From teeth whitening to botox, find out what’s safe for you and your baby now that you’re expecting.
WORDS NURULHUDA SUHAIMI
Are Botox treatments safe now that you’re pregnant? Can you still use a tanning bed when you’re expecting? Let’s find out all this and more.
Botox treatment involves the injection of a toxin known as botulinum toxin into the skin. In cosmetics, Botox is used for the purposes of reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Very little research has been done on the effects of
Botox injections on a foetus, but most – if not all – experts
overwhelmingly agree that pregnant women should avoid them.
As Dr Liew explains, “Botulinum toxin should be avoided in pregnant women (unless for medical reasons) as the effect on [the] human foetus is unknown. Botulinum toxin helps to block nerve transmission and therefore may affect the foetus. In animal studies, the toxin can affect the development of the animal foetus.”
Again, when it comes to the safety of your baby, it is better to stay on the safe side and skip any Botox appointments.
Want to get a bronze glow to your skin without the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure? If you were thinking of getting a tan by using a tanning bed, think again. In fact, Dr Liew says that tanning beds are something that all women should avoid, not just pregnant ones. “Tanning beds increase the risks of skin cancers and may cause sunburn. Ultraviolet exposure from tanning beds (not for a medical reason) can suppress one’s immune system,” she explains.
If you are still craving that tan, apply a tanning
cream instead. This is a safer option but ensure you do
not have a history of sensitive skin.
Dr Liew also recommends avoiding the spray formula because “the effect of inhaling the particle is unknown”.
Everyone wants sparkling, white gems but if you are pregnant, it is best to delay any teeth whitening plans until after your delivery. Dr Mavis Tan, dental surgeon at Raffles Dental, tells us why: “Teeth whitening is an oxidation process using hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals tend to break down fast in the body. However, there is insufficient data to indicate if these chemicals will pass to the foetus and cause any harm in the baby’s development.
It is prudent to err on the side of caution and consider delaying teeth whitening until after childbirth as it is a non-essential and non-emergent procedure.”
If, however, you still wish to go for teeth whitening treatment, Dr Tan recommends opting for the chairside version with light activation because there is less risk of you ingesting any chemicals. This is preferred over at home kits that use chemicals in fitted trays as “there is close monitoring by dental professionals to suck away any fluid in the mouth during the procedure”, she says.
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