Pregnancy Skin Care: Get That Glow!
Experts give tips to help treat pregnancy skin problems -- from acne to 'pregnancy mask.'
It isn't just an old wives' tale -- it's really true. A woman can
look most ravishing during pregnancy. Well ... make that some women.
Indeed, while pregnancy can leave some lucky ladies looking luscious, for
others, all that extra hormonal activity can have the opposite effect, causing
a variety of pregnancy skin problems.
"Hands down, acne is the No. 1 skin problem to hit women during
pregnancy -- but there are also a variety of bumps and rashes and
discolorations that occur as well, most of them due to hormone activity,"
says Ellen Marmur, MD, chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at Mount
Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Moreover, you might also find that at least some of the tried and true
beauty products you relied on to keep your skin glowing before pregnancy are
unsafe to use after baby is on board.
But fear not -- help is on the way! With just a few small changes to your
grooming routine, you can get the glow going and join the ranks of the some the
world's most beautiful pregnant divas!
Pregnancy Acne: What to Do
Even if it's been years since you've seen a zit, don't be surprised if
pregnancy brings out a bumper crop, particularly around your mouth and
"These are the most common areas for acne to occur during pregnancy, and
if you don't treat it right away, it will continue until you deliver, and
sometimes even after baby is born," says Marmur.
Although some over-the-counter preparations can help, dermatologist Sumayah
Jamal, MD, PhD, says you must choose wisely.
"You should not use any products that contain benzoyl peroxide,
salicylic acid, or any of the retinoids. They are not safe to use during
pregnancy," says Jamal, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology and
microbiology at NYU Medical Center in New York City.
What you can try, she says, are sulphur-based topical products, as well as
those containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids, or any at-home
If these don't help, says Jamal, there are topical prescription drugs that
offer good results. "These include erythromycin cream and azelaic acid --
both very safe to use during pregnancy."
And while Jamal does not advise using oral antibiotics for acne during
pregnancy, Marmur says for patients who don't get results with topical
treatments, prescription oral erythromycin is considered safe to use.
"It should not cause a problem, and if your acne is really making you
miserable, this can help," she says.
What also works: switching to a foundation for oily skin, or using loose
powder mineral makeup. Both have oil-blotting properties and won't irritate
skin with acne.
"You can also use a mattifying product underneath your makeup to soak up
excess oil, or dab your face with blotting papers during the day to help remove
excess oil," says Jamal.