Q&A: Skin Problems During Pregnancy?
I haven’t had this many zits since tenth grade! And what’s up with that wacky rash on my chest? Why is my skin acting so strange, and what can I do about it?
From stretch marks and itchiness to rashes and acne, your skin can (and will) go through as many changes during pregnancy as the fetus growing inside you. Chalk it up (like always) to skyrocketing hormone levels, which increase sweat and oil production.
So what about that "pregnant glow"? Mere myth? Maybe not. Start by cutting way back on makeup, or eliminating it altogether. Make sure products you do use are oil- and fragrance-free, and avoid anything with retinoids or salicylic acids. Wash your face with a mild soap or cleanser two to three times a day, and consult your doctor before using any acne meds. (Some could be harmful to baby.) Always use a good sunblock, no matter what the season — your skin is especially sensitive to sun right now.
To fight rashes, irritations and dryness, the key is quenching your skin's thirst. Avoid hot or steamy showers and baths (a good idea during pregnancy anyways), and pat (don't rub!) your skin dry. Slather on the lotion right after you shower to lock in moisture, and continue to apply throughout the day. And then, remind yourself: It's just a few more months, and your skin will return back to normal once baby comes.