Pregnancy skin: Top 3 problems and their treatments
By: Ron Robinson
There are so many factors that can affect our skin, other than the usual culprits such as the environment, stress and diet. But it never occurred to me just how much a woman’s skin (let alone her body) changes during pregnancy. Hormonal changes are at an all-time high! And due to the limitations on medication and topical treatments, there’s usually not much an expecting mother can do to change it... just wait it out so to speak. So, just how can women improve their skin when pregnant? Read on to find out some tips on how to achieve clear, glowing skin for those 9 long months ahead, what skin issues most pregnant women face and how to deal with them.
One skin issue many pregnant women face is acne. Some women develop acne on their face, neck, chest and back during the first three months of pregnancy, mostly due to fluctuating estrogen levels. But, while pregnant, it is important to choose natural and botanical-based ingredients, like lavender and chamomile, which will not irritate your skin or harm your baby. It is essential to balance the skin so there isn’t an overproduction of oil to compensate for dry skin. If you are experiencing some serious acne, use sulfur or lactic acid, which will not cause any skin irritations or side effects to you or the baby. Once you have given birth, feel free to use a consistent regimen of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinols to banish the breakouts once and for all.
Meddling Melasma -- The Pregnancy Mask
The appearance of darker pigmentation, usually on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip and/or nose, is known as melasma, or “pregnancy mask”, and is caused by the overproduction of a melanocyte-stimulating hormone. More than 50% of pregnant women will experience some melasma on their face. So to avoid further hyperpigmentation marks, avoid the sun and wear a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen daily and limit sun exposure during the peak times of the day. Most of the time the “pregnancy mask” usually fades away after pregnancy, but it is always ideal to wear and carry around a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF to reapply throughout the day for optimal protection.
Treatments that can help fade away those dark marks include regular exfoliation at home and/or with an esthetician, or in-office procedures like Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for gentle, noninvasive pulses to the skin.
Stretch Marks Be Gone
When you think of stretch marks, cocoa butter immediately comes to mind. But sometimes a holistic approach might just not cut it. Most women will experience stretch marks during or after their pregnancy, however, they can be prevented. The best way to ward off those burdensome stretch marks is to stay hydrated with products containing vitamin E and collagen-elastin, since the skin is actually stretching beyond its capacity to recoil. It is also important to moisturize at the right time. So, moisturize as often as possible, right when you wake up and before going to bed. For stubborn marks that won’t disappear after child birth, the VBeam Laser Treatment, a pulsed dye laser that safely destroys skin impurities without causing further damage, can help. The VBeam can treat stretch marks that are red/pink, according to both dermatologists and plastic surgeons. If you are suffering from stubborn white stretch marks, then you may have to live with them – you can fade them or remove them surgically, but they’re here to stay.
Are any of you pregnant and experiencing these skin concerns?