Your body undergoes hundreds of changes during pregnancy, from your stomach expanding to swollen ankles; your skin isn’t immune to the changes of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, women will typically experience certain skin issues that may irritate their skin or temporarily change its appearance. Luckily, most of these conditions are resolved shortly after delivery; however, there are steps you can take to treat your skin issues while pregnant, as long as you use pregnancy safe skincare products.
Here’s an overview of what issues you may experience and how you can safely treat your skin issues while pregnant:
Also known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, melasma is the darkening of the skin of a pregnant women’s face due to the overproduction of melanin, which is caused by hormonal changes. Treat melasma with prescription products containing azelaic acid and topical vitamin C, wearing sunscreen, and using concealer to cover up dark spots.
Stretch marks a reddish-purple lines on the abdomen, breasts, and thighs that are caused by the pulling and stretching that skin undergoes during pregnancy. Although 90% of women experience stretch marks during pregnancy, there are no scientifically proven ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy; some suggest that topical creams containing glycolic acid and/or green tea may help prevent stretch marks. Moisturizer can improve the appearance and reduce itchiness, and sunless tanning products can camouflage the marks.
Stretched skin can cause itchiness all over the body, especially on palms and the soles of feet. Pregnant women can relieve itchiness with over-the-counter mentholated or oatmeal-based moisturizers without artificial scents, and they can also use mild soaps when washing and avoiding very hot showers to prevent itchiness.
The pregnancy “glow” that everyone talks about comes from increased oil production in the skin of pregnant women, and unfortunately, this oil can also cause acne
, especially around the mouth. Treat acne with fragrance-free facial soaps and oil-free moisturizer, used regularly. You can also use over-the-counter acne products, like astringents, but take special care to avoid products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids, which are unsafe for pregnant women to use.
Puffiness in the eyelids and face: During the third trimester, pregnant women experience increased blood circulation, which can cause the face and eyelids to puff up. Treat puffiness with ice and cold packs, and increase your vitamin and mineral consumption while using an eye cream with aloe and vitamin E.
Occasionally, pregnant women will develop harmless but itchy rashes on their abdomens, and these may sometimes spread to the arms, leg, and behind. Women can treat these mild rashes with over-the-counter fragrance-free topical moisturizers, and more severe cases may require prescription corticosteroids.
In addition, pregnant women should make sure to avoid skin products containing retinoids and/or salicylic acid. Retinoids and salicylic acid have been shown to cause birth defects and pregnancy complications, and doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid the use of such products.
Skincare Safe Products During Pregnancy
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