During the nine months of pregnancy, a mother has to sacrifice some habits. Her activities will influence the growth of the fetus. From eating food to wearing a shoe, she has to think about her baby inside. During these months, a mother must know the dos and don'ts of pregnancy.
Dealing with acne
Estrogen and progesterone hormones are more active during these months. A pregnant woman can face facial acne, hyper-pigmentation, stretch marks, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and hair loss.
In this regard, Dr Shaikh Salman Salam, MBBS, DDV (BSMMU) Fellowship training in Dermatosurgery, said, “ Acne or breakouts need proper treatment during the pregnancy period. Benzoyl Peroxide is an ingredient used topically for the treatment of acne. It has antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory, controlling excess sebum or oil production properties. This ingredient also exfoliates the skin. This can be used as a gel form on the affected areas and as a face cleanser two times a day.”
“Salicylic acid works quite the same as benzoyl peroxide. It comes as a face cleanser. Salicylic acid works well to cure acne," the doctor added.
Beta Hydroxy acid is another ingredient to exfoliate the skin and remove the white and blackheads from the skin, recommended Dr Salam. However, the gel form of Beta hydroxy is not safe to use. He recommended using it as a face cleanser and avoiding chemical peeling as the ingredient remains in a higher concentration than the cleanser.
"Alpha hydroxy acid is another safe ingredient to use for curing acne. This can be used both in cream or gel form and as a facial cleanser. Alpha hydroxy acid contains glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. This is safe to use during pregnancy."
"Azelaic acid is another option that is anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial, and reduces hyperpigmentation,” Dr Salam advised.
Antibiotics for acne treatment are also not suggested during the pregnancy period.
Hyperpigmentation is a common issue during pregnancy. Sunscreen is a must to reduce and avoid hyperpigmentation. Physical sunscreen is safer than chemical sunscreen during this period.
Hydroquinone and alpha arbutin are the ingredients we often use to reduce hyperpigmentation. But during pregnancy, dermatologists avoid using these ingredients as steroids can affect the growth of the fetus. Vitamin C can also lighten the skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, reduces wrinkles, boosts the collagen production of the skin, and increases the effectiveness of sunscreen.
“Topical Tranexamic acid and kojic acid are safe to use during pregnancy. This can reduce hyperpigmentation. Hair loss is very normal during pregnancy. This is acute hair loss and comes under control after pregnancy.
"Minoxidil is not safe during pregnancy. Try to avoid products with this ingredient. Stretch marks are more or less seen among all pregnant women. Collagen breakdown occurs due to the rapid enlargement of the skin. Using olive oils and vitamin E cannot stop stretch marks from occurring."
"Tretinoin can be topically used after the pregnancy period. PRP can also remove the stretch marks. Consult your dermatologist regarding the PRP procedure,” he explained.
Beware of dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is a common skin condition during this period. Dry skin and itchiness are the common symptoms. You can use olive oil, any moisturizer, and liquid paraffin for this. Mild steroids can be used after consulting a doctor.
Retinoid is unsafe during pregnancy. Retinoid oral tablets should be avoided for two years from pregnancy. Topical serums are also not safe to use.
All the makeup ingredients should be checked. If used, must be properly cleaned with micellar water. You can maintain a proper skincare routine with safe and non-harsh ingredients to get healthy skin. For this, you should clean your face twice.
You can apply a mild refreshing toner to your face. After that use a suitable moisturizer according to your skin type. Sunscreen with a higher SPF is recommended.
Talcum powder can clog your pores and cause breakouts. It is not recommended for acne-prone skin to use talcum powder on the face.
Body spray and deodorants can be used during this period if they don't cause any irritation. For those who have hyperhidrosis, antiperspirant sprays can be used.
Hair and body skin
For your body and hair care, you need to remain careful with the ingredient list. Harsh ingredients can cause skin allergies. If you have dandruff on your scalp, you need to change your shampoo.
Dr Salam recommended using Select Plus shampoo for reducing dandruff. This shampoo is available in your nearby pharmacies.
For cleaning your body, harsh soap can leave your skin dry. You can try the Mollywaiz pure Castile liquid soap. These are natural and free from animal fats. It is the only brand of handmade soaps and the main ingredients are essential oils.
If your skin is allergic to fragrances then they have unscented soap also. You can get this authentic liquid soap from any trusted online shops.
Above all, for a healthy pregnancy period, one must take a balanced and healthy diet. Proper sleep and intake of water are imperative.