I have recently developed eczema on my breasts. It has been quite
uncomfortable, with itching. My Dr. sent me to a dermatologist
who just started me on a topical cream. I am wondering what else
I can do to keep nursing. When she latches, it itches, and am
worried about if the latching is irritating it worse. Is their
any advice, and also is this a rare thing? Morgan is almost 5
months. And I love nursing her, do not want to ruin a good thing.
Eczema on the nipples is not uncommon. It often shows up after
several weeks or months of nursing and not in the very beginning.
If a yeast infection has been ruled out (the symptoms are often
similar), then treatment with a steroid ointment is often effective.
If your doctor has just prescribed the ointment, then I would
suggest giving it time to work. If it seems to be helping, then
keep using it once a day or less for a while to keep the symptoms
to control eczema include not washing the nipples often, using
as little soap as possible, exposing the nipples to air or sunlight,
avoiding rough fabrics against the breast, and avoiding the use
of perfumes or laundry detergents. The fact that your nipples
stay moist and that the baby is putting stress on them every few
hours doesn't help the situation. Try to wear disposable pads
and change them often. These include wearing breast shells, getting the milk
to let down before you start nursing, and nursing on the least
sore side first.
nursing mothers have a combination of eczema and yeast at the
same time. If the rash and itching don't respond to the medication
your dermatologist prescribed (I'm assuming it was some kind of
steroid) then that option needs to be explored. The most effective
treatment I've found is Dr. Jack Newman's nipple ointment. Jack
Newman's nipple ointment is excellent. Mix an anti-fungal cream
(I recommend Nizoral, but you can also use a combination of Nystatin
(100,000 units/ml, 15 gms) and Clotrimazole (10% cream, 15 gms).
These are anti-fungals to treat the candida. In addition, the
cream contains Mupricon (antibiotic - 2% ointment, 15 gms) and
Betamethasone (cortocosteroid to decrease inflammation -0.1% ointment.
15 gms). In his new book, Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding,
pp.108-109, he recommends applying the ointment after each feeding
and not washing it off. You gradually cut back on the applications
as the pain disappears.
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