Pregnancy is a beautiful phase – but it does bring about many changes in your body. Almost half of all pregnant women face physical discomforts throughout the entire duration of their pregnancy. Some are lucky to escape the pregnancy woes. Many experience these problem only during the first trimester. If you are pregnant now, chances are you will be able to relate to all the pregnancy problems discussed here. While all women might not experience this, one of the common and unwelcome effects of pregnancy is skin breakouts!
When does pregnancy acne start and what causes it?
Around the beginning of the second trimester is when you may notice some changes in your skin. While some women get a beautiful glow to their skin, there are others who are not so lucky and end up getting acne! Even if you’ve always had clear skin, the plethora of hormonal changes in your body during these nine months can play havoc with your natural system, and may give you your first pimple!
So what causes this acne? A surge of the progesterone hormone causes an increase in the secretion of oil or sebum – this clogs up your skin pores and leads to skin breakouts. Your body also starts retaining more fluid during this time – these contain toxins and result in acne. Usually the acne subsides once the hormone levels stabilize.
How to treat this pregnancy acne?
While there are a number of medications available in the market, most may not be safe for you to use at this time. Check with your doctor before using any kind of ointments or drugs for this condition. There are, however, a number of home remedies that are effective and also safe to try.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Clean your skin with a natural toner of one part vinegar and three parts water.
- Baking Soda – dry the oil on your skin with a paste of equal parts baking soda and water. Let dry, and rinse off.
- Lemon juice – Unclog pores by applying lemon juice. Let dry before rinsing off with cold water.
- Honey – Moisturize skin with honey. Leave on for 30 minutes and rinse with warm water.
- Coconut oil – has amazing antifungal and antibacterial properties. Apply a thin layer on your face every day, or add to your diet.
- Oatmeal and cucumber – blend together with cold milk, and apply to face for 15 minutes.
Stretch marks and other skin conditions during pregnancy
There are other skin conditions you may face during the course of your pregnancy. As your body goes through hormonal changes, and your skin stretches, it will become dry and itchy.
Another dreaded side effect is stretch-marks. These are marks or streaks that appear on the lower abdomen, thighs, hips and breasts during the later weeks of pregnancy. Your body expands with weight gain and the growing baby, but the skin can stretch only so much. The elastic fibres under your skin can’t keep up with this and break, and you get stretch marks. These usually fade with time, but rarely disappear completely. As you grow, keep skin moisturized in these trouble zones to minimize these marks.
There are other rashes like heat rashes, or rashes on the face that may also develop as your pregnancy progresses. While most are not harmful to the baby, it’s best not to neglect any. Some occur due to excessive sweating. Wear loose clothes and avoid cosmetics with harsh chemicals and take frequent warm water baths. You can use cool compresses and calamine lotion for quick relief too.
Some women also develop dark spots or melasma on face during pregnancy. This is again due to hormonal changes – which lead to increased production of melanin in your body, and hence the dark spots. Use a good sunscreen, and get minimal exposure to direct sun.
Here’s what you can do to keep your skin soft and supple during pregnancy.
- Stay hydrated – Water keeps the skin moist, and flushes out toxins.
- Eat a balanced diet – eat fresh produce, and avoid processed food and bad fats.
- Keep your skin clean – use water-based make up and wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
- Wash hair regularly – especially if it’s oily.
- Do not scrub or pick on your pimples.
- Moisturize – use an oil-free lotion.
- Protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
- Consume more Vitamin A – Foods like milk, fish, eggs and carrots keep your skin healthy.
Stretch marks and skin breakouts won’t vanish with the swish of a magic wand. There is no magic cure that will deliver an overnight wonder. But with dedicated efforts, eating right and taking some time out for yourself you can win this battle and gift yourself healthy glowing skin. Do not concern yourself with stretch marks as they are a part of your motherhood journey. Follow the simple tips mentioned above and see them fade away with time. But always remember: Motherhood is a gift – accept it with its challenges, your skin breakout and stretchmarks being the least of your pregnancy problems!