Skin care for moms-to-be
During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels increase and the body’s vascularity (blood flow) is also improved. While the latter imparts a dewy/radiant tint to the skin, the hormonal change causes increased oil and sweat secretion, making the face glowing and glowing.
However, excessive oil secretion can cause acne and therefore pregnant women should avoid foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed carbohydrates like bread and cheese, sugar and sweets, including including sweet mangoes, says Dr. Manjot Marwah, consultant dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon and director of Clinique du Dr. Manjot.
“Another skin problem during pregnancy is pigmentation. Melasma (brown spots on the skin), also known as chloasma, can be prevented by using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Also, eat iron-rich foods, take iron and vitamin supplements B12. Maintain iron levels even after pregnancy to resolve pigmentation issues,” she advises.
Third, at this time, some women may notice an increase in moles and the appearance of linea nigra or a vertical dark line running down from the navel.
Do not worry about this because this skin condition automatically reverses after pregnancy. Stretch marks are also quite disturbing for women. If they use moisturizing lotions, creams or oils twice a day from the third month of pregnancy (before the pregnancy even becomes visible), stretch marks can be minimized or controlled to a great extent,” she adds. -she.
Dr Sheetal Agarwal, Consultant Gynecologist at Apollo Spectra, Delhi says, “Most pregnant women suffer from hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin, which occurs due to increased melanin level during pregnancy. Melanin is the substance in the body primarily responsible for skin color (pigment). Skin tags are another common problem in pregnant women. It can be described as a small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin but is non-cancerous and painless unless something rubs against it. They can usually be spotted on the neck, chest, back, under the breasts and in the groin.
The doctor says, “Acne, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are also seen in pregnant women, but generally these conditions tend to get better after the baby is born. Another problem is varicose veins. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy lead to visible twisted enlarged veins on the legs. Stretch marks can appear in pregnant women due to weight gain or shrinkage of the skin due to extreme weight loss. Stretch marks are initially reddish or purplish in color and become shiny and streaked with silver or white over time,” she adds.
Speaking of hair care, Dr. Manjot says, “Pregnant women should refrain from coloring, highlights, chemical treatments for straightening and perming, as coloring and styling products contain harmful formaldehyde among others. chemical products. To minimize hair loss, use shampoos containing moisturizers, preferably herbal. Even after pregnancy, chemical hair treatment should be avoided for a few months, and new mothers should take multivitamin tablets daily until hair loss is under control. Also, immediately after pregnancy, gel nail extensions, glittery eyelashes and shiny locks of hair should be avoided as they can irritate the newborn baby.
Chemicals – what is OK and what is not
According to Dr. Manjot, salicylic acid facial cleanser, products containing glycolic acid and azelaic acid are safe to use, especially for acne. Vitamin C and niacinamide can help with pigmentation issues. However, retinols (found in some anti-aging creams and acne creams) should be avoided, she warns. Since allergic tendencies increase during pregnancy and infection risks are high, women should avoid experimenting with new or unfamiliar scents, avoid piercings, tattoos and kali-mehndi, she points out. -she.
Skin care for newborns
Newborn skin also needs special care. Neonatologists share advice on this:
Dr Madhuri Prabhu, Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Chennai, says, “Gently massage the baby’s skin and dress the baby in loose, light clothing that covers the arms and legs to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Bathe the baby in lukewarm water. Keep baths short, between five and 10 minutes, so the baby’s skin doesn’t dry out. Use a fragrance- and dye-free baby soap when washing your baby’s hair and body. Avoid using perfumes that can cause skin allergies.