Pregnancy Skin Care: Get That Glow!
Experts give tips to help treat pregnancy skin problems -- from acne to 'pregnancy mask.'
Pregnancy Belly Itches continued...
While PUPPP isn't dangerous, and it often resolves soon after delivery, it
can be incredibly uncomfortable. If you just can't stand the itch, Marmur says
prescription-strength steroid creams can definitely help. You can also
try dipping a cloth in some warm milk and applying it to the skin, or add a
handful of oatmeal to a warm (not hot) bath.
If your rash is itchy and contains fluid-filled blisters, Marmur says
talk to your doctor right away. This can be an autoimmune reaction known as
pemphigoid gestationis or herpesgestationis. Although not related to the
herpes virus, it can increase the risk of premature birth, and it may affect
your baby's health as well, so it's vital to seek treatment early on.
Many women also suffer harmless, all-over itchiness during pregnancy. Often
all that's needed to soothe the skin is calamine lotion or a good moisturizer.
But again, Marmur cautions women to bring any skin irritations to their
doctor's attention. In rare instances, she says, itchy skin can be a symptom of
a pregnancy-related liver condition known as cholestasis, which may increase
the risk of premature labor or cause some fetal distress.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
From old-fashioned cocoa butter to high-tech skin creams that claim to
prevent stretch marks, there is certainly no shortage of products to try.
But today, most doctors believe that those red, blue, purple, and brown
stretch marks that divide your belly like the Grand Canyon are largely
hereditary, and most topical preparations won't prevent them from
"If there was something that worked to prevent stretch marks, believe
me, we would all know it by now," says Jamal.
But while you might not be able to prevent stretch marks, Palm Beach
dermatologist Ken Beer, MD, says in many instances a few laser treatments after
baby is born will cause your stretch marks to fade as quickly as your memory of
After the baby is born, "Treating stretch marks when they are red or
purple can be accomplished with a pulse dye laser," says Beer, author of
Palm BeachPerfect Skin. "Once they have turned beige,
microdermabrasion, Retin A, Intense Pulsed Light and injections of fillers have
varying degrees of success."
If you want to try a topical preparation during pregnancy, Beer suggests
glycolic acid creams or those containing green tea as most effective on stretch
Pregnancy, Botox, and Wrinkle Fillers
Finally, in case you're wondering whether or not it's safe to get antiaging
wrinkle treatments like Botox or Restylane during pregnancy, it's important to
note that there have been no tests to confirm safety.
Says Marmur: "I wouldn't advise a pregnant woman to intentionally have a
wrinkle injection or a Botox shot. But many women, including myself, had
wrinkle injections and then got pregnant within a couple of months and went on
to deliver perfect, healthy babies."
Colette Bouchez is the author of Your
Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy: Health, Beauty and Lifestyle Advice for the Best
Years of Your Life and editorial director of PamperingMom.com.