Oh, where did that pregnancy glow go? Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your hormones – leaving you with oily skin and the really uncomfortable scars left by pigmentation. Here’s how to take care of your skin.
WORDS STEPHANIE CLARISSA
Worried about your skin woes, especially in the most unexpected times of pregnancy?
Motherhood speaks to Dr Tan Siew Kiang, a specialist in dermatology and consultant, at Raffles Skin & Aesthetics on how to particularly take care of oily and pigmented skin during pregnancy.
The undesirable sebaceous activity in some women will only lead to oily skin and acne vulgaris in pregnancy. As shown by statistics 85 to 90 per cent of pregnant women experience this. Usually, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin caused by increased melanin. The more affected areas, as commonly known are the nipples, genitalia, armpits, inner thighs and skin folds.
Hyperpigmentation is recognised by a few factors and they include, hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, and continuous exposure to ultraviolet light.
During pregnancy, there occurs an elevated level
of estrogen and progesterone hormones, which
stimulates the production of melanin causing it to be an
underlying concern for hyperpigmentation.
The Mask of Pregnancy
Melasma also called the mask of pregnancy occurs in up to 70 per cent of gravid women and typically in Asian patients with darker skin. After delivery, the pigmentation may reduce or resolve completely in fair skinned people. However, it may continue to persist in women with darker skin.
It is recommended for treatment to be started after delivery. However, there is no single universally effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of melasma as the condition is recurrent and challenging. Skin lightening creams such as hydroquinone 4 per cent or combination cream are commonly known as the first line of treatment. Other treatments include chemical peels, intense pulsed light and laser.
Treat Your Oily Skin Right
For oily skin, use an oil-free skin cleanser and facial moisturiser. As for acne vulgaris, an antiseptic gel is generally safe for use in pregnancy. Topical retinoids, oral tetracyclines, anti-androgens and isotretinoin are contraindicated in pregnant women.
As for pigmentation, a Vitamin C serum will be the best go-to for skin protection, moisturising, brightening and skin ageing prevention all while protecting your skin from UV damage. You can use a sunscreen with a high protection factor (SPF50) and PA++ to protect against UVB and UVA every day. In the market today, there are oil-free and oil control sunscreens to prevent the aggravation of oily skin and acne in pregnancy. In the meantime, it is safe to use concealers to cover the pigmentation.
Not many know, that sometimes food can be the saviour to good and clear skin. Eating an abundance of vitamin C and E rich foods can give your body anti-oxidants. It can reduce the free radicals in the body, which causes cell damage and ageing.
Vitamin C can inhibit tyrosinase that is an
enzyme responsible for the production of melanin and
can prevent skin pigmentation in pregnancy.
Vitamin E helps to regulate the UV ray absorption and repair skin damage caused by the UV rays. Plump up your skin by getting your natural fix of Vitamin C and E from dark green leafy vegetables, fruits as well as nuts.
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