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Skin and Hair changes during pregnancy – Causes and Treatment

Skin changes during Pregnancy

Women may find their skin has changed during pregnancy. Many of these changes are common and may differ from woman to woman.

Causes:
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can produce a wide range of changes in the skin, stretch marks, acne and darkening of the skin. Most of these changes disappear shortly after birth.

Treatment:
These tips can help reduce or treat common skin problems that occur during pregnancy:
Skin Cleansing
Good skin cleansing is the best way to avoid or treat acne. Wash your face with a mild cleanser two or three times a day. Do not wash too often as your skin can become dry which aggravates skin changes.

Sun Protection
Your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy. Good sun protection is very important at this time. Sunlight can darken pigment changes in the skin and increase the chances of getting “mask of pregnancy.” Use a good sunscreen, cover up and wear a hat when outdoors. Avoid spending time outdoors when the sun is strongest (between 10 am and 2 pm).

Make up
Cover-up and foundation can help hide dark streaks or spots on the skin. Avoid makeup that contains mercury.

Moisturizers
Moisturize your belly and breasts to reduce itchiness and dry skin. To avoid skin irritation, use unscented moisturizer. Use a mild soap for washing. Avoid hot showers or baths.

Excess heat
Heat can intensify itchiness and rashes.

IMPORTANT: Do not take medicines for acne or the counter treatments without checking with your health care provider. Some of these are not safe for pregnant women.

Hair changes during Pregnancy

In pregnancy, it is possible to lose a lot of hair a few weeks or months after delivery. These changes are normal. The hair generally returns to its normal growth cycle within six months after delivery.

Causes:
Pregnancy hormones and increased cortisone cause this type of hair growth during pregnancy. This growth is typically reduced within 6 months after pregnancy.

Treatment:
You can do several things to have a healthy hair during pregnancy and after delivery:
– Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These foods protect the hair follicle and encourage hair growth.
– Be gentle with your hair when it is fragile and wet. Avoid fine-tooth combs.
– Avoid using hot blow dryers and other instruments. If you use a hair dryer, use the coolest setting.
– Avoid pigtails, cornrows, tight braids and tight hair rollers. They can pull and stress your hair.

To get rid of unwanted hair growth:
– Tweeze, wax or shave.
– Avoid using bleach or depilatories during pregnancy. They can get absorbed through the skin.
– Permanent hair removal-techniques (such as electrolysis) are thought to be safe during pregnancy. But they can be painful or uncomfortable.

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