How to Prevent Summer Pregnancy Skincare Issues

How to Prevent Summer Pregnancy Skincare Issues

When you’re pregnant, your skin can undergo a variety of changes. Some are enjoyable--you may develop a healthy glow that’s rosier than anything you’d get with a brush of blush.

But some changes may make you frown. For example, you might start getting pimples for the first time since high school. Or you may notice some skin discoloration that you’ve never had before.

Skin changes occur in large part because of the hormonal shifts of pregnancy. As your baby grows and develops inside you, your body releases a number of hormones, from estrogen and progesterone to luteinizing hormone and a hormone known as relaxin, which relaxes your muscles and joints later in pregnancy.

These hormones can all have an impact on your skin, especially in the summer.

Although pregnancy-related skin changes can be frustrating, they’re normal when you’re expecting. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to minimize them.

Here are the best ways to prevent common summer pregnancy skincare issues:

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.

Acne and breakouts are common during pregnancy, especially in your first few months. Hormones can cause your glands to release extra oil, which can block pores and lead to pimples.

To help protect your face, wash it two or three times a day with a gentle cleanser and warm--not hot--water. And be sure to remove makeup before going to bed, no matter how tired you are.

Most over-the-counter pimple creams are safe during pregnancy, but to be on the safe side, check with your providers at Associates in Women’s Health Cincinnati before using any acne medication.

Also be sure you don’t use prescription acne medications known as retinoids while you’re pregnant or when you may become pregnant because they can cause severe congenital disabilities.

Avoid the sun

Some women find that their skin darkens during pregnancy, especially on their face. Referred to as “chloasma,” “melasma,” or the “mask of pregnancy,” this skin-darkening is most common among women with pale skin and dark hair. It can appear around your eyes or nose, on your forehead, or the middle of your face.

The mask of pregnancy can get even darker with sun exposure, so avoid the sun as much as possible. Wear a hat, stay in the shade, and slather on sunscreen. And don’t worry: It will disappear after your baby is born.

Wear sunscreen

This is good advice throughout your life, not just when you’re pregnant. If you aren’t already in the habit of wearing sunscreen—especially on your face—now’s a good time to start.  

Choose the sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and apply it at least 30 minutes before exposure to the sun. Reapply at least every two hours or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.

For best coverage choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB radiation.

To help avoid facial breakouts, choose oil-free sunscreen formulations that are formulated for your face.  

Use a good moisturizer

Even if you don’t typically use a moisturizer in the summer, you may want to do so while you’re pregnant. As your baby grows and your skin stretches, your skin may become itchy and irritated. Moisturizers can help ease the itch.

Choose a light, oil-free moisturizer that won’t block pores.

Keep it cool

Because of weight gain and hormonal shifts, you may sweat more than usual while you’re pregnant. Extra sweat on your skin can raise your chances of developing a heat rash.

Stay cool and avoid heat rash by dressing in light clothing that allows sweat to evaporate, staying hydrated, and turning on fans or air conditioners when temperatures soar.

Questions?

Our medical staff at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, can answer all of your pregnancy questions and help you have a healthy, comfortable pregnancy. For an appointment, call us or make an appointment online.

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