While pregnancy often includes crazy food cravings, heartburn, and swollen ankles, there’s one bodily change not often discussed: pregnancy skin and how to care for it.
Some women experience that glorious pregnant glow, and suddenly the acne they endured for years miraculously clears up! Then there are others who experience skin dryness, hyperpigmentation, and acne. As Kramer from Seinfeld says, “Mother Nature is a mad scientist!” It’s true. When you’re expecting, you never know what to expect.
Short List for Safe Skin
Dr. Hartman has a “less is more” approach when it comes to pregnancy skincare. “Many skincare products and treatments are not safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women,” Dr. Hartman shared. “We know the oral acne medication Accutane can cause birth defects, and Retin-A is the same medication, just the topical form. So that should be avoided at all costs, too.”
What to AVOID during pregnancy:
- Salicylic acid
- Beta hydroxy acids
- Retinol and Retin-A
What is SAFE to use during pregnancy:
- Azelaic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Glycolic acid
- Alpha hydroxy acids
- Bakuchiol (an alternative to retinol)
Stretch Marks and Scarring
As if pregnant women didn’t have enough to think about . . . then out of nowhere, stretch marks appear. While Retin-A is often prescribed for stretch marks, as stated above, it is not safe for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Instead, Dr. Hartman advises women use safe alternatives such as Vitamin E oil and coconut oil.
Newborn Baby Skin
While we’re at it, let’s discuss newborn baby skin. Nothing is sweeter than the smell of a brand new baby, am I right?! We want so badly to protect their delicate skin, but just like with pregnancy skin, baby skin must be coddled as well.
Thankfully many newborn skin issues work themselves out on their own (such as baby acne and cradle cap). Dr. Hartman advises all baby skincare items (including shampoos and body washes) be extremely mild and free of fragrance, dyes, and lanolin. If issues persist (such as cradle cap that will just not budge and you have an infant photography session lined up), give Dr. Hartman a call. He can recommend some additional over-the-counter or prescription treatments if needed.
Stay Away from “Doctor Google”
While every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, too. Some women experience no skin problems with their first pregnancy while they endure massive breakouts during subsequent pregnancies.
Dr. Hartman advises staying off the internet and social media for answers to your pregnancy skincare issues. There is an abundance of false information floating around, and the majority of it goes straight to a worst case scenario. Rather, consult the experts who have both credibility and a genuine concern for the health of you and your child.
Dr. Hartman and his team pride themselves on individualized care.
Simply visit SkinWellness.com to schedule an appointment.