Skin Care in Pregnancy

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Skin care in pregnancy requires special attention. The skin is the largest organ of our body and in addition to its protective role towards the external environment, it has a great ability to absorb substances from the external environment. Everything that is applied to the skin can, to some extent, ends up in the blood and affects the development of the fetus.

Pregnancy is a different state and all organs, even the skin, must experience major or minor changes. The increased secretion of oestrogen and progesterone, a significant expansion of the skin, increased circulation, the existence of the fetus as a foreign body are responsible for this. It is necessary to strengthen prevention and change some life habits, start applying more body lotion and milk with adequate ingredients.

Skin Care in Pregnancy

Hyperpigmentation or melasma is the most common complication. It is believed that 40% of pregnant women have this problem, in more or less extent. Hormones, genetic predisposition and UV radiation are the main provoking factor for melasma. During the period of pregnancy and lactation it is not recommended to treat hyperpigmentation. The main prevention is the use of a high sun protection factor, non-exposure to sunlight and the use of creams that inhibit melanin production. The composition of the cream against hyperpigmentation is very important in pregnancy, since some substances are toxic to the fetus.

In the treatment of hyperpigmentation, the substances such as hydroquinone, retinoids, alpha and beta acids are often used.

Stretch marks are formed by intensive skin stretching for a short period of time. This complication is supported by oestrogen and progesterone, which soften the collagen in order to prepare the body for the childbirth. Depending on the genetic predisposition, the skin will crack to a lesser or greater extent.

The formation of stretch marks is difficult to prevent but applying adequate hydration and oil to the surface of the skin preserves its moisture and thus increases its elasticity. Creams containing alpha tocopherol, Centella asiatica extract, collagen elastin hydrosylates, rosephil oil can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by 30%. What treatments are the available for stretch mark removal read on the link.

Acne can dramatically improve but also worsen with pregnancy. It is impossible to know how a person will react to the change in hormonal status. There is a big restriction in the use of adequate therapy due to the negative impact of active substances on the fetus.

In the treatment of the above changes, substances such as hydroquinone, retinoids, alpha and beta acids, antibacterial agents are often used

  1. Hydroquinone is absorbed by 35 to 40% according to some studies. There isn’t enough research whether it can have a negative effect on the development of the fetus, so it should be avoided.
  2. Retinoids are used in the acne and hyperpigmentation treatment. There is great controversy over their absorption when applied to the skin. The long-term studies have shown that the presence of retinoids in the blood after application to the skin is insignificantly small. But because of their effect on the development of the fetus when ingesting the drug, one should not risk applying creams in pregnancy.
  3. Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin are considered safe.
  4. Benzoyl peroxide is absorbed up to 5% and in the blood it is transformed into benzoic acid, which is considered safe for the fetus. It is used as an antiseptic, in the acne therapy or other skin inflammations.
  5. Glycolic and salicylic acid are absorbed to a small extent after application in creams. They are considered safe in pregnancy. Salicylic acid should not be applied to large areas like back if they are present in larger percentage. It can cause unpleasant noise in ears such as tinnitus.
  6. Dihydroxyacetone is a substance used in self-tanning creams and is considered safe.
  7. 7. Depilation creams are considered safe in pregnancy. The problem that may occur is hypersensitivity, i.e. allergy, so it is always advised to test before applying.
  8. Parabens, popular preservatives found in almost every body milk, have a great absorption power. It is very important not to use them on the skin of the newborns, because they can bind to oestrogen receptors. If possible, they should be avoided and in pregnancy


Mallol J., Belda M.A., Costa D., Noval A., Sola M. Prophylaxis of Striae gravidarum with a topical formulation. A double blind trial.

Mahé A, Perret JL, Ly F, Fall F, Rault JP, Dumont A. The cosmetic use of skin-lightening products during pregnancy in Dakar, Senegal: a common and potentially hazardous practice.

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