Pregnancy is an exciting time for women. Your body is changing, you’re preparing for another addition to your family, and you’re enjoying the love and support of your family and friends. Unfortunately, pregnancy also has a few less-than-glamorous aspects, such as the temporary skin issues that often arise. Luckily, most of these skin issues resolve themselves shortly after delivery; however, here’s a quick guide to several common skin conditions developed during pregnancy, as well as what pregnancy-safe products can be used to treat them.
One of the most common skin conditions associated with pregnancy is the development of stretch marks, tiny tears under the skin that 90% of women develop in the sixth or seventh month. While there’s no research conclusively proving how to manage stretch marks, moisturizer can improve the appearance and also reduce itchiness. Speaking of itchiness, pregnant women often experience itchiness and rashes as well. Similar to stretch marks, these symptoms can be relieved with the use of fragrance-free moisturizers.
The hormonal changes women experience can lead to melasma and acne. Melasma is the darkening of the skin on a woman’s face, and makeup and concealer can camouflage the darkness, while sunscreen can prevent further darkening and soy-based sunscreen may even lighten the affected area. Women can improve any acne on their face by washing their face regularly with fragrance-free cleanser and using over-the-counter, pregnancy-safe products. Unfortunately, many such acne products contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids, which can be dangerous to pregnant women as they’ve been linked to pregnancy complications and birth defects.
Finally, a few skin conditions pregnant women face can be easily treated at home. For example, puffiness on the face and eyelids can be improved with ice and cold packs.
While the skin conditions caused by pregnancy can be uncomfortable, pregnant women can gain relief in the fact that it’s a temporary discomfort that will soon be replaced by a child to love.