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Expectant Moms Have Unique Skincare Needs

General dermatology  Exton, PAUsually, what gets the most attention during first-time pregnancies is the growing baby bump. When we consider health and wellness, thoughts may revolve around eating for two and implementing strategies to manage morning sickness. It isn’t very often that the skincare needs of expectant mothers are brought to light. We’d like to do that here.

During pregnancy, the vast majority of medical treatments a woman may have become elective. This is due to the unknown potential for harm to the growing fetus. While there are virtually zero clinical studies that include pregnant women, the FDA has established basic safety ratings for common topical and ingestible medications based on animal studies and human observations. Without rigorous studies and substantial evidence, it is safest to err on the side of caution. Here, we suggest a few everyday skincare products that should be avoided and a few that are suitable for expectant mothers.

Pregnancy Don’ts

  • The risks of oral isotretinoin include malformations affecting the central nervous system, heart, and brain. Topical retinoids, which are commonly used for acne and wrinkle management, may also present a risk. More extensive studies seem to refute the risks of topical retinoids, but pregnant women may wish to avoid them altogether by switching products.
  • Salicylic acid. Here’s an interesting note. Pregnant women are advised to avoid aspirin due to the associated risk of miscarriage. Well, the chemical makeup of salicylic acid is similar to aspirin. Therefore, any use of this common beta-hydroxy acid should be limited to spot treatments only.
  • Oral antibiotics. Sometimes, patients are prescribed oral antibiotics to control acne. Conventional medicines, such as doxycycline, can inhibit fetal bone growth and should, therefore, be avoided. Alternative medications may be prescribed to assist expectant mothers with acne control.

Pregnancy Do’s

  • Vitamin C and E provide antioxidant power as well as the moisture boost expectant mothers may need.
  • Benzoyl peroxide contained in commercial face-wash may remain suitable throughout pregnancy. First, because concentration is low and, second, because the body metabolizes benzoyl peroxide into benzoic acid. Benzoic acid can be found in many wheat flours.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids are generally safe. Mothers-to-be can even have AHA chemical peels to treat common discoloration during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, skincare is not something to tackle on your own. Schedule a visit with us at 610-594-6660.

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