21 Apr How Pregnancy Can Affect Existing Skin Conditions
During pregnancy, your body goes through complex changes. Your hormones, immune system, circulation, and metabolism all change to support and nurture your developing baby. So it’s no surprise that around nine in every ten women notice that pregnancy affects their skin. You may find that pregnancy can affect existing skin conditions making them better or worse.
Pregnancy increases the blood flow to the skin, which can give mums a beautiful bloom, particularly in the second trimester. However, not all women enjoy a rosy glow. Many women find that pregnancy can make them flushed, spotty, or itchy.
Pregnancy can also affect pre-existing skin conditions, like acne, eczema and psoriasis. These can get better, or become more prone to flare-up as the pregnancy progresses.
Acne and Pregnancy
Hormones often drive acne, and pregnancy’s hormonal surge can trigger breakouts in some women. Oil glands in the skin respond to male sex hormones, making the skin greasy and clogging your pores.
Acne can be a problem whether you’ve always suffered from pimples and pustules, or thought you’d left them behind at puberty. It can knock your confidence and self-esteem. However, there are ways to keep your skin clear:
- Cleanse regularly: Use a gentle product that won’t strip your skin of oils. AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream cleanses effectively without drying the complexion. Wash with your hands, taking care not to scrub, then pat dry with a clean towel.
- Don’t squeeze your spots: Popping and poking can make things worse by increasing inflammation, risk of infection and causing scarring.
- Cover-up: If your skin is affecting your confidence, then apply concealer. Pick non-comedogenic products, they are less likely to clog the skin and cause blackheads, so will help prevent breakouts. Always remember to cleanse carefully before bed.
- Get help: Talk to your doctor, midwife or pharmacist. There are effective medications that are safe to use during pregnancy.
Psoriasis and Pregnancy
Many women find that their psoriasis improves during pregnancy. Between 4 and 6 in every ten women notice that their skin gets better. If your skin is suffering, you can treat psoriasis during pregnancy. Some potent medications, including Acitretin, Methotrexate, and Tazarotene, can harm your unborn child. However, safe treatments are available that can soothe your skin without affecting your baby.
- Emollients: Emollients can’t clear psoriasis, however they can moisturise as well as protect your skin from dryness and chafing, and reduce flare-ups. Emollients are safe during pregnancy. You can try AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream or AproDerm® Emollient Cream. They’re free from common chemicals, including SLS, parabens, fragrances, and colours, so reducing the risk of skin irritation.
- Steroid creams: Your doctor may choose to prescribe a low or medium-strength corticosteroid preparation to ease psoriasis. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe a stronger steroid for short periods only. There is no evidence that the medication harms the baby, however, if you have any concerns, you should discuss these with your doctor or dermatologist. Steroids could potentially make you more vulnerable to stretch marks.
- Phototherapy: If you need more intensive treatment, some types of light therapy are effective and considered safe during pregnancy. You can discuss these treatments with your dermatologist.
Eczema and Pregnancy
Eczema is a common problem during pregnancy, with many women suffering from skin itching, inflammation, and irritation. It can flare-up in women with pre-existing atopic dermatitis, but can also affect people without previous skin problems.
Most women notice problems in the first two trimesters, although flare-ups can happen at any stage. The good news is that there’s no evidence that eczema affects the health and wellbeing of your baby and you can help ease any itching.
- Apply emollient: Emollients are a vital part of eczema treatment. Moisturise regularly with a gentle product like AproDerm® Emollient Cream, AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream or AproDerm® Gel to protect and soothe your skin. For extremely dry hands try using AproDerm® Ointment at night.
- Avoid soap: Soap can irritate the skin and strip it of its natural oils. During the current coronavirus pandemic it is recommended that you wash with soap and water first and while your hands are still wet re-wash with an emollient like AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream or AproDerm® Emollient Cream to clean your hands without dehydrating your skin.
- Ease with oats: Oatmeal is a traditional remedy for itching. Apply AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream to calm itching whilst moisturising, protecting and restoring the skin’s surface.
Most skin conditions will settle back to normal after the birth. While you’re waiting, you can treat the symptoms to keep your skin smooth, supple and blooming. AproDerm® Emollient Cream, AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream and AproDerm® Gel are all available on the Amazon Storefront.
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