1.Avoid direct sun exposure on your face!
Pregnancy has a significant impact on your hormones and causes a major increase in progesterone, with the placenta turning out 10-20X higher than what is normally experienced during a regular menstruation cycle. When your sex hormones are out of balance, this can increase the activity of the Melanin-Stimulating-Hormone (MSH) which triggers the melanocyte (pigment producing cell) to synthesis significant amounts of melanin which can result in pigmentation disorders.
So, what does pigmentation look like? Have you ever noticed those brown or muddy-looking discoloured dots or patches on your skin that just won’t go away no matter how hard you try to scrub them off your skin? This is a classic sign of pigmentation caused by many catalysts, but most commonly, the sun and hormonal fluctuations. For example, an imbalance in your sex hormones can give rise to pigmentation. If you are experiencing any signs of pigmentation during your pregnancy and you know that you’re staying out of the sun as well as following your Practicing Corneotherapist’s advice, chances are the pigmentation is just transient (temporary) during this beautiful time of your life. Once the catalyst or cause has been removed from your body (being your gorgeous baby), the skin should return to “normal” if you have not overexposed your highly temperamental and sensitive pigment producing cells to high amounts of UV radiation during this time of your life.
So, what can you do if you have concerns? Consult with your Practicing Corneotherapist about updating your dermaviduals skin care prescription as well as adding in tyrosinase inhibitors that can slow down the transfer of pigment within the skin as well as wearing sunscreen, wrap-around polarised sunglasses and UV protecting solar barrier hats and clothing with a high Universal Protection Factor to protect you.
2.I am experiencing acne during my pregnancy, what can I do?
Some woman experience beautiful skin during their pregnancy, while others have the complete opposite. Please understand that every cell in the skin has hormone receptors that are designed to uptake the hormones that arise from the bloodstream. These receptors or “docking stations” as I like to call them, may be slightly sensitivity and/or reactive to the imbalance of hormone secretions that are being produced which may cause inflammatory skin conditions to develop.
Hormones arise from your bloodstream and are designed to find their target cell in which they bind and change that cells physiological function. For example, certain hormones such as testosterone, influence your sebaceous glands (oil producing factories), which can trigger poor quality and quantity of oil to be produced. Certain strains of acne causing bacteria love nothing more than to feed on excess oil which adds further fuel to the flame; leading to a microbial imbalance and increasing cellular inflammation.
So, what can you do about this? One size does definitely NOT fit all as this is a rather challenging skin disorder, as the cause in this case, is arising from your bloodstream. However, one can most definitely support their skin barrier with physiological skin care preparations, anti-inflammatories, 5a reductase inhibitors such as azelaic acid, green tea extract, zinc and vitamin B; can all help to inhibit the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which has a significant impact on the quality and quantity of oil being produced by your sebaceous glands.
Consulting with a naturopath is definitely advised to support your hormone imbalances as well as to improve the quality and quantity of the oil that is being produced.
3.How can I improve my skin from within during my pregnancy?
Focusing on a good quality diet high in Omega 3 (essential fatty acids) to support the skin and its oil production is of utmost importance as this can help to reduce the appearance of acneic lesions. Not only can the appearance of acne be improved, but so too can lipid-dry skin that is so commonly experienced during this stage of a woman’s life. As your developing baby takes place, he or she is taking all of the good oil from your skin that you would normally be obtaining for yourself via good nutrition, however, your body now has a different priority and that is to supply your little loved-one with all of the nutritional goodness it requires to be healthy.
Did you know that your brain absorbs 70% of the fat you ingest but only a small percentage goes towards your skin? Yes! Now you might be thinking, why is that? The reason being is because your skin, despite being the largest organ and heaviest of the body, is the LAST to receive nutrients once all of your other major hard-working organs such as your brain, heart, kidneys and liver have been attended too. The problem is our western modern diet is driven by Omega 6 which is triggering a lot of cellular inflammation and aggravating hormones which can cause different grades of acne to surge. Good quality Omega 3 can improve the sebaceous glands oil viscosity to ensure that it’s free flowing rather than being thick and sluggish – think of it as if your car needs a grease and oil change, as well as support the infiltration of anti-inflammatory hormones to help balance out cellular inflammation.
Skin requires a delicate balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 to reduce inflammation, trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and support the formation of ceramides, which are really important oil molecules required to support the barrier function of the skin. This, in turn, will improve the barrier defence systems of the skin as well as and the many conditions and disorders that can be associated with essential fatty acid deficiency.
4.Is drinking more water during pregnancy really necessary?
Yes! Increase your water intake! When you’re pregnant, you need more water than the average person in order to form the correct ratio of amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, carry nutrients, enhance digestion and flush out toxins. For every 25kg, you must drink on average 1 litre of water, however, when you’re pregnant this number increases as you’re not just supporting one human being anymore, but two! Lacking in free-flowing water within the skin will reduce the barrier defence systems and promote a myriad of problems such as lipid-dryness, a build-up of redundant skin cells, congestion and inflammatory skin conditions.
Did you know that lacking in water can lead to bodily fluid retention? Oddly enough, fluid retention can be a direct result from not drinking enough water. Your body will sense it is becoming “dehydrated” and will be inclined to hang onto the little fluid it has. Moral of the story here ladies, DRINK MORE WATER!
5.What can I do about stretch marks during and post pregnancy?
Stretch marks or “striae distensae” is a direct result of the dermal connective tissue stretching due to your body’s anatomy changing in order to make room for your developing baby. Given that stretch marks are a dermal disorder, treatment can be very challenging, however, not impossible but everyone is going to be different with their outcomes. Daily application of DMS (Derma Membrane structure) physiological creams, can help to improve and support the skin’s overall appearance due to its unique formulation to replenish and regenerate from the outside in. Incorporating collagen/elastin supporting actives such as A, B, C, E and Zinc can also help as they work to strengthen and improve the skin’s connective tissue.
Gentle and daily massage is also encouraged to support pliability of the skin’s elasticity to encourage less stiffness and rigidity. The use of dermaviduals DMS Massage Cream, Massage Oil or DMS Body Lotion is highly sought after and recommended.
Incorporating gentle home-rolling during the early stages of pregnancy as well as in-clinic Collagen Induction Therapy (skin needling) post pregnancy, can help to breakdown excess scar tissue and encourage the formation of healthy collagen and elastin. This treatment when performed over a given period of time, can work to improve the overall appearance and function of the skin and therefore, reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
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