The only difference between problem skin when you’re expecting and when you’re not is just a matter of control. When you are pregnant, your body and how it functions is essentially out of your control. I tell my clients (especially first-time pregnancies) to (metaphorically) throw theirs arms up in the air and resign themselves to these changes. This is usually not welcome news.
Having a relaxed attitude about the changes that occur in your body—and your skin—is very important. Consider adopting The Serenity Prayer (by Reinhold Niebuhr): “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” When you’re pregnant, serenity and wisdom will be your greatest allies. You can control your skin (raging hormones) just about as well as you can stop your belly from growing. If you realize early on that you are not in control of your body and the baby is, you will fare a whole lot better.
Soon after she got pregnant, her skin began to go haywire. At first she came in with mild breakout, which for her skin was unusual. As the weeks progressed, so did her breakouts until finally around the third month she basically had acne. She went from coming in for facials once a month to having one weekly. She needed all the extra help she could get.
Luckily Merry has a good head on her shoulders. She realized she couldn’t really do anything about the hormones that were surging in her body. And she knew she wouldn’t be able to take anything orally for the skin eruptions since she was pregnant. She decided to wait it out, hoping her skin would eventually adjust.
I had Merry on a program of constant at-home care. First I recommended a lot of exfoliating with a gel-type peel (like Yonka’s Gommage) to help rid the surface skin of dead cells, which could lead to more congestion. Next she used a clay mask that helped draw impurities and plugs up toward the surface and soothed her irritated skin. I also had Merry dot clay on any spots that were infected and sleep with the dots on overnight. She used a clay mask on her entire face several times per week. Exfoliating and using a clay mask were essential in keeping her skin under control—from the outside.
I am happy to say Merry’s skin eventually returned to normal. It took about four months after the birth of her child to clear up, but she no longer has any new breakout. She did have some temporary discoloration from the problem skin she experienced. Pustules and deep cysts take weeks—sometimes months—to completely clear from the skin. Even after the infection and redness is gone, the damaged tissue still has to make its way up to the surface and be sloughed off. Be patient and know that in most cases, your skin will eventually return to normal.
She was pretty concerned about this redness since her skin is milky white, making these dots very prominent. I assured her they were part and parcel of her pregnancy. I knew this because earlier in my career, I had gone through a total of three pregnancies with one client who developed these same red spots with every pregnancy. After each baby was born, eventually the dots disappeared.
Technically, these bright red or purplish dots are called spider angiomas, and may appear due to an excess of estrogen. They are basically dilated capillaries that look like red lines radiating from a central red dot. Once the baby is born, the hormone levels return to normal, and the dots will usually disappear on their own within three to six months.
Sure enough, about three months after Melissa gave birth to her son, the dots started to disappear. Cut to the present: pregnant again, and lo and behold, the red dots have reappeared. Now, as with so many things after the first pregnancy, Melissa has a proven history of developing these spots and the relief of knowing they do go away.
As I have said, your body is not your own during pregnancy. Things that show up in that nine-month time period many times will go away—on their own—soon after you have given birth and/or finished breast-feeding. Remember, nothing is forever, and this includes skin irregularities developed during pregnancy. Keep your eye on the prize—the miracle you are creating!
For more information, see:
For more information, see:
- Pregnancy: Some factors that may be affecting your skin
- Pregnancy and Skin Care
- Help For Breakouts
- Geranium (or Lavender)—spot remover for breakouts
|Anne Geddes, of course!|