What to Know About Eczema, Psoriasis, and HPV While Pregnant

Woman applying cream on her body to prevent itching

Pregnancy of course comes with its own set of challenges. Your body swells, there are periods when all you want to do is sleep, not to mention the other drastic hormonal changes taking place. Add to that, the effects of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and HPV, and this could certainly make your pregnancy all the more difficult. When considering how to treat such issues, you are obviously first and foremost going to be concerned about the safety of your unborn child. So what exactly can you do…

Treating and/or alleviating the symptoms of eczema or psoriasis for example during your pregnancy is possible. There are certain things you can do, steps you can take to ease the itching and discomfort. Below are three of the most common skin conditions that pregnant women sometimes face, along with suggestions and advice for coping with these during those crucial nine months.

Eczema During Your Pregnancy

Believe it or not becoming pregnant can actually hasten the onset of eczema. Studies have shown that as many as 70% of women who do experience this particular condition while regnant have never had it before. And upwards of 50% of women who already have eczema prior to becoming pregnant will generally find that their symptoms actually worsen.

Fortunately, eczema will not have an impact on your baby. However, we understand how trying it can be coping with the symptoms of this skin condition while navigating your pregnancy. For the most part, many of the more common eczema treatments are not advised given that you are carrying a child and you don’t want to do anything that might affect the health of that baby. You want to talk to a doctor before taking any sort of medication, creams, cortisones or antihistamines. Some thing you can do however is to modify your lifestyle, be more mindful of the soaps and products that you use around the home and do whatever is necessary to try and keep your stress levels low.

How to Treat Your Eczema

Again, before taking anything, over the counter or otherwise, always talk to your doctor first. Meanwhile, you could try the following to help bring you some relief and thus enable you to better control flareups:

  • Avoid irritants and fragrance heavy products such as detergents, perfumes, along with certain soaps.
  • Switch from hot showers to more lukewarm baths and showers. Too hot water can contribute to drier skin.
  • Wear looser fitting clothing that is breathable.
  • Drink a good amount of water each day. Staying hydrated is not only good for the eczema but for the baby as well.

HPV During Your Pregnancy

HPV (human papillomavirus) may be a cause for concern during your pregnancy. The chances however of you passing the infection to your child are very slim. Also, no links have been found suggesting that HPV can cause miscarriages or premature delivery. While it may be difficult not to worry, there’s no great cause for concern about the condition as far as the impact on the developing infant.

HPV can manifest as genital warts. If you do notice such warts during pregnancy, it is extremely important to discuss any sort of treatment, topical or otherwise, with a doctor prior to pursuing such options on your own. A board certified dermatologist can guide you in the right direction in terms of what you need to do to safely manage symptoms of HPV during pregnancy. Learn about the treatments available at Schweiger Dermatology.

Psoriasis During Your Pregnancy

As with eczema during pregnancy, psoriasis flareups can also get worse while you’re expecting. On the flip side however, some women (roughly 50%) find that their psoriasis tends to subside or lessen in intensity during their pregnancy. So as you can see, there is no real way to predict how your psoriasis will react while you are pregnant.

The use of gentle topical moisturizers and emollients is recommended to help alleviate the itching and dryness associated with psoriasis. If you are currently undergoing Ultraviolet A treatment, it is advised to refrain from doing so during the course of your pregnancy as this can detrimentally affect the baby.

How to Treat Your Psoriasis

There are steps you can take and things you need to be aware of as you manage your psoriasis while pregnant. Certainly, consult your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have, as protecting the health of your baby is of the utmost importance.

  • As mentioned, you should continuously moisturize. The use of petroleum jelly or mineral oil especially on dry areas of skin can help.
  • Try and reduce your stress. While this may be difficult, it is important when it comes to minimizing flareups.

We understand that during pregnancy your concern is the welfare of your baby. That is why if you are afflicted with any skin condition, it is so important to sit down with your dermatologist and discuss treatment options, lifestyle adjustments and any health questions you might have.


Additional Suggested Reading:

About Schweiger Dermatology Group

Schweiger Dermatology Group was founded to help make excellent dermatology care accessible throughout the Northeast. In 2010, Dr. Eric Schweiger started the practice with a single location in Midtown Manhattan. When he saw the need for high-quality dermatology care that did not require weeks or months of waiting to see a qualified provider, his vision of a multi-location practice was born.

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