Hydrocortisone Cream in Pregnancy – Is It Safe to Use?

Hydrocortisone Cream in Pregnancy - Is It Safe to Use?

Pregnancy brings with itself numerous changes in the body which may lead to unintended consequences. During pregnancy, your skin stretches extensively to make way for an enlarging uterus and to accommodate your baby. However, this may result in an itching session and you may want to itch your body parts, particularly your tummy. You may want to use a hydrocortisone cream to put an end to the itching sensation, however, applying hydrocortisone cream during pregnancy may not be the safest option.

What Is Hydrocortisone?

Hydrocortisone is a shortened form of the hydrocortisone cream. It is a form of medication which makes use of steroids to treat certain skin conditions. It also falls under the ‘C’ category of pregnancy-related medicines, which makes it a harmful substance for the foetus, even in its lowest strength. This is the very reason why a doctor’s recommendation is highly suggested before it is used.

For Which Skin Conditions Hydrocortisone Cream Is Used?

Since hydrocortisone treats various skin conditions, it is a primary choice of medication, even among pregnant women. The instances of suffering from eczema or dermatitis, along with swelling of the skin, redness and rashes are high in pregnancy. The weather can further aggravate it due to increased sweating. Hydrocortisone can treat this condition. Hydrocortisone also provides relief from skin allergies, itching, redness, and rashes. However, this cream should be used only after consulting with a doctor.

Is It Important to Consult a Doctor Before Using Cortisone Cream during Pregnancy?

There are certain doctors who may use hydrocortisone cream with pregnant women, depending on the condition of their pregnancy and the area where the cream needs to be applied. However, the application of any kind of topical corticosteroid should not be taken lightly. Doctors too look for alternatives to hydrocortisone cream. Also, the over-the-counter availability of hydrocortisone should not be an invitation to start using it on your tummy and breasts right away. Let your doctor examine your skin condition and recommend you a remedy accordingly.

Is Cortisone Cream Harmful to the Foetus?

There a few studies revolving around the use of certain corticosteroids by pregnant women, but these are not fully controlled to look for specific effects of the same. But there is a high risk of hydrocortisone being a harmful substance for the growing baby.

Evidence has shown that the drug can easily find its way to the placenta once it enters the body. Many experiments on animals suggest that the foetus developed with various facial abnormalities as a result of using a steroid cream. However, there have also been cases where pregnant women used the cream during pregnancy but gave birth to children without any abnormalities.

However, usage of this cream in a higher strength for extended durations does pose a strong risk in affecting the development of the foetus. A possibility has been established in the occurrence of a suppression in the adrenal cortex of the foetus.

Remedies for Itching

While there is no way to avoid the occurrence of itching during pregnancy, there are definitely alternative ways to reduce the intensity of itching. It is best to keep away from hot water during baths, whether you are taking a bath in a tub or by a shower. Similarly, replace your usual soap with a moisturizing one that is made from natural substances. For intense bouts of itching, an oatmeal bath is highly recommended. Also, wear clothes in which your skin can breathe and soak in sweat easily.

If you are not sure about using hydrocortisone cream during pregnancy, it is recommended that you consult a doctor whom you implicitly trust. In either case, try out natural alternatives to combat your itching and choose the cream only when they fail to have a considerable effect.

Also Read: Is It Safe to Use Hair Removal Cream in Pregnancy?