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Health & Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Skin Care: Get That Glow!

Experts give tips to help treat pregnancy skin problems -- from acne to 'pregnancy mask.'

Pregnancy Acne: What to Do continued...

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.

Pregnancy Mask and Other Pigment Problems

Among the most frustrating pregnancy skin problems is melasma, also known as chloasma or "pregnancy mask" - patches of dark, pigmented skin that appear on the face.

Pregnancy mask is related to pregnancy hormones and sunlight exposure. The American Academy of Dermatology says women with darker complexions and dark hair are at greatest risk.

But regardless of your complexion, Marmur says, other areas of darker skin can also develop on or around your nipples and between your thighs. "Many women also experience linea nigra or 'line of pregnancy' -- a darkened area of pigmentation that runs down the center of the belly," she says.

While there is no specific treatment for pregnancy pigmentation problems, staying out of the sun can definitely diminish the amount of discoloration you experience, so can wearing a sunscreen anytime you are outdoors.

While the jury is still out on the safety of traditional skin-lightening ingredients such as hydroquinone during pregnancy, Jamal says there are others with an established safety profile you can safely try.

"You can use azelaic acid, which is good for pigment, as well as any topical vitamin C product, which helps suppress pigment naturally," she says.

She also recommends Phytocorrective Gel by Skinceuticals, which she says safely suppresses pigment, as well as the Aveeno soy-based products. "They have a photo-stabilized sunscreen that contains soy and has been shown to lighten pigmented lesions on the skin," says Jamal.

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