Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pregnancy and Skincare: What's Safe?

As expectant mothers, we want the best for our babies, especially when they’re growing in our bellies. From eating healthy foods, to caring for our skin in the safest way possible, all is done in the best interest of our unborn child. So what skincare regimens are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
First, lets look at the most common skin concerns shared by expectant mothers: acne, stretch marks, and melasma. We pray that by the time we enter child-bearing age, we’ve left acne and its debilitating memories in the dust. Unfortunately, acne responds to changes in our hormone levels, which is why acne can be triggered during pregnancy. Moreover, many of the acne treatments available, both by prescription and over-the-counter, contain known teratogenic ingredients such as retinoids and salicylic acid. The safest way to control acne during pregnancy is to wash daily with a gentle cleanser. At Florida Skin Center, we offer a pregnancy-safe facial cleanser formulated for  acneic skin. Acne can be treated after pregnancy by conventional methods, so long as you are not breastfeeding.
Stretch marks! Some say it’s genetic, others say it’s related to how much weight the mother gains, but all will ask: “How do I get rid of them?” Stretch marks occur because of a breakdown in the elasticity and collagen of the skin. Moisturizing with a gentle lotion or cream can somewhat help to prevent stretch marks from growing larger; however, there’s no magical cure that will fade them away completely. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, there are several treatments that can help regenerate collagen and even-out discoloration. This includes microneedling and a product called Scar Recovery Gel. Used in conjunction, patients have noticed significant improvement in the appearance of their stretch marks.
Lastly, let’s talk about the mask of pregnancy, melasma. Some women will develop a dark discoloration on their cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, as a response to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. This is known as melasma. Fortunately, there are many approaches to treating this problem after pregnancy and breastfeeding. At Florida Skin Center, we offer lightening agents, chemical peels, cleansers and toners specifically formulated to target and treat melasma.
           So fret not ladies. Acne, stretch marks and melasma can all be treated after pregnancy and breastfeeding; however, keep in mind that many of these treatments can be harmful if used during pregnancy. Make sure to consult with you dermatology provider or OB/GYN if you’re unsure about the safety of a certain product. And rest- assured that after you’ve welcomed your bundle of joy into the world, there are treatments available to help you feel wonderful in your skin again!

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