The tell tale glow of pregnancy is not experienced by all women. Some experience acne and dry skin in the first trimester. Others find their skin breaks out throughout the whole nine months. In most cases, the glow comes in the second trimester, but not always. There are some ways to deal with problem skin during pregnancy.
Acne often occurs due to hormonal changes. Use a gentle cleanser made for acne prone skin twice each day, once in the morning and once at night. You can use a gentle exfoliating product twice each week to help keep the pores clear. Consider having a facial, which is both relaxing and good for your skin.
Check with your doctor before using prescription acne medication. Some are not safe for your baby. Accutane and Retin A should not be used during pregnancy. Check the labels of over the counter treatments. Stay away from any that contain salicylic acids. Look for glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids, which are considered safe for pregnant women. When in doubt, check with your doctor or midwife before using any acne treatment product.
Dry skin is common during pregnancy, especially in the winter. Soap is very drying and shouldn’t be used. Opt for a gentle moisturizing facial cleanser or body wash. Avoid hot water and long baths or showers, if you suffer from dry skin. Hot water dries the skin even more. After the shower, apply an oil free moisturizer to seal in the moisture.
Other Common Skin Conditions:
An itchy belly is common, especially in the second and third trimesters. Use body lotion to help keep the skin soft and stop the itches. Some women use cocoa butter to both moisturize and prevent stretch marks. There is no significant medical evidence that this works, but it may be worth a try. Some women, including me, are allergic to cocoa butter. There are belly gels made for pregnancy that don’t contain cocoa butter, but offer the same stretch mark preventing results.
Some women experience a change in the pigmentation of the skin during pregnancy. This is sometimes called the mask of pregnancy and affects the forehead, nose and upper lip areas of the face. It is more common in darker complected women. There is no real cure for this condition, but time in the sun will make the discoloration worse. Use sunscreen, at least an SPF 30, before going in the sun. The condition usually fades after the baby is born.