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Dr. K.
Dr. K., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 4836
Experience:  OB/GYN with 20 years of experience.
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I am currently 11 weeks pregnant, I have seborrhoeic

Customer Question

Hi I am currently 11 weeks pregnant, I have seborrhoeic dermatitis and was looking for something so soothe the itch. I came across a recommendation online to try honey with cooled boiled water on it. I applied it to my scalp (which is scaly and slightly weepy) , but now I am concerned that I could have passed botulism spores to the fetus. I know it is safe for pregnant women to eat honey, but wasn't sure if applying topically and potentially having direct access to the bloodstream without going through the gut could expose the fetus to the spores. I am really concerned so it would be great to get an answer on this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 1 year ago.

There is no way to pass botulism spores to the fetus by applying honey to your scalp You do not need to worry. This will also not help at all with curing seborrhoiec dermatitis of the scalp Use an alternating combination of shampoos made for this such as Selsun Blue and Neutragena T gel. You need to work them into the scalp vigourously and leave on for ten minutes before rinsing. Rarely do you need to worry about topical application while pregnant. The skin, even while not intact is a good barrier.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response. I am still concerned that due to a break in the skin - as it is not in good condition - that the botulism spores may pass through my blood and cross to the fetus and into the fetal gut. The honey I put on my scalp was not pasteurised.
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 1 year ago.

Even if it did, adults are generally immune to botulism. You would need to be infected to infect the fetus. It is still important not to use unproven treatments that are potentially harmful. Ask your Dr first.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just thought because it was natural it would be safe, I didn't consider any other implications beforehand. So I would need to actually have symptoms and be infected with botulism first for there to even be any chance of passing it on?
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is the case You do need to be careful in pregnancy as many supplements billed as natural are very unsafe.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But would you consider honey unsafe??
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 1 year ago.

Most honey is unsafe to eat while pregnant but avoid natural and unprocessed honey.