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Pregnancy and skin care

Pregnancy and skin care

by: Dr. Monica Agarwal
Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology - Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Skin care during pregnancy is essential. The natural glow of pregnancy may be short lived in numerous cases and today we have numerous expecting mothers complaining of pigmentation, skin darkening and acne during pregnancy. It is important to understand that this is a critical time and one cannot easily apply any over the counter cream or eat any medication. Whatever the pregnant lady consumes or applies on her body effects the unborn baby and so guidelines for skin care are to be followed. It is recommended that you consult your gynecologist and a dermatologist for the same. Please brief each of them about your medical history.

Tips for Skin Care:

  • Clean your skin twice a day. Cleansing, toning and moisturising should be done. Do it before bedtime also. Moisturiser should be applied on the whole body after bath on towel dried body like coconut oil, olive oil or any other good moisturiser to keep the body supple and have minimum stretch marks
  • Eat healthy- Avoid processed food and eat lots of fruits, vegetables and salads
  • Drink enough water – water keeps you hydrated, improves circulation, eliminates toxins and keeps skin supple
  • Exercise- don’t forget your walk, yoga to keep you happy inside
  • Sleep for 8 hours and on time
  • Use sunscreen

Things to Totally Avoid During Pregnancy: 

  • Retinoids – These are substances which are used by the oral or local application for acne. They are vitamin A based products which prevent skin from breaking down. These should never be used by any route during pregnancy. If you have been using a cream containing retinoids, don’t panic. Local retinoids though do not have much effect but we do stop them for extra caution.
  • Hydroxy acids – Salicylic acid, beta hydroxy acid and alpha hydroxy acid are found in lots of cleansers, toners and exfoliants. So these should not be used and read the labels properly. Chemical peels should be avoided during pregnancy, if at all needed then you should get done from a qualified doctor.
  • Soy – Soy based lotion and face products have estrogenic effects and can cause dark patches of skin worse.
  • Acne products – Ask your dermatologist to give you safe acne treatment. 
  • Hair removing creams: They are generally safe but they can cause allergic skin reactions and so if you want to use them, do a patch test on a small patch of skin to see for reaction. 
  • Cosmetics : Avoid cosmetics which contain retinoids or salicylic acid 
  • Hair dyes : Data is very limited but only small amount of dyes are absorbed and reach the foetus. Still you should be cautious and can use natural dye like henna. You can avoid the scalp and put only on strands. Wait only for the recommended amount of time. Rinse properly. Wait for the second or third trimester 
  • Deodorant : Look at the label. Deodorant with parabens, triclosan, sodium benzoate, propylene glycol, high alcohol content, phthalate and other synthetic fragrance should be avoided. Natural fragrance can be used based on fruits, vegetables and flowers like ginger, rose, sandal, citrus, watermelon, peach, fig etc.

The conclusion is that you should avoid any doubtful products during pregnancy, always ask your healthcare provider for the safety of the product. If you have already used, don’t panic, just change to a safe option as local application has a very mild effect on the baby.

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