We all know that pregnancy is a temporary yet joyous time in a woman’s life. Growth factors created in the placenta can lead to skin changes – some beneficial, giving you a younger, healthy looking ‘pregnancy glow’. However, some are less welcome such as pigment changes, acne and telangiectasia (dilated facial veins). This week we are going to tackle some of these skin concerns, and safe treatments, that may arise during your 9 months of pregnancy.

Pigment Changes – Melasma/Chloasma

Also known as ‘the pregnancy mask’, this type of pigment changes is caused by an increase in estrogen and made worse by heat and sun exposure. Those with an olive or darker skin types are more prone to this condition and may already have slight pigment changes if they have been on the contraceptive pill. During pregnancy, the best way to avoid this is sun avoidance, wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunblock containing zinc oxide, we recommend Dermaquestã Daily Moisturising Lotion SPF 15+. Light treatments such as IPL and laser tend to make this condition worse due to heat generated. Best treatment products that are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding are those that contain Vitamin C such as Environã C-Boost, niacinimide Aspects B17 and Vitamin A derivatives contained in Environã AVST range such as Retinyl Palmitate  –  but not retinol or retinoic acid. Treatments post breastfeeding that can improve the skins appearance and even skin tone – Medical Needling

Acne

Acne generally occurs when the hormone progesterone goes in to overdrive during the first trimester and causes oil glands to produce an excess of oil. Other reasons can be changes in hydration in your body. To minimise flare-ups, exercise daily to stimulate circulation, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, drink 6-8 glasses of water. Wash your skin with a medicated cleanser (but do not over wash as this will stimulate excess oil production), we recommend Environã Sebuwash, use a glycolic acid to remove dead skin and unblock pores such as EnvironãToner forte or AspectãExfol15. In clinic treatments we recommend;

LED blue light treatments will kill the p.acnes bacteria that cause acne and Light peels that contain glycolic acid to unclog pores.

Telangiectasia

Increased blood volume and pregnancy hormones cause those tiny red or purple capillaries just below the skins surface to branch out and become more visible.  After delivery, these capillaries may become less visible and able to be treated with IPL or laser.

Stretch Marks

Every woman’s nightmare!!! More than 90% of woman will develop stretch marks either on their abdomen, breasts or thighs in response to the pulling and stretching of underlying skin during pregnancy. Exercise and the use of lotions or creams such as Environã Hydrating lotion, which contains lactic acid and Environã Body Oil, rich in Vitamins A, C +E, can prevent stretch marks from occurring. If you do develop stretch marks, post breast feeding we recommend a course of Dermaroller ãtreatments to improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Skin Tags

Caused by the hyperactive growth of a superficial layer of skin, skin tags are commonly found under the arms, between neck folds or under bra lines. They will usually disappear a few months after delivery, however can be easily excised if they bother you.

Treatments to avoid during pregnancy and Breastfeeding

IPL

Laser

Medical Needling (Dermaroller)

Botox/Filler injections

Although some peels are suitable for pregnancy, not all are. Ensure that you re visiting a reputable clinic and they are experienced in their products

Product ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Retinoids– also known as Stevia, Renova, ReTrieve, Avita, differin

Retinoic acid

Retinol

Salicylic Acid

Beta Hydroxy Acid/BHA

**Soy products – Lethican, soy, TVP, phosphatidylcholine

** for a darker skin, product containing soy may make you more prone,  or worsen melasma due to the estrogenic effect