How to Keep Skin Healthy During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Skin HealthSkin professionals and will tell you, pregnancy puts some strain on your skin. While carrying your bundle of joy will probably be worth it, don’t be surprised by bouts of acne, unwanted hair growth and other skin problems that only happen because of pregnancy.

What you might not know is that there are certain skincare products that aren’t safe to use and you might want some professional guidance on what products you can use.  When you are thinking of becoming pregnant or right after you hear the joyous news you should consult a dermatologist in NJ for advice, but in the meantime here are some tips on keeping your skin healthy during a pregnancy.

Safe Products to Use During Your Pregnancy

Not every product is safe to use during pregnancy. You have to be careful of what you’re putting on your skin because whatever can be absorbed by your skin can be absorbed by your body, which means that your baby gets a taste of that too. Ingredients in over the counter skin medications — such as balms, toners, cleansers and scrubs — are what you need to be careful about if you’re currently pregnant.

Here’s the medical opinion about a number of popular skin medications, according to several doctors from the National Institutes of Health:

Topical Retinoids:  Retinoids (also known as adapalene, Differin, tazarotene, tretinoin, Avage, Fabior, Tazorac, Avita, Renova and Retin A) are used to treat severe acne but it isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy. Even though the amount of drug absorbed from the skin is very low there have been four reported published cases of birth defects associated with topical retinoid use. While there is some dispute over these studies it would appear that the safe bet would be to forego their use during pregnancy.

Topical Antibacterials: Erythromycin and Clindamycin can be used alone or in combination to treat acne. The studies would seem to suggest that there is no danger to pregnant women when using these drugs.  One study involving over 647 women revealed no increased risk of malformations in the first trimester. There also have been no increase in adverse outcomes in several documented studies during the second and third trimester while using clindamycin. There also has been no toxicity with the oral use of erythromycin during pregnancy according to a study involving over several thousand women.

Benzoyl Peroxide: This is thought to be safe because only 5 percent is absorbed through the skin and the rest is excreted through the urine. However, there have been no studies published that would prove the argument one way or the other. The medical opinion from the Institutes is that this is safe to take for now.

Salicylic Acid: This drug is in a number of cosmetic and acne products and the systemic absorption varies. There have been a number of large scale studies where women have taken low doses of the drug and there was no increase in adverse effects, such as preterm birth, low birth weight or major malformations. And even though there have been no large scale studies concerning topical use experts seem to think that this drug is harmless to the developing baby.

Glycolic Acid (Dicarbonous acid, hyroxyacetic acid): This drug is used in many drugs that treat acne. There have been several animal studies demonstrating adverse effects when glycolic acid was used in high doses, much larger than the doses used by people. There haven’t been any major studies examining the use of glycolic acid during human pregnancy but experts say there shouldn’t be any problems as long as you use it in low doses.

Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone (also known as Benzene-1, Quinol and Idrochinone) is used as a skin lightening agent or skin whitening agent. It has been estimate that 35 to 45 percent is systematically absorbed during use. There has only been one study involving this drug during pregnancy where there was no increase in adverse events. But that study used a very small sample size. Based on available data this drug doesn’t appear to be a threat to pregnant women but because of how much is absorbed into the skin, and the lack of widespread studies, experts advise against using this drug in large amounts while pregnant until further studies have been done.

Conclusion by the National Institutes of Health

The conclusion by the National Institutes of Health is that most skin drugs are safe for pregnant women with the exception of Hydroquinone (because of high absorption rates and the lack of broad based studies) and topical retinoids (because of troubling case reports). Generally, it was found that skin care products will not compromise the health of the unborn and that pregnant women can still strive to be pretty.

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