As summer approaches, women who are pregnant may become especially uncomfortable, experiencing itching and heat rash. Read on to learn a few tricks to soothe your skin.
ONE OUT OF FIVE WOMEN experiences a skin change or problem during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy during the summer months may distress your skin in two ways. Heat, sun, and humidity are naturally irritating to some sensitive skin types, and pregnancy brings its own host of skin aggravations, from hives to stretch marks.
SUMMER SKIN PROBLEMS
When you’re pregnant, your body may react more dramatically to things that have previously caused only mild irritation. Autoimmune problems that lead to skin irritation may flare up, too. As a result, you may experience:
Summer heat also may deprive stretched, already dry skin of moisture. As skin becomes drier, it may itch and develop a rash.
Many women are more susceptible to sun-related discoloration when they are pregnant. This is because the body’s pigment-producing cells are extra active already, and sun brings out the melatonin in skin. The one-two punch may result in dark patches. Sunburn, in addition to being harmful to your skin, can raise your body temperature, affecting baby’s environment, too.
Staying cool and out of the sun are the best ways to protect your skin in summer. Wear loose-fitting clothes that cover much of the body without trapping heat. Use sunscreen that protects against ultraviolet A and B rays, but be cautious: Sunscreen containing oil can aggravate acne.
When possible, avoid strong soaps, using small amounts of the mildest variety. Your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter antihistamine to help with dermatitis, hives, and eczema flare-ups.
ASK FOR HELP
When do you need help for a summer skin problem? Generally, light sunburn, mild acne, and other similar conditions can be treated by staying cool and gently cleansing the affected area. If you have a sunburn that’s making you feverish, see a healthcare provider right away. For any irritating skin condition that doesn’t resolve itself, consult your doctor to find a remedy that’s safe for you and your baby.