Let’s be frank. There is no avoiding your skin changing during and after pregnancy. Your body suddenly has a huge surge of hormones pumping through it, as well as tiny life moving in for nine months. Acne, stretch marks, chloasma (sister to melasma) it’s gonna happen. You may get lucky and avoid the trifecta, but if you do find yourself suffering from any of the three conditions, continue reading.
Let’s start with the acne.
Acne is likely to appear in your first trimester as this is when your hormones are surging. Hormonal acne will break out across the jawline, chin and neck. These angry, red blemishes are a result of the over-production of oil your hormones are producing. In-still in yourself not to touch the acne. Do not pop the acne – this will cause infection by the bacteria on your hands and will likely cause the acne to spread. Popping cystic pimples (the big, deep red, sore pimples) can lead to scarring. The best thing for you to do is be kind to your face. Skin care ingredients that is SAFE to use during pregnancy are Benzoyl Peroxide, Azelic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Niacinamide (Vit B), Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides and Mineral Sunscreen. Find yourself a skin care range that works for your skin type and read the ingredients! Ingredients to AVOID when pregnant: Retinoids, Hydroquinone, Arbutin, Chemical Sunscreen. Don’t even attempt it, girlfriend. These pose dangers to baby in the womb. Leave these ingredients well alone.
Stretch marks appear in as much as 90% of all pregnancies, so if you happen to be a 10 percenter – very lucky to you! Stretch marks are distinguished linear marks, likely to appear across the stomach, hips, thighs, breast and buttocks. Basically all our fun body parts. You’ll find they’ll creep up on you halfway through pregnancy. The elasticity of your skin exposes the middle dermis and this is what causes the ‘tiger-stripe’ appearance. Stretch marks are no harm to you or baby, but certainly can be itchy and aesthetically self-conscious.
Don’t by into Cocoa Butter, truly, don’t buy into it. There is limited studies by leading dermatologists that show no result. Daily massage with almond oil from start of pregnancy is an option, but again, with limited studies, it is hard to determine whether the benefit is from the oil or just your marvellous genes.
After birth, laser therapy is an option to assist in the fading stretch marks. Laser therapy works by using wavelengths of light to stimulate the growth of collagen – this is a BIG yes! Microdermabrasion, micro needling and light therapy will all also assist with any lasting acne.
A steep rise in estrogen and progestone will stimulate excess melanin production (hyper-pigmentation) which, in turn, makes your skin appear darker in areas it may not have before. Did you have a dark line down the centre of your abdomen when pregnant? Yep, that was Chloasma.
The good news is, the discolouration is temporarily and usually disappears after delivery or after you finish breast feeding. Just keep up a healthy skin care routine (SPF 30+ please!) and keep your diet in check with plenty of folate rich produce.
If you are concerned about your skin, discuss with your GP and be referred to a dermatologist. If you’re one of our beautiful patients, and you are worried about your skin, let us help you head in the right direction.