Thanks to Dr. Downie, your most commonly-asked questions about skin care and pregnancy have bee answered!
Is it normal to get acne during pregnancy? Are there any brands/specific products you recommend?
Yes, it is normal to get acne during pregnancy. Many people never break out and then all of a sudden they have a lot of acne. Other people always breakout and their skin clears because of the hormonal shift. What do I recommend to treat acne during pregnancy, a lot of the salicylic acid base washes from Neutrogena are great. Aveeno has for more sensitive skin, the Aveeno Ultra Calming which works very well. I also recommend using mask like chemical peels during pregnancies - professional at the doctor’s office either glycolic or salicylic acid. You can get some prescription drugs like finacea, but that needs the dermatologists consent and the OBGYN consent.
Are there certain ingredients in skincare products that pregnant women should avoid?
Yes, there are certain ingredients that you should avoid. The main ingredient that you should avoid is that you shouldn’t be on oral antibiotics, cause they can harm the babies teeth after the baby is twenty weeks in gestation. In terms of ingredients in skin care products that you should avoid, no retinols, no benzyl peroxides either.
What certain ingredients should pregnant women use?
Your skin gets dryer sometimes during pregnancy, so a lot of my patients like the ultra hydrating formulas. Like the Neutrogena skin relief body lotion, unscented body wash. A lot of people would use things with oatmeal in them cause they are soothing, things with soy in them.
What is Melasama? What causes it? How can it be prevented and treated?
Melasama is caused by walking in the sun and hormonal shift. Is treated with sunscreen, chemical peels and it can be treated with a laser. Its chronic so it can get worse and worse if people don’t put sunblock on. Its significant you’ve seen it much more in women than men, but you can see it in men though.
Stretch marks! How can you prevent them and treat them?
Stretch marks you can prevent them from but not gaining or losing weight, also by not using too heavy weights cause you can get them around your muscle mass as well. If your pregnant try not to over eat, you gain weight slowly, your skin doesn’t stretch as rapidly and that’s how you can prevent them. In terms of treating them its only the fractal that works for them, the topical medications really don’t work for them. It’s good if your belly is growing when you are pregnant to moisturizer it a lot.
The bottom line is that it is better to prevent them by not gaining weight to rapidly. For people that grow taller fast we also treat them with a fractal by the way. So obesity related and height related we treat the same way.
Darkening of the nipples? Is this normal and why does this happen?
Darkening of the nipple during pregnancy, is a hormonal shift and it goes away. Hair grow faster during pregnancy because of the hormones.
Why does hair grow faster during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, it grows faster on your head, underarms and your upper lip.
Being pregnant, my hormones are ALL OVER THE PLACE! This hormonal roller-coaster has caused me to break-out around my chin/lower-cheek area. Many of them are deep, cystic pimples that are almost impossible to treat. How is it even possible to treat hormonal acne? I have always asked that question. Fortunately, I tried the Rodan & Fields Unblemish range and I started to see results by the first week! Has my acne cleared up? No. However, it has very well improved.
The Unblemish Regimen costs $161; not only does it help with adult acne, but it also prevents pimples, blackheads and post-acne marks. Tried and test, it has worked for me... and I will continue to use it (confident, that is will help banish my acne completely).
Unblemish Regimen for Acne and Post-Acne Marks
Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash
Unblemish Spot Fading Toner
Unblemish Dual Intensive Acne Treatment
Unblemish Oil Control Lotion SPF 20