Get solutions to your beauty problems during pregnancy. By Kaye Langit-Luistro
You’re finally having a baby! What you have been wishing for all these years has finally come true. Congratulations! It’s a delightfully new experience. Your body is changing and you love keeping track. But there’s something you didn’t count on- no matter how faithful you are to your beauty regimen, it doesn’t seem to be working.
Freelance writer and mother of 3 Hazel Alviz says it felt like she was losing control of her own body. “I had pimples and falling hair when I was pregnant. I felt fat and ugly. So, I was depressed for a while.”
All these conditions are hormone-related. Hormones are chemical secretions of a gland or tissue, triggering them into action. Estrogen, progesterone and prolactin shoot up during pregnancy. Reason: To support the baby’s growing needs. Unfortunately, any major changes in hormone levels can create havoc on your skin.
Darkening of the skin is probably one of the most common problems pregnant women experience. Dark brown patches on the face, known as chloasma or melasma are more pronounced if the skin type is darker. Sun exposure, and oral contraceptives taken prior to pregnancy usually aggravate it. Joseph L. Ortiz, MD, consultant at the St. Luke’s Medical Center, and fellow of Philippine Dermatological Society, however, assures “chloasma is only temporary and eventually disappears after pregnancy. Still, you may encounter darkish and blotchy skin on the neck, armpits and abdomen.”
Unfortunately, such conditions are inevitable during pregnancy. But, here are some suggestions to keep them at bay. Feed your skin with diet rich in fresh foods. Hazel recommends taking plenty of fruits and veggies. “Don’t forget to drink lots of water,” she adds. Healthy diet flushes toxins our of the body, making your skin clear, bright, and healthy-looking. You can also try applying skin creams and lotions with alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. “AHAs are derived from fruit acids, so they’re much safer to use than other preparations. They are peeling agents, so they speed up exfoliation, uncovering the smooth skin beneath,” Dr. Ortiz says.
And if you are uncertain which products to use, or not to use, consult a dermatologist, who are accredited and have undergone 3 years residency program,” Dr. Ortiz advises.
Pimples appear due to an increase in sebum (fat) production in the skin. Dr. Ortiz advises “against the use of tretinoin during pregnancy. Several studies show it may be harmful to the fetus’ growth and development.”
“Pregnant women can use simple cleansing agents, like soap and water to remove excess oils in the skin. But if you really want to put facial creams, you can use products with AHA derivatives,” Dr. Ortiz says.
Hazel agrees “the best antidote is clean skin. I also tell my pregnant buddies, to just grin and bear them, all will return to normal, after birth.”
Skin Tags and Darkened Moles
Dr. Ortiz explains, “skin tags or kuntil and darkening of moles are also common among pregnant women.” Of you are self-conscious about them, opt for some make-up tricks. “use hypoallergenic and non-clog poring concealer that matches your skin tone, dabbing it on troubled spots. You can also mix concealer with foundation, then lightly dust some loose powder, Hazel advises.
Corazon Almirante, MD, head of the Perinatology Division at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, believes in prepping her patients’ attitude. “Entertain happy thoughts because your baby can feel them, too. I also motivate husbands to be extra loving so their wives will feel beautiful.”
Remember: It’s best to face those raging hormones objectively. Know the what’s and why’s, work on the how to’s in dealing with things you can, and cannot change, in your body.
When Raging Hormones “Attack” was first published on Prevention Magazine Philippines in its September 2001 issue. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link as well as this one.