This week: Dealing with sensitivity, spots and other skin problems during pregnancy
Don’t panic if you are pregnant and your skin has become super-sensitive and thinks you’re a teenager again! There seems to be a commonly-held belief that your skin glows during pregnancy. Medically, it does (an increased volume of blood to the cheeks results in a pinky blush) but when we say glow in the context of pregnancy we usually mean ‘looks gorgeous, healthy and peachy’ as opposed to just pink.
Unfortunately, many of us do not experience this glow (the peachy one!) but find our skin reverts to that of a teenager – spotty and oily in patches but very dry and ultra sensitive in others. Or, it’s just super dry and sensitive.
“Now that I’m pregnant my skin is getting even worse with more red spots and dry spells. Do you have any advice on what sort of skin care I need that will actually improve my skin’s condition,” says one woman in an email.
Another says: “My skin used to be oily, but during pregnancy and since having a baby it’s been quite dry.”
Someone else writes saying she has always had sensitive skin but that, during her current pregnancy, Nivea baby sun lotion has caused an outbreak of urticaria (an itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to anything from food to sunlight to prescription drugs). She is now finding it impossible to use anything on her skin without further irritating it and is desperate to find some skincare and make-up products she can use before she goes to a number of weddings later in the year.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase skin sensitivity and many women do find they become irritated by products – both cosmetics and household detergents – that they have previously used without problem. Spots and acne, caused by increased sebum production during pregnancy, are another result of all those hormones surging around the body.
It is worth remembering that these extremes should stop once your baby is born so our advice is not to stress about your skin. The best thing you can do is to support it during pregnancy by going back to basics and keeping things as simple as possible (the Queen philosophy for all skin!). Drastic changes and trying out numerous different products will only make things worse.
So, here’s the Queen guide to looking after skin during pregnancy: