Pregnancy A Hair-Raising Experience?
Expectant mothers are often told they are “glowing” – and this isn’t necessarily a result of sheer happiness. During pregnancy, increased blood flow to the skin actually results in a clear, healthy skin tone. Other changes to skin and hair can occur due to elevated hormone levels – and some of them aren’t nearly as charming.
Acne can reappear with a vengeance during pregnancy. Cleansing the skin daily with an alpha-hydroxy product (available over-the-counter), and using an exfoliating scrub once a week can be effective. Avoid using oral prescription acne medications while pregnant. Break-outs usually decrease after pregnancy.
Due to the stretching and pulling of skin during pregnancy, approximately 90% of women get stretch marks. Frequent exercise before pregnancy and the use of Vitamin E creams or silicon-based lotions will improve skin’s elasticity.
Also called the “mask of pregnancy”, chloasma occurs if the skin on the face (particularly the cheeks, forehead and upper lip) is frequently exposed to the sun. The exact cause of chloasma is unknown, although there is a strong link to high hormone levels.?Pigment builds up, and discoloured patches appear. These can be treated post-delivery with peels and bleaching creams, but the best defense is a high SPF sunscreen.
Fingernails can become dry and brittle during pregnancy; split nails and rough nail surfaces are common. To combat this, moisturize hands regularly with a product that contains glycerin and silicone. Chamomile-based products are excellent for soothing dry, itchy skin. ?To strengthen the nail, try applying veg-etable oil with a clean nail polish brush. This works better than nail strengthening products, as these contain alcohol – which actually dries out the nail.
Hair loss can occur three months after the birth. Although some women lose a lot of hair from their head, it will grow back over time. Doctors suggest consulting a dermatologist to ensure complete, healthy regrowth. Some women also find that eating a diet rich in protein (leafy vegetables, legumes) and massaging the scalp for ten minutes after showering can help reduce hair loss. ?Pregnancy is an exciting time, and being prepared is important. Knowing what is happening both inside and outside of your body will help you be more comfortable with your pregnancy.