From eating right to shopping for onesies, you certainly are getting ready to welcome junior. But along with the excitement, you must be prepared to deal with some changes that pregnancy will bring along.
A rise in hormone levels will lead to a little shift in your body and skin. But fret not, because the growing belly is proof that it won’t last forever. To help you overcome these troubles and look good, here’s a list of pregnancy skin problems and tips on how to deal with them.
Acne is one of the most common problems that plague pregnant women. It is best to avoid using any kind of products that contain Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. Even ones with Retinoids must not be used. Dr. Mohan Thomas, MD, Cosmetic Surgery at the Skin Institute, says, “If possible, it is best to avoid using products with chemical ingredients. If you have to use them at all, consult a dermatologist to find out what is safe for you.”
The natural way to avoid acne problems is to clean your face regularly because it is oilier than other parts of the body and clogged pores can bring the acne back. “Use a mild soap for cleansing. Oil-free moisturisers and cleansers along with a natural sunscreen will help. Follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of water,” suggests Dr. Thomas. Do not fret too much as this problem is temporary and will soon vanish.
A skin pigmentation problem that affects some women during pregnancy is known as the pregnancy mask or chloasma. It affects women with darker complexions more than others. “Patches of pigmented dark skin usually appear on a woman’s face and also around the nipples and between the thighs.
Some women also experience the ‘line of pregnancy’ or linea nigra which is a dark line of pigmentation that runs down the abdomen. These conditions are aggravated by exposure to sunlight. The best way to handle these pigmentation problems is to avoid sun exposure as much as possible or if necessary, use a safe sunscreen made from natural products,” suggests Dr. Thomas.
Some pregnant women suffer from varicose veins and this condition is better prevented than treated during pregnancy. “The best ways to prevent the occurrence of varicose veins is to be active. Go for walks every day, avoid standing for long periods, whenever possible place your feet and legs in an elevated position, avoid excessive weight gain and don’t cross your legs while sitting,” says, Dr Thomas.
Swollen Palms and Legs:
Pregnant women also face trouble with swollen feet and palms which may also turn a reddish hue. Also known as palmar erythema, it may lead to itching. This is a temporary condition which can be soothed with moisturising, but if it gets out of hand consult your doctor.
Dr Shyam Kulkarni, consultant gynaecologist and infertility specialist, SSD Hospital, Mumbai, says, “Apply Vitamin E creams, monitor your blood pressure very carefully and exercise to strengthen recovery. Calcium has to be part of the diet and additional calcium and vitamin supplements should be taken to avoid deficiencies.”
Itching is a common problem that occurs during pregnancy. Usually the skin dries out of all its essential oils, which leads to itching. “A natural, safe and cheap method for relieving itchy skin is to add a little bicarbonate of soda into your bath water,” suggests Dr. Thomas. It will reduce the itching and soften your skin as an added bonus. “Avoid using scented bath products and use only natural soaps to bathe,” he adds.
Your skin will become more prone to rashes during pregnancy. Vaginal rashes are also a common problem. “Wear loose fitted clothes and use a topical application cream suggested by your doctor which will help cure the rash.” Calamine lotion usually helps soothe the rash.
Many to-be moms also notice dark patches under their eyes during pregnancy. Dark circles are usually due to genetics but pregnancy may also cause the under eye area to become darker. Eye soothing techniques will work wonders to ease any stress on your eyes and over time the discolouration will disappear.
Dermatitis or Eczema:
These are skin conditions that occur due to dry and flaky skin that lacks essential oils. It leads to itching that can lead to bleeding. Consult a dermatologist if it becomes severe. Dr. Thomas says, “Moisturising the skin often during pregnancy will be of great help. This is because the skin tends to be drier than usual during this period. If you have oily skin, then you can use a water-based moisturiser and if your skin is dry, then use one that is oil-based.”
Brittle nails and hair:
During pregnancy hormonal changes cause the hair to go into a dormant or resting phase and there is some hair loss. After pregnancy this hair begins to fall in greater quantities than usual. Dr. Thomas says, “This may be a cause of worry but it is natural and there is no danger of going bald.”
Some women experience brittle nails and their nails tend to crack or split. “The nails will need regular attention during this time. However, this condition is temporary and will resolve itself. If the condition gets aggravated, consult a specialist who may recommend safe topical nail strengtheners,” advises Dr. Thomas.
One of the biggest changes that pregnancy brings to your body is that of it getting bigger. Your body will expand to make space for your foetus to grow causing stretch marks on your otherwise flawless skin. To prevent stretch marks and dry skin,
You will need to apply some oils daily. “You can use oils by mixing them or find some natural products that contain them. The helpful oils for the skin during pregnancy are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, castor oil, wheat germ oil and avocado oil. The mixture should be applied on your breasts, abdomen, thighs and buttocks as these are the areas prone to dry skin and stretch marks,” concludes Dr. Thomas.