The Most Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy

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Skin Conditions Pregnancy

We hear about the pregnancy glow all the time–whether it’s a friend bragging at a Mommy and Me class or a coworker boasting about skipping foundation makeup during her third trimester. It has become a common thing to look forward during pregnancy. However, we don’t all get so lucky.

Pregnancy and that envious glowing, and even complexion, don’t always go hand in hand.

Dry skin, acne, excess oil, and rosacea are common symptoms of pregnancy as well, not as glamorous as the dewy fresh face on commercials but still very common.

It’s common for pregnant women to have dry skin during pregnancy. Your skin undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy. Hormone changes cause your skin to lose elasticity and moisture as it stretches and tightens to accommodate a growing belly. This can lead to stretch marks, flaky skin, itchiness, or other symptoms often associated with dry skin. Excess oil secretion can happen as well and may cause breakouts and acne.

You may experience dry skin on your belly as your stomach has to stretch a significant amount to grow your baby inside. Additional areas where you may experience dry skin are thighs, breasts, arms, and face.

Always read the product label and steer clear if BHA or salicylic acid is on the ingredient list, at least until after you deliver and wean.

But don’t worry. It is all normal and there are a plethora of natural remedies at your disposal:

  1. Shea butter and cocoa butter are great natural alternatives to drugstore moisturizers. Both body butters are thick and creamy and help alleviate the itchiness right away! Just lather your legs or any affected area with the cream and wait 2-5 minutes for it to sink in before putting on clothes.
  2. Another natural and healthy alternative is yogurt. Yogurt is rich in lactic acid and protein and helps with detoxifying and hydrating your skin. Yogurt also helps remove dead skin cells, tightens pores, and makes you look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines. All you have to do is massage a thin layer of plain yogurt into your skin with your fingertips, leave it on for two or three minutes, cleanse with warm water, and then dry off with a towel.
  3. A fun alternative is making your own soap! It helps to stay away from drugstore body washes with alcohol, harsh fragrances, or dyes as they can irritate the skin. Making your own soap is a fun and health conscious alternative! The first step is making a cleanser by mixing 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water for a natural cleanser that can restore your skin’s pH levels and relieve dry skin. You can then mix moisturizing coconut oil, raw honey, and liquid Castile soap to make homemade bath soap. This will leave your skin feeling smoother than ever. Be careful and don’t go overboard on how much you apply!

As for oily skin, it is also a result of hormonal changes within your body.

While it may be only natural to want to buy the strongest and harshest acne medication in the drug store, DON’T DO IT! Products that contain beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) or salicylic acid can be absorbed through the skin. Be careful, as there are a large number of products that contain these chemicals, including many expensive skin creams as well as drugstore options like some Neutrogena, Oil of Olay, and Avon products — and those ever-popular Stridex pads.

Always read the product label and steer clear if BHA or salicylic acid is on the ingredient list, at least until after you deliver and wean.

Some useful skin care tips that are safe for you and your baby:

  1. Wash your skin multiple times a day. If you’re near a sink, do a quick rinse and dry with a soft towel. Fight the urge to scrub your face with a harsh towel as it may injure your skin and make your face appear red.
  2. Use rice paper. Individual sheets of rice paper are easy to stash in your purse or diaper bag. They can be used to blot and soak up extra oil on your face.
  3. Switch to an oil-free moisturizer and foundation. This will help minimize the shine throughout the day as does applying loose powder on top of your foundation in especially oily-prone areas.
Shoshi W.
Shoshi is an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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