I suffered from pregnancy-induced eczema during both of my pregnancies. It was a painful and maddening experience, with flare-ups so intense it was hard to think about anything else, and even sleep. I remember crying out of frustration on more than one occasion, not knowing what to do about the relentless urges to scratch and scratch some more. 🙁 This is probably what I found the most difficult about both of my pregnancies.
During these weeks of my life, I did a lot reading, and I tried many different tips and options looking for natural ways to manage pregnancy-induced eczema.
I had flare-ups on my hands, belly and legs. Not everything I tried was successful, as finding solutions to eczema is indeed such a personal journey, but here is the list of things that did help me to find some peace, appease the flares-ups, and allow me to enjoy the beautiful life growing in my belly!
If you are presently experiencing pregnancy-induced eczema, I send you my sincere love. Please know that this too shall pass. Now that I’ve had my baby, the flare-ups have once again subsided, if this can be of any encouragement. 🙂
This is probably the number one tip I would recommend for pregnancy eczema. Staying hydrated can calm flare-ups by helping to maintain proper functioning of our body, and it promotes overall well-being. Water also helps us to absorb nutrients, which in turn make their way to baby. So as a mama-to-be, it can be very calming to know that we’re also taking care of our baby.
Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. One of my tricks was to keep the water jug out at all times, in view and ready for a pour!
Note: Mineral water was particularly helpful for me, which I included as part of my daily habits. The minerals in the water have been shown to participate in the reduction of flare-ups.
#2: KEEP THE AREA DRY
This is definitely one that goes both ways. Some recommend keeping the eczema-prone skin fully and continually moisturized, while others recommend the opposite. In my experience, it was very helpful to keep the eczema-prone areas dry, as bone. I had eczema on my hands, so I wore cotton-lined gloves for all household tasks (not just the dishes, but cleaning, so as not to get the skin damp with cloth), and made sure to properly dry my hands after washing them.
#3: RUB INSTEAD OF SCRATCHING
This was a very helpful tip for me. When you really must give the area a scratch, try “scratching” your eczema with your finger pads or with a cloth instead of your nails, so more like a rub. This helps to avoid making the rash worse, or bleed, thus preventing the “itch-scratch” cycle to go on, which can in return actually allow for the skin to heal (thus making the eczema not as bad!).
This cream saved my sanity! I discovered it by chance in a natural products store and it ended up being a savior for me. I had been looking for non-chemical, non-cortisone creams, safe for pregnancy, and had tried so many different ones. The worker there had me try some, it was green (!) and so soothing.. I couldn’t quite believe it, but this actually turned out to be a bit of a miracle cream for me, as it did not fail to help me find some peace in moments of extremely itchy eczema. I still use it now, for my son’s winter cheeks:) I feel such gratitude for this cream as it has been such a friend. (where to find)
#5: WEAR GENTLE LOOSE COTTONS
I felt like the Princess and the Pea, but I was able to tell when my clothes were not made of 100% cotton (!). It’s as if the fibers “stuck out” and into my skin, and started an itch. When I realized this, my wardrobe dramatically down-sized to but a few precious articles: loose baggy pyjama-type pants, and a few loose white cotton tops.., which I wore in rotation for the last weeks of my pregnancy. (Bless my guy for finding me lovely in the same clothes every day!).
#6: BELLY BREATHING
Deep belly breathing calms the nervous system and helps to relieve tension in the mind and body, which can in turn begin to appease the itching sensations of eczema. Find a moment during the day to sit or lay, or to take a pause from what you are doing to practice belly breathing. Here are 4 belly breathing exercises you can begin with.
Note: I find that in bed when waking up is a great time to practice breathing exercises, and a gentle way to start the day. 🙂
Note 2:This is also a wonderful tool in preparation for birth.
Note 3: Bring your attention to the breath to practice breath awareness meditation at the same time.
Recommended to me by a naturopath, taking Omega-3’s (or fish oils) may help by reducing an inflammatory substance in the body that plays a role in eczema flare-ups. It has to be taken for at least 3 months to notice the effects though! So this one may not be for you if you’re already nearing your due date, but if not, this can be worth the try. It was nothing dramatic in my case, but I did notice a change in the feel of my skin, as if it felt “healthier” and a bit less sensitive.
Note: Sweat can be a contributing factor to flare-ups, so wash and dry the skin if you break a sweat.
#9: VISUALIZATION / RELAXATION
This exercise can help to calm the nervous system, which can in turn help to soothe inflammation.
Find a comfortable position, lying down in a reclined position or on your left side:
1. Close the eyes
2. Practice 1-3 minutes of belly breathing
3. Take a moment to relax the entire body: head and face, shoulders and arms, torso, hips, legs and feet (and toes 🙂 )
4. Then bring your attention to the places where you feel the burning or itching sensations, for example, the hands
5. Imagine that the hands are softening, almost melting, following the breath:
Inhale to the “Hands”
Exhale imagine them “Melting”
6. Repeat for 5-10 breaths
7. Repeat this visualization with the other flare-up areas.
#10: CONSIDER CHANGING DETERGENTS
Commercial laundry detergents can be harsh on the skin or allergen, which can participate in the flares-ups. Look for natural, dye-free laundry detergents instead, which can also benefit the entire family.
#11: EPSOM SALT BATH
My grandmother is from England (as are Epsom salts), and she has always recommended Epsom salt baths to me for a variety of ailments such as soar feet, cold symptoms and to get the circulation going. I’ve grown to love Epsom salts dearly, I guess it kind of feels like I’m being taken care of by my grandmother when I use them. 🙂 In any case, Epsom salt baths, rich in magnesium, can be soothing, and help to reduce dryness or flaking. These baths also promote relaxation.. which may also be why I found them so helpful in appeasing the flare-ups.
Note: Some recommend to avoid soaking, so see how this fares for you. To be taken with a grain of salt 😉
These may already be things that you have tried out, in which case, I wish I could have helped more! If not, I do hope these tips are helpful and allow you to find some peace.
I would love to hear of which tips were helpful for you! Please feel free to share in the comment section below.
In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful time with your growing belly! xo
Hi! I’m Myriam, a former dancer turned yoga teacher based in Montreal. I’m also mama to two unbearably beautiful little ones, ages 1 and 4. 🙂 I believe in the virtues of bringing breath and body awareness as well as humor and loving-kindness to new mamas, and mamas-to-be! Read more→
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using them. Your price doesn’t change but this commission goes to supporting this site (and to getting more E-Cream). Thank you!
MY LOVED E-CREAM!
Made by Skin Essence, some of the ingredients include: Gotu Kola extract, White Kaolin Clay and Blue Chamomile Oil, all organic. It takes 2-3 minutes for it to start working.
I used it in the morning and night, but also at any other time of the day when the flare-ups were just too intense. I had a jar that I carried around with me everywhere, lol.
I went to the extent of contacting the company with my enthusiasm, and they are extending a 15% discount to 10ThingsYogaMama readers.
This is what it really looks like 🙂
As mentioned, I also use this cream on my son’s winter cheeks, and it can be used as a sunblock, and even a diaper rash cream. I have also offered this cream as a present to some of the cherished women in my life. One might say this cream made an impact on my life.
I love this cream. I love this cream!!!
I know that the same thing doesn’t work for everybody, but if this does end up helping you, I am so happy to have spread the good word. (And I would love to hear if it was helpful for you!)
I wish you all the best on your journey, and mostly, some peace.