most days but it did not go away until about a month after I stopped breastfeeding (8 months later). My assumption is that is when my body chemistry went back to “normal”.

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B.J.

answers from San Francisco on

There are skin conditions that occur only during pregnancy. She should speak to her OB about it.

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J.O.

answers from San Francisco on

cu a potatoe in half and rub it o the eczema. Old wives tale

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A.N.

answers from Salinas on

YES!!!! I developed eczema in my second trimester on the tops of my hands and feet. It was awful and itchy but after i had my daughter, it was gone for good. I had her a year ago and no traces of eczema. Hopefully it will be the same with your neice!

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K.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi D.,

My name is K. and I have 2 daugthers, one is 2 years the other 3 months. I also developed eczema during pregnancy and had never really had it before. Fortunately it did get better after pregnancy but I do continue to get it from time to time now. The dry winter months are usually what brings it on. I hope it gets better for her but let her know to expect it to probably continue afterwards but not as bad. :-(

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