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Skincare tips during pregnancy

Last updated on: November 29, 2013 18:41 IST

Skincare tips during pregnancy


Dr Rashmi Shetty answered readers' queries on skincare during pregnancy in an online chat with Get Ahead readers on November 29.

Here's the unedited chat transcript:

hezal: What can I do about varicose veins now and after I have the baby?

Rashmi Shetty: Varicose veins in pregnancy, are due to sheer weight of the baby compressing the veins at the crease of your thighs. so probably lying down or elevating your feet will be a good idea. you could even try some pressure bandages. but pls go see your doctors for specific treatment.

shaishav: Does someone who wears makeup need to use a different type of facial cleanser over someone who does not wear makeup?

Rashmi Shetty: Yes. Pigment makeup can get stubborn and may need a little extra coaxing to get off the skin. therefore try products which are specifically makeup removers and if its eye makeup, keep the cotton soaked in makeup remover for a minute, so that it emulsifies the make up and you can get it off easily without scrubbing too hard.

zubeda-pawaskar: How can I treat acne breakouts during pregnancy?

Rashmi Shetty: During pregnancy, most oral medications are not safe. so the best thing to do is to apply an antibiotic cream or creams with acids like azelaic and glycolic. Maybe just choosing the right facewash for acne prone skin and treating for dandruff may help.

Hiya: How does pregnancy affect my skin? What is the connection?

Rashmi Shetty: The connection is the hormonal changes, the physical stress happening due to pregnancy itself and the skin expanding to accomodate the fetus.

nagira banu: My son is 1 1/4 years old. Even now I have stretch marks. Is there any possibility to fade it.

Rashmi Shetty: By now, just homecare may not help you since these now are old stretch marks. You could look up my website for treatments like microneedling, RF, Erbium Glass laser or peels to improve your skin. however, stretch marks are not fully treatable. keep the home care going.

Ruchi Dhebri: what are the common skin problems women face during pregnancy?

Rashmi Shetty: There are so many dermatological issues but the aesthetic ones predominantly are skin pigmentation and stretch marks. theres plenty of dope on how to take care of stretch marks in this ongoing chat. whereas pigmentation cant be completely avoided since it is due to hormonal changes. make sure you use a sunscreen and an anti inflammatory agent containing moisturizing product.

Mugada: How does one take care of skin during pregnancy in a cold country like Sweden? I am 3-months pregnant and in a Scandinavian country?

Rashmi Shetty:Just apply plenty of creams and oils and nicely wrap yourself up and stay cosy and enjoy your pregnancy. and do get some exercise which will ease your skin into pregnancy as well as give some blood rush to all parts and keep you warm

Hazal: What is the best way to take care of my skin during pregnancy? I am 6-month preggie and my skin is getting a bit dry.

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Hazel, We have written enough points down the thread in this chat, however since uve mentioned dryness, thts the first thing you need to address. choose from a wide array of creams and oils that you love and start some gentle stretching exrcises. eat healthy with plenty of fluid intake. make sure your supplements have Vit E and Omega oils.

Rashmi Lokar: Are there any ill effects on pregnancy of applying any skin ointment?

Rashmi Shetty: that question has been already answered. pls follow the thread.


Rashmi Shetty: Avoiding stretch marks is not really easily especially if your parents have had it and if you are trying to lose wt too rapidly. however, healthy gradual loss of wt along with exercise helps a lot and keeping the skin calm and lubricated. If you already have marks, start some homecare with specific creams and oils for stretch marks. and at the doctors, look for microneedling and RF

p i: Hi cream better or oil to apply on stretch marks...Pls reply..Asha

Rashmi Shetty: i am not aware personally of any major difference, however internationally a few studies claim that oils are better while you need to deliver certain active ingredients in the mixture like eg. antiinflammatory, calming, lubricating ingredients in any oil aimed at stretch marks.

Sheer using comfort is greater with oils as it is easier to spread and lighter oils penetrate better and are less messy and sticky unlike creams.

p i: what kind of product are safe to apply on stretch marks and scars during pregnancy

Rashmi Shetty: During pregnancy, you need to be a bit careful in choosing your creams because some ingredients are not safe. however, no need to get too worried as kilograms of any particular cream needs to be applied over a long period of time for any 1 ingredient to reach toxic levels.

Safest would be to use a moisturizer with Vit E or just a basic cold cream. however, if you are ok with using oils, then they are the safest bet.

p i: Hi doc..which month do stretch marks start appearing in

Rashmi Shetty: stretch marks start appearing when your stomach starts distending,anywhere post 5-6 months.

initially, it may go unnoticed as pinkish faint lines and very soon may turn into larger red-purplish swollen lines . at this stage the best thing to do is to moisturize them as the skin may get itchy due to stretching and scratching might further ruin your skin.look for calming ingredients like calendula,chamomile.

Rajan sha: Do sunscreen with high SPF on the face may go a long way toward replacing face creams that contain ingredients of dubious safety for your baby.

Rashmi Shetty: Sunscreen is a great idea to use as a lifestyle for skin care and protection- pregnant or non pregnant.

menisha: Dr Rashmi, Are there any particular exercise needed to take care of your skin during pregnancy?

Rashmi Shetty: Yes, Im a great believer of exercise during pregnancy. stretches and Yoga would do the best for your skin, along with it, the key is to eat healthy and keeping your skin well moisturized and lubricated because, a rigid collagen and dry skin will lead to maximum stretch marks

Satish Pulli: Does Oral retinoid medication and oral prescription acne medications such as Accutane have been linked to poor birth outcomes and should be avoided.

Rashmi Shetty: They are contraindicated during pregnancy. so if you are planning a pregnancy or already pregnant and on ACCUTANE, please consult your doctor immediately.

kavita bavekar: Dr Rashmi : When so many skin company products compete with each other, which one to trust?

Rashmi Shetty: Go back to the good old oils then! they are the safest and time tested remedies. or you could look out for basic moisturizing creams without any fancy ingredients.

manav gupta: my neck is very black how cn i get rid of it

Rashmi Shetty: first, please make sure you are not a diabetic and are not obese. any one of the above should be taken care of immediately. do not scrub your neck. use a good sunscreen and a lightening product like azelaic acid at night. also start taking an anti oxidant like Vit C, E, Glutathione or alpha lipoic acid capsules regularly.

kunika: Hi Dr Rashmi, can your skin glow post pregnancy? What things you need to do?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Kunika,Your skin will glow post pregnancy if you take all the medications as prescribed by your gynaecologist and if you are on a really healthy diet. do not immediately go in for a weight loss diet. make sure u have a skin routine, even the basic oil massages and warm baths that the indian households follow, gives a lot of benefit.

jinny: Dr Rashmi, If I have a ceasarian operation will there be marks on my stomach?

Rashmi Shetty: Hello,There could be. Depends on your skin type, what you are prone to and how well the doctor approximates your wound. However, it is always safe to lubricate your wound, not scratch it or stretch it too much till it fully heals.

Sonal: Use of which natural moisturizer recomended to reduces the amount of chemicals passing your skin barrier to your baby’s system.

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Sonal,Anything in any product is not going to reach your baby unless you have put a thick layer all over your body surface and occluded it. But safest bet would be to use natural oils which have been there and have been time tested and are safe. We have some wonderful new oils which suit pregnant women specifically such as oils with a blend of calendula, chamomile, rosemary and lavendar.

Amol chille: Can I use cellulite creams while I’m pregnant? Which are the ingredients you suggest pregnant women stay away from?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Amol,The ingredients which a pregnant woman should stay away from are mostly anti ageing and anti acne ingredients not necessarily anti cellulite. Moreover, cellulites are never there on the abdomen. If it is affecting any of the other body parts you can go ahead and use it.

Ruchi Dhebri: When do stretch marks begin to appear during Pregnancy?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Ruchi,Once the stomach starts distending which is usually after the 5th month. But you can start lubricating which means applying oil/cream much before so the skin is in a healthier and supple condition. The rigid skin and collagen lead to more stretch marks.Also, oiling your skin with anti inflammatory ingredients like chamomile oil will reduce any chance of itching.

suman singh: Is it safe to get a spray tan or use a self-tanner when expecting?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Suman,Spray tan is safer, if you have to do it.

romil: Is Mineral makeup is a good choice during pregnancy as it contains titanium and zinc, which act as a natural SPF to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

Rashmi Shetty: HI Romil,Yes it is fine.

guddy: What kind of moisturizer is safe to use during pregnancy?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi, Best would be to use one from any reputed company. Do not use anything which says "anti ageing" as it may have Retin-A. Safest would be a coconut based oil or specific oils for stretch marks and wound healing. You can look for something with Vitamin E in it.

kavita bavekar: Should I switch to organic skin-care products?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Kavita,Assuming you are pregnant, I'd like to say that yes, organic/natural ingredients would work best for you at this stage. You can look at products with ingredients such as calendula, chamomile, lavendar and rosemary which calm, repair and boost skin collagen.

vaishu gawas: After pregnancy my skin color change to dark as per doc. it is hormonal chnages how do i get my skin texture back?

Rashmi Shetty: Hi Vaishu,Usually hormonal changes due to pregnancy are temporary.Therefore,these changes tend to reverse themselves in due course. Meanwhile, you can make sure that you do not irritate that part of the skin further:no scrubbing and no friction. Make sure you use good sun protection and certain dry oils with calming chamomile and calendula extracts which will heal your skin.

Photographs: Courtesy