Q: Are steroid treatments for eczema safe during pregnancy?
A: There are steps the pregnant mother should take if she is being treated with steroids for eczema and finds out she is pregnant. The first step is to contact the dermatologist about the pregnancy.
Steroid treatments should be used carefully during pregnancy. Since corticosteroid cream is absorbed differently from person to person and the amount is not regulated per dose, the creams should also be used with caution and only if medically indicated.
There are steps the pregnant mother should take if she is being treated for eczema and finds out she is pregnant. The first step is to contact the dermatologist about the pregnancy. All medications fall into categories of risk for use during pregnancy. If the current medications being taken or used for eczema treatment fall into a category that is not approved for pregnant women, the medication will need to be changed.
The second step is continued communication with the dermatologist. Most of the time, once a treatment plan is in place, the dermatologist will only require visits every 6 months to maintain the health of the skin. In the case of pregnancy, hormone changes and changes to the excretion of the sebaceous (oil) glands can affect eczema. The dermatologist will work with the pregnant woman to keep her eczema under control.
The third step is to watch closely for impetigo. If eczema goes untreated or flairs up beyond the control of the current medication, impetigo can result. Impetigo is an infection of the skin that can cause fever and fetal risk. Impetigo can be treated with antibiotics.
The final step is taking care of the skin with natural life changes. Hot water should not be used for bathing. In cases of severe eczema, bathing only once a week or once every two weeks may be needed in order to control the flair ups. During these times, bathing of the sensitive areas of the body can be done without immersing the body in water.