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8 Ways to Care for Your Skin Before and After Baby

Embracing the pregnancy journey helps you to be able to ignore what I would say the side effects of pregnancy. You may even be able to view them in a positive light. If you are able to view them as a beneficial part of helping your baby to develop and grow then you won’t be so concerned about the cosmetic issues that pregnancy can bring.

Someone told me that my nose got bigger after pregnancy. I was so wrapped up in the wonderful process of pregnancy, waiting for my child, and being able to be with my child at last that I never noticed my nose had increased in size. I believe that my nose is still larger than it used to be. However, I don’t mind at all.

During pregnancy you will need to be mindful of certain products that could harm your baby. You also need to take care of your skin differently while your baby is still in your tummy for your sake as well because you will need to prevent or minimize many of the skin discomforts. You will need to see a dermatologist and please check with your obstetrician to make sure you don’t use anything that will cause birth-defects in your baby.  

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8  Common Pregnancy Skin Issues

You may not experience any skin changes. You may experience only two skin changes, or you may have multiple skin changes. We've all heard someone say a pregnant woman is glowing. The pregnancy glow gives one a rosy look due to the increased blood flow as well as an increase in oil production. Oily skin can be a good or bad thing, it’s good if it enhances your pregnancy glow. 

On the other hand, extra oil secretion is not a good thing if it causes breakouts. Having a pregnancy glow is a positive skin change that occurs during pregnancy. The truth is that only a few women experience the pregnancy glow. I have seen the glow and it is beautiful. However, I didn’t have it and I don’t see many other women with the pregnancy glow either. 

Your skin will most likely change over the next 9 months

More women experience the not so pleasant effect of hormones on their skin such as rashes including heat rashes, acne, stretch marks, itchy dry skin, pregnancy mask, skin tags, red palms and soles, darker skin, linea nigra, and sun sensitivity among other things. Also, skin conditions such as eczema may get worse. You may think that skin changes are not a big deal. You may think that they are only cosmetic similarly to the pregnancy glow. 

Even the pregnancy glow signifies something more significant is happening in your body, instead of just a mere cosmetic skin change. One thing you need to avoid if you choose to treat your pregnancy skin condition is chemical peels. Chemical peels can cause your skin to absorb more of any product that you rub on your body, which is not good for your baby due to the toxicity of some skin care products' ingredients.

7  How to Deal with Skin Changes

Pregnancy causes many changes to your body. Some of the changes are very obvious while some are subtle. You can thank those wonderful hormones estrogen and progesterone for many of the changes to your body. Likewise, skin changes can mean something deeper. For example, a rash could just be a simple rash or it could mean something is wrong with your baby’s liver. Don’t fret if you have a rash, this doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your baby.

You should get a blood test to rule out cholestasis if the rash is red and itchy, especially on the feet and hands. As stated earlier, every rash doesn’t mean you should worry. Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy is an itchy red rash that starts on the stomach and spreads to other parts of the body. Although they sound horrible, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy is not harmful to your baby.

You've probably heard about stretch marks, the pregnancy mask, skin tags, skin darkening and the linea nigra among the changes that occur during pregnancy. Let’s explain a little bit more about what these things are to ease your mind. 

Some skin changes are just out of your control

Stretch marks are caused by sudden weight gain. Keeping your skin moisturized is excellent for dry itchy skin, as well as stretch marks. Staying well hydrated by drinking water is not only good for your skin, but good for the overall health of you and your baby. 

You can opt to buy special creams that specifically states they treat stretch marks, but science says if your mother had stretchmarks, then you most likely will too. Some women say the stretch mark creams really work, while others say they didn’t notice any difference. Other women feel that cocoa butter is great to prevent and treat stretch marks. Whatever you choose, the main goal is to moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize.  

6  Acne Treatments

You have to be very careful with topical or oral acne medications. Acne medicine such as retinoids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benoxide peroxide and accutane have been linked to birth defects in babies. You have to be careful with over-the-counter acne products also. 

It's believed that tea tree oil, sulfur, or lactic acid is a safe option to use for acne during pregnancy. Another option is to make sure you keep the acne prone area clean by using a mild cleanser twice a day. You can also unclog pores by using steam treatment. Some of the ingredients such as retinoid, salicylic acid, etc are in make-up, so please read the ingredients on your makeup as well.

Pregnancy acne just sucks

After you're no longer carrying your precious bundle, you can use creams containing retinoids and hydroquinone (skin bleach). Stretch marks will fade overtime, but may never go away. Again, you can use retinoid creams or get laser therapy, but please check with your doctor before starting any oral or topical medicine if you are breast feeding. 

Not only do you have to be gentle with your skin while pregnant, but you will need to gentle with your skin during your postpartum period as well to alleviate skin problems. 

5  Skin Sensitivities

Some women find that their skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy than it was before. This is due to a number of factors one of them being hormones, and the other factors have to do with your already existing skin care routine and the time of year.

If you find that you're suffering from dry skin, then running a humidifier in your home will help with the dry itchy skin. You should also drink lots of water and keep water in the air of your home. These alone will help to alleviate some of the issues you feel, but going a step further and rubbing creams or body butters will go the extra mile that you need in preventing dry and sensitive skin.

You may find that you have to change your skincare routine because your skin is more sensitive. You may have to take it easy and not rub your skin so hard. You may have to avoid skincare products with fragrance in them. You also may need to avoid products that are harsh such as exfoliate body washes. The key here is to be gentle.

Consult your doctor if you have persistent dry and flaking skin

Once your hormones return back to normal, your skin conditions should improve or go away. However, there are postpartum skin routines you may want to follow. Here are some postpartum skin tips to help you. You may be too busy with your baby that you may not even notice that the skin problems didn’t vanish. 

If you have noticed and are really craving your pre-baby self back in every way, then try not to be consumed with it. Just remember your fluctuating hormones caused your body changes and without those hormones you will not have your baby.

4  Your Pregnant Skin and the Sun

Pregnant skin becomes more sensitive in general, but it really becomes more sensitive to the sun. Therefore, it is very important to wear sunscreen, and as with everything during pregnancy, make sure that your sunscreen doesn't contain any ingredient that is harmful to your growing baby. You can even ask your obstetrician about recommending a brand to you.

If you plan on spending any time in the sun during your pregnancy, then sunscreen is kind of unavoidable. You can try to avoid being in the sun, but sunscreen is a must if you have to be in the sun. Also, you can feel good to know that the physical sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are safe for your baby. 

You love the sun, but the sun is harsh for your pregnant skin

I would avoid chemical sunscreens due to the uncertainty of its safety for pregnant women. There have been some warning about using spray sunscreen on young children, so its probably best to avoid them during this time as well. Sunscreen will prevent skin blotching, dark spots, and other skin issues that the sun can cause. The issue of skin blotching, dark spots, etc shows up faster on pregnant women.

3  How to Deal with Skin Sensitivities

If you are more prone to acne, rashes, sensitive skin. You need to choose products that are fragrance free and noncomedogenic. I would even go as far as to look for products that states that they are for sensitive skin. Any skincare products with soy or bergamot may make dark skin spots worse. It is also a good idea to avoid soaps and skincare products with parabens and triclosan.

Cornstarch can be used to alleviate the discomforts from heat rash, but you can depend on calamine lotion to treat any stubborn rashes or itchy skin issues you might be dealing with. If you find that the detergent you love is causing your skin problems, then switch to washing your clothes in detergents that don't have fragrances, or try the soap recommended for babies.

Learn how to treat the skin issues that plague you

If you've tried everything you can think of to stop yourself from drying out, or to prevent rashes from forming, but these conditions keep happening to you, ask your doctor to suggest something for you to try. He might be able to give you a prescription for a medical cream that will cure what ails you.

2  Skin Discoloration

Pregnancy mask is a darker pigmentation on the face, it could be brownish or yellowish. It can occur anywhere on the face, but it usually occurs on the forehead, nose, upper cheeks, and chin. The change in pigmentation doesn’t occur uniformly on the face, hence, the name pregnancy mask. This is a temporary discoloration and should go away once you've had your baby.

Polyps or skin tags form under the arms, under bra lines and other places where the skin rubs together. Skin tags can occur when clothes rub your skin too. Any dark patches on your skin becomes darker. Moles that you previously had may become darker, etc. Linea nigra is a line that is normally your linea alba which runs down your abdomen. It becomes more noticeable. The linea alba becomes a darker line in dark-skinned women.

Some of these conditions are more common than others

I know you want to get rid of that pregnancy mask or any dark skin discolorations, but I'm sorry, you'll have to steer clear of skin lightening (bleaching) lotions, cream, and gels. Again, sunscreen can go a long way in preventing dark discolorations eliminating the need for any type skin lighteners such as hydroquinone.

You can visit a dermatologist If you have waited to see whether your dark blotches or spots will go away and they are still hanging around.

1 Your Postnatal Skin

Now that you are aware of how pregnancy can affect your skin, you can take measures to care for your skin before your baby is born. If you are planning a pregnancy, you can stop using some of the skincare products that can harm the fetus beforehand. 

You can take proactive steps to make your skin healthier before getting pregnant such as eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and using good moisturizers. Also, you will need to take care of your skin differently during pregnancy than after your baby is born.

Most of the skin woes will disappear after your pregnancy. I would try to ignore skin problems if they are merely cosmetic, because you wouldn’t want to jeopardize the health of my baby. However, if you find that the skin issues are very problematic in the sense of causing pain you may want to look into different options. You may be able to return to your pre-pregnancy skincare routine.

Love the skin you're in

If it has been a while since you have delivered your baby and you are still battling certain skin problems then you need to remember that it can take some time at least a year for your hormones to return back to normal. It is very important to embrace every aspect of pregnancy. Welcoming every aspect of pregnancy does wonders for your mindset, self-esteem, and motherhood.

Therefore, if you still have blotchy skin, dark patches, etc don’t let that lower your self-esteem. You can do something about those things if you really want to, but there isn’t much that can be done with some changes that pregnancy brings.

Things will go back to normal soon enough

While I can certainly understand wanting to look your best and claim your pre-baby life back, that shouldn’t be your main focus. Your main focus should be your family and child. The best thing is to make sure you are mentally strong and have your priorities in order. If you are mentally strong and have your priorities in order, you won’t feel so bad about your lingering skin issues.

Again, you may not even notice them. Your focus will be all on your baby and being the best mother that you can be. Remember you are awesome. You are beautiful. You just brought life into the world. You rock!

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