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Eczema down there???

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Has anyone had eczema develop down there from using pads post partum? It's driving me insane! I had second degree tearing which wasn't sutured. I think it's healing quite well, very little pain anymore, no burning or itching from that, but intense itching from what I know is eczema. I got it after my first was born as well, also from using pads, and I had it off and on during pregnancy, just one of those things I'm cursed with. This time though I'm not sure what's safe to use, and no one else seems to have any answers either, especially with the tearing, my first was a c-secion so no trauma down there. All of the prescriptions my dermatologist has given me all say not advisable, or not tested, for breastfeeding moms. I ask the midwife what I can use instead and they have no answers. Sometimes the same diaper rash cream I use on my kids helps, but not always, and it's gotten pretty bad this time. I've also got eczema all over my chest and stomach. I can't seem to use enough creams and lotions to soothe or get rid of it, and I don't want my baby in danger from bad chemicals, especially since her mouth is so close when nursing to where I have to put it.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I'm desperate!!

post #2 of 21

I got really irritated down there the last time, from wearing pads.  I found that the ones with the "stay-dry" type lining were the worst.  Have you tried natural ones, or at least ones that don't have that layer on them?  Or cloth, depending how heavy your bleeding still is, might help.  As for what to put on it, I don't know, but I hope you find something that helps soon!

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

That's all I've been using this time, I thought I was being smart since I got it so bad last time.  I bought natural pads from the organic store and then I actually bought incontinence pads, the midwives recommended them because that's what they use in the hospital.  Cloth might help, they might be a bit more breathable, and my bleeding has lightened a lot, I'm just not sure where I could get them without ordering them, which chances are would take a couple weeks and I'd no longer need them by the time they get here.  I'll check out lunapads and see what their delivery time is like.  Thanks for the suggestions!

post #4 of 21
I didn't have the rash/itching postpartum, but I did get during my normal AF if it was hotter than normal or I was just having to wear pads more than normal. I switched to cloth and haven't had that problem at all. I can't even tell you how much better they are. PP mama cloth can be pricey, but I discovered you can make your own or at least rig up a workable giant pad from a small pre fold diaper if you have them on hand.

Have you tried straight lanolin on the eczema? That's what I use when DS gets rashes related to moisture or skin cracking. It's greasy but safe and it WORKS!
post #5 of 21
I know you can buy vagisil with lidocaine in it. That should completely take away the itching. I'm assuming it's safe during breastfeeding. I used it when DD was still nursing. Also, after you take a shower, try using a blowdryer on the no heat setting on your crotch. You want to get all the extra moisture out before you put pads on again. Newborn prefolds should work fine stuffed in huge panties! You could also use unbleached paper towels. I would try to go bare bottomed as much as possible as well. Maybe you could sit on old towels without anything on when you nurse? Maybe try sleeping without anything on as well. I am so sorry you are dealing with this! Your poor lady bits!
post #6 of 21

I don't know if I'm dealing with eczema, but I am seriously itchy. I stopped using pads and swiped a couple fleece liners from my daughter's cloth diapers since I don't have any cloth pads. My bleeding is pretty much gone, so I don't really need absorbency. And I've been using Earth Mama Bottom Balm. It really helps. 


ETA: I didn't have any tearing, so I'm assuming that my itchiness is coming from the disposable pads.

post #7 of 21

I had 4th degree tearing and lots of sutures after dd2's birth so I had a lot of skin problems and very few options... one thing that helped was "sunning my bum".  I'd use an epsom salt sitz bath, then lay down bare bummed in a sunbeam and let everything air dry.  Then slather on aloe gel (the natural kind, not the "post sunburn" gel that has aloe plus other stuff) and again let it dry in the sun.  It usually took about 10 minutes for the sitz bath and then 15 minutes of sun to dry the aloe.  It was messy and I'm sure I looke ridiculous spread out on the bed with sun on my bum but it really helped.


Since your tear is smaller and you're more concerned about the skin irritation, maybe use oatmeal in the sitz bath instead of epsom salt?  Or alternate the two?  And for eczema you should be aiming for water around body temp... not too hot or too cold (current thought is that a body temp soak is good for eczema since at that temp the skin can soften/absorb without the drying effect you'd get in hot water, and salt... either sea salt or epsom salt... can help too, though some people find it too drying which is why oatmeal might be a better choice).


Also, really talk with your care provider and ask them to check things in Hales... very few things are going to be labled as safe for breastfeeding moms, simply because the type of testing necessary wouldn't be ethical.  You can't just take a few thousand breastfeeding women and randomly assign them to potentially dangerous medications to see what happens, and that's more or less what a company would need to do in order to avoid labeling that discourages pregnant/breastfeeding moms.  So since nothing is going to be labled "totally safe", your best bet is to dig through Hales (or have your provider or LC do it) to check the various medications to see what the actual risks are and then decide from there how the risks and benefits weigh out.


Good luck... hope you feel better soon!

post #8 of 21

Can you get your hands on some calendula salve? This is my favorite for eczema and diaper rash. Or steep some calendula flowers in hot water and put the "tea" in a squirty bottle to use each time you use the bathroom.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Wow thank you SO much for all the feedback.  This has been an issue for me for about the past year, though it usually only happened right before my period and cleared up during.  It got worse when I got pregnant and now with the pad usage it's gotten really bad.  A few days before I delivered DD I had started wearing a hazelwood braclet, which is said to help with eczema, it did start clearing up but once she was born it got a whole lot worse, I just remembered someone else had that happen with hazelwood so I stopped wearing it, hopefully that will help.  I hadn't even thought of lanolin, but that makes sense, and I know I can use that on my chest.  I don't cloth diaper but I can certainly get my hands on some liners, my bleeding is very little now, except days like today where I overdid the walking around.  I have an all natural bum balm that I use on the kids bums and I could try.  Their diaper rash cream that I use is a calendula cream, it was working but when things got really bad it didn't help anymore. 


Bignerpie I had a c/s with my first so no trauma to that area and I still had the itching, I thought it was a yeast infection until the midwife told me it was the drying from the pads.  Oddly enough I tried some external canesten cream the other day and it has helped.  I also took an oatmeal bath, doubled up on the amount, and added some arnica oil, even though arnica is more for swelling and bruising the oil seems to help a bit.  After, I tried just Aveeno Eczema lotion, it's labeled safe for use anywhere on the body and since I'm not putting it internally I figured I'd try it, and it definitely helped.  It hasn't really helpd the chest area, other than keeping me from scratching. 


Wombatclay I've definitely been making the mistake of having the water too hot, since I like to use my bath as my time to relax and enjoy some time by myself I've had it quite hot to really enjoy that soak.  I'll try turning down the temp on both baths and showers.  I can't figure out why this keeps getting worse, it seems to be hormonal and climate related, not diet like many naturopaths claim, I can pinpoint certain times of year, but then being recently tied to my periods and then to pregnancy and delivery makes me think it's hormonal.  We've put in a water softener, I cut down my showers to every other day, I use the most gentle moisturizing body washes I can find, and still it keeps showing up somewhere new, lasts for a while and then disappears and reappears somewhere else bothersome.  I know many medications are labeled as unsafe simply because they don't know but I asked my midwife about the ones I have and she said she didn't like the research results from the testing on rats.  I have a new one from my dermatologist, after telling him about the midwife concerns, and this one just says it hasn't been tested in pregnancy and breastfeeding.  However, he specifically told me to use that one in the vaginal area yet it says right on the bottle that it's not advisable for vaginal use.  He's one of the top psoriasis and eczema researchers in the city so I want to trust him but that kind of scare me. 


Thanks again for all the advice, I really do appreciate all of the suggestions and I intend to try them!!

post #10 of 21

Hi there, just lurking from the Oct DDC and wanted to add my two cents. I had all manner of issues years ago until a lovely OB suggested I switch to the all natural tampons and pads. You can find them at Whole Foods or probably any health food store, if there's anything like that near you. The regular ones have chlorine and who knows what else in them -- not the things you want next to your sensitive parts! But failing that I would try some re-useable organic cotton ones. People are selling handmade ones all over Etsy, I believe, and I always used to see ads in the back of Mothering magazine. All of that said, I also suffer from eczema -- just not there -- and am convinced it's largely dietary and/or environmental with me, though I haven't yet gotten to the source and am still having to use steroid creams to keep it under control. GL!!!

post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post

Bignerpie I had a c/s with my first so no trauma to that area and I still had the itching, I thought it was a yeast infection until the midwife told me it was the drying from the pads.  

My first was a c-section, too. I can't remember if I had this issue then. I was so doped up on painkillers for the first month that I don't remember much of anything. greensad.gif

post #12 of 21

I have been dealing with this my whole pregnancy. I had it with the last 2 pregnancies as well but I have never been in the third trimester in the summer so it has been much worse this time around. I had the OB check it out and she said it looks viral and probabily due to a weakened immune system in pregnancy. I say she is an idiot and that it is definatly hormone and temperature related. It starts up when I get my pp af's and in pregnancy but when I am not cycling and not pg (which usually lasts about 20 months for me between babies) I have no itching or irriataion at all. Pads do also make it worse for me so I am not looking forward to wearing them for the weeks after giving birth but I can't stomach washing out the cloth so hopefully I won't bleed too heavy or for too long.


I love all the suggestions that the other Mama's are giving! I am definatly going to make a list and hope that something will help!!




post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've tried a few things, nothing working yet but I'm giving each attempt a few days to work so it's a slow process. A friend suggested grapeseed oil, especially before a bath or shower to protect from water drying. So much to try I'm feeling like a test pattern! LOL
post #14 of 21

hug.gif Smurfy, I hope it gets better soon.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well I've tried almost everything. I've sort of solved the problem down there, but my stomach, hips and chest are completely red, inflamed, and so unbelievably itchy that I'm going insane. I'm having a lot if baby blues moments lately and this is just making it worse, totally depressing me. Last 2 things I have to try are pure aloe, and I thought I might try breastmilk, it's liquid gold and works on everything else so I figure what have I got to lose? After that I don't know what I'll do, I'm out of options, I just can't believe how bad it is and that nothing is helping.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I finally went to the dermatologist and he gave me cortisone pills. Does anyone know anything about the risks of these? He gave me a low dose and said small amounts would pass through the breastmilk, but that the baby needs a mother that can take care of her and if this keeps up full blown depression could set in and then I won't be able to care for her. I'm desperate and while it's killing me of what this may expose her to I know he's right and I need some relief. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
post #17 of 21

Smurfy, I have a copy of Medication and Mothers' Milk. I could look up the medication and dosage and see what Dr. Hale says about it, if you'd like.

post #18 of 21

I came across your post while browsing through the "New Posts"...forgive me if I'm intruding, but I had the same issues after my son was born (10 yrs. ago!!).  I had terrible eczema on my hands, under one boob, and on my belly and after a few months of trying to figure it out, my chiropractor asked if I'd had antibiotics at the birth (which I had, by IV), and he gave me a good probiotic supplement.  Within three days, the eczema was gone.  I don't know If you were given antibiotics or not, but just in case...it's something to try!  I also occasionally still suffer from a yeast overgrowth (although not a full out "infection") which causes some itching "down there" and under my boob again...usually if I'm eating too much fruit, bread, or sugary things.  For that, I increase my probiotics again and get a herbal supplement at the HFS specifically for bladder & yeast infection.  It doesn't say anything about whether it's safe for nursing or not, but I'm sure you could find out.  Hope this helps!

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Ack internet was down most of the day only to discover DH had accidentally unplugged the modem. 


Bignerpie the pills are called Apo-prednisone (Prednisone) 5MG and the lotion is Ratio-Amcinonide (Amcinonide) 0.1%.  I asked the pharmacist and she looked it up and said it was, as with most pregnany/breastfeeding studies, inconclusive, but it seemed to suggest that low doses for a short period of time were considered safe, which this is as he's only given me 10 days.  She recommended taking it immediately after nursing to ensure the least amount is in the milk by the next feed.  I really don't want to ask the midwives, I'll disuss it with them when I see them on Thursday, but I'm scared they'll tell me I can't take it and then once again I've got nothing to get rid of this and I go back to itchy, painful skin. 


Trac by no means are you intruding, I greatly appreciate any and all suggestions.  I like the sounds of the probiotic, makes sense, and I'm actually surprised my chiropractor hasn't suggested it, she's usually got tons of helpful suggestions like that.  I don't find it's particularly related to foods I eat, though I haven't tried paying too close attention, it really seems to be more hormonal and environmental.  I don't eat much fruit, I have allergy sensitivities to most fruit, but I can try cutting down on bread and sugar.  I want to try the probiotics, being I have this one though and I have to see my dermatologist in two weeks with the results I'm kind of obligated to take it now, I can't afford for him to refuse me as a patient, dermatologists are too difficult to get into.  I think next time, or if this doesn't work, I will definitely try that.  Thanks!!

post #20 of 21

The prednisone is an L2 drug, which means it's pretty safe for breastfeeding. There are some studies listed in the book where they tested levels of steroids in the breastmilk after the mothers took doses of 10-120mg, and it was a very low. Even still, they recommend waiting 4 hours after taking it to reduce exposure.


The amcinonide is listed as high potency. It says not to use it on your nipples and to take caution when using on large areas of your body. There are other "safer" medications listed, but maybe they aren't as strong?


I'm not a doctor or a lactation consultant (yet), so take my advice for what it's worth. If you are that uncomfortable, it's probably worth it to go ahead and take the medication the dermatologist gave you. Personally, I took an L3 drug the whole time I breastfed my son. Sometimes the risks are worth it. But trust your instincts and use your best judgement. thumb.gif

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