Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pregnancy and Your Skin

Pregnancy and Your Skin
by Dr. Diane Gibby • M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S 
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman's life. Most women enjoy being pregnant and are happy with the changes motherhood brings, but are not always prepared for the effects of pregnancy on their skin. Many of pregnancy’s stubborn signature marks can be faded, or even erased, thanks to advances is skin care.

Skin: Many women experience a "glow" during pregnancy but some may develop changes in skin pigmentation, known as melasma (or the “mask of pregnancy”), which is common in the facial area. Studies suggest that up to three in four women may develop these changes which are characterized by a blotchy brown increase in pigment. Since sun exposure can make these areas darker, it is important to a wear sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15. Surface-layer melasma sometimes fade on its own after delivery; when it doesn’t, treatment starts with hydroquinone, a topical bleach, often used in conjunction with skin care products containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

Stretch Marks: Up to 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, and there’s not a cream on earth that will keep them from forming (though keeping these areas well-moisturized keeps skin in good condition and just feels good!). That’s because stretching occurs not on the skin’s surface but deep down, causing structural changes to collagen and elastin. Most of these red marks will gradually fade to a silvery white over time. While there are no topical treatments that can successfully remove stretch marks they can be surgically excised in procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast lift.

Spider Veins: These small, dilated blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin are a common imprint of pregnancy that often show up on the face and legs. Some go away following delivery, while others remain. Spider veins on the face can be improved with laser treatments, while small veins on the legs are usually treated with sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of a salt-like solution into the vessel.

Your skin care needs will likely change during pregnancy and during the postpartum period. Hormonal changes can cause previously dry skin to produce oil and otherwise oily skin to feel tight and dry.

For a Highland Park area plastic surgeon please see Doctor Diane Gibby at http://www.drgibby.com

No comments:

Post a Comment