Eek! I am pregnant for the first time and thought I would have a beautiful, healthy glow. Instead, I am breaking out like a teenager. Any tips?
Dear First-Time Mama:
Well, the good news is that the breakouts generally decrease the further you get into your pregnancy and your body adjusts to the flood of hormones attacking your, already, overwhelmed system. Also, it’s one of those pregnancy side effects that you conveniently forget about once you are holding your baby in your arms and you will be just as surprised by your pubescent skin problems the next time around.
For now, the best advice is to drink lots of water and try to hydrate your skin as often as possible. That little bundle of joy is stealing as much fluid from your body as possible, which leaves your skin flaky and dry.
All of those flakes lead to clogged pores and increased blemishes, so exfoliate with a gentle cleanser, or mix a little sugar in with your normal face wash.
If you want to try something stronger to zap a zit, be leery of the usual Retin-A products or anything medicated. Because your skin will be much more sensitive to the sun when you are pregnant, you could end up with giant patches of sunburn on your face, which might distract from the pimple, but not the way you wanted.
When in doubt, call the nurse at your OB or your dermatologist. If you do see a specialist make sure you let them know you are pregnant, even if superstition would normally prevent you from sharing the good news too soon. Not all medications, even topical treatments, are safe for moms-to-be.
A little bit of cover-up and strategically applied make-up might help until the baby-acne fades away. If you don’t usually need cover-up, use the thicker part of your foundation from the lid or rim of the bottle. Dab lightly with your finger and blend.
More good news, we’ve all been there and can sympathize. Good advice also for later, when you are grocery shopping and your new baby has pooped something horrific and is screaming at the top of his lungs. Good Luck!