Hormones, fatigue, swollen ankles…. the changes are endless during pregnancy and can be somewhat overwhelming! The skin being visible is no stranger to change during pregnancy; largely due to the physical change of growing/stretching skin and the significant hormonal swing of increasing oestrogen and progesterone.
Here are 8 top tips of how to minimise and handle the most common complaints:
⭐️ Top tips ⭐️:
- Use a thick moisturiser (doesn’t have to be stretch mark specific!) & massage over the stretching skin. This can help soothe it to reduce symptoms of tingling & try to reduce the severity of any striae (stretch marks).
- Massage the skin with oils/moisturisers to stimulate the local blood supply which helps with healing over areas of striae.
- Don’t ignore moles if you think they are changing shape/colour, seek urgent review at your GP/derm.
- In sunny weather get that SPF 50 & wide brimmed hat on! Pregnancy pre-disposes you to pigmentation disorders such as melasma.
- Try to keep cool to minimise aggravating flushing disorders like rosacea. A cooling water spray in your handbag can help.
- Seek treatment for acne if it is bothering you as there ARE options (both topical & oral) which are safe to use in pregnancy under medical supervision. Safe options include: azelaic acid, Zineryt (erythromycin) lotion & low doses of salicylic acid & benzoyl peroxide.
- Regular exercise (including simple walking) helps to reduce ankle swelling & varicose veins. Additional compression/flight stockings will also help if this is a particular issue for you or runs in your family.
- Beware most cosmeceutical products will say “not recommended” during pregnancy or similar phrasing; this is because no products are tested on pregnant/breastfeeding women. Often there is little/no evidence of harm & it is difficult to measure how much (if any) of a product is absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin.
❌ What not to do ❌:
- Do avoid retinoid/retinol containing products (often present in anti-ageing serums/creams) as these are known to be dangerous for the baby if they are absorbed into the bloodstream as they cross the placenta & can lead to deformity. Most over the counter preparations are unlikely to be present in strong enough quantities to enter the bloodstream and cause any harm; but it is better to be safe and avoid altogether.
- Don’t avoid seeking medical help for acne or skin concerns that are bothering you during pregnancy; treatment options are available under medical guidance. You don’t have to simply “put up with it”!
But most importantly….
Try not to obsess over the often temporary visible changes that come with having a baby- concentrate on staying as positive & all round healthy as you can with holistic measures (eg. yoga, walking)…. healthy mum, healthy bump!
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