Pregnancy and your skin

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Please be sure to remind all your doctors at every visit, directly, that you are pregnant. Also, be sure to let your OB doctor know of all your prescription and over the counter medications, also at every visit. Make sure to discuss with them any new medicines that you are unsure are safe.

What is a cream I can use for the prevention of stretch marks ?

Unfortunately, there has not been an ingredient and or cream that has consistently shown positive results in preventing stretch marks. There have been a few studies with positive results, but these have involved a compound of several ingredients, and so it was not clear which ingredient was the most helpful and some of the ingredients are not easily accessible. Still, it is advised to apply a hydrating moisturizer frequently to keep the skin on the abdomen as healthy as possible and decrease any itching in the area.
Some risk factors for stretch marks are younger maternal age, a positive family history, and the size of the baby at delivery.

What can I do to treat stretch marks if they happen ?

Luckily stretch marks usually fade on their own and become significantly less visible with time. Still, there are certain therapies that can improve their appearance. These include prescription creams and certain lasers after delivery.

What is a good sunscreen to use while I am pregnant ?

Generally sunscreens with the active ingredients of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are recommended. These are physical blockers and will reflect the sun’s rays, rather than chemically absorbing them, as chemical blockers do. Choose a physical blocker with SPF of 30 or greater.

What should I avoid at the hair and nail salon ?

Generally, it is advised that you avoid dying your hair all together, to avoid exposure to any chemicals that may be absorbed by the scalp or breathed in. Highlights tend to be permitted because the chemical used for this does not touch the scalp. Still, often when high lightening is done, a toner may be used, which does touch the scalp. As far as nail products go, generally acrylic, shellac or gel nails are avoided during pregnancy. While application of these may be safe in certain situations, it may be best to postpone having these done until after pregnancy.

Is there a way for me to avoid getting a rash during pregnancy ?

It is important to have a good skin care regimen during pregnancy to avoid break outs of dry skin and eczema, which would avoid the use of prescription topical creams. Therefore, make sure to avoid any irritants, such as dryer sheets and fabric softners or fragrant products; only use products with labels such as “unscented”, “sensitive skin” or “fragrance free”; and finally moisturize your entire body after showers daily or several times per week (more often for areas that seem dry).

What should I do if I get a rash while I am pregnant ?

There are several rashes that characteristically occur during pregnancy and need to be evaluated promptly. Therefore, if you do get a rash sometime during your pregnancy, make sure to make an appointment with your dermatologist.

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