Now pregnancy can make your skin dull, acne prone and lose out all its glow, and with it your sanity as well. Some women say that ‘pregnancy glow‘ is all but a myth, while some women glow in all their glory during pregnancy. With hormones, anything is possible. So how do you maintain your skin during pregnancy? If facials and chemical peels are what come to your mind, then let us discuss why chemical peels are not such a good idea during pregnancy.
- What Are Chemical Peels?
- Why Are Chemical Peels Unsafe During Pregnancy?
- Are All Peels Unsafe During Pregnancy?
What Are Chemical Peels?
A chemical peel refers to the application of a chemical on the skin, usually face. The chemical results in the peeling off of the top layer of the skin and the new layer of skin usually appears better – it has fewer wrinkles, it has fewer blemishes, the sun tan gets reduced and it looks smoother. Basically, you end up shunning a layer of skin, the topmost one. The chemical used usually varies depending on your need – there is one for acne removal, one for tan removal, one for youthful skin, one for pigment reduction and so on.
Why Are Chemical Peels Unsafe During Pregnancy?
When the chemical is applied to the skin, there are chances of the chemical penetrating deeper than the first layer of skin which it is supposed to peel off. If it penetrates deeper, there is a chance of it entering the bloodstream. Once it enters the bloodstream, there is a high possibility of it reaching the baby in the womb through the placenta. Exposure to such chemicals might prove harmful to your baby.
Not just for your baby, chemical peels are not a good idea for your skin as well during pregnancy and lactation, for the following reasons:
- It will not help: You have a hormonal circus happening in your body now. Whatever treatments you do at skin level will usually have no impact because as long as your hormones are having a party inside, your skin conditions will not remain regular. Unless your hormones settle down, external skin treatments will have little or no effect
- It can worsen problems: In certain cases, chemical peels can increase the pigmentation in a pregnant woman’s skin rather than decreasing it, again all thanks to the hormones that respond differently during pregnancy
- It will not solve pregnancy-related skin problems: Some women get a lot of acne during pregnancy. A chemical peel will not help here because the underlying hormones that caused the acne in the first place will remain rampant throughout the pregnancy and the acne will reoccur
- It can lead to miscarriage: Some of the stronger chemical peels require administration of anesthesia which can be dangerous for your baby and can cause miscarriage
- It can cause new problems: Sometimes, women get viral infections like herpes after a chemical peel, which is an unfavorable situation
- It can cause redness in skin: If the peel is strong, then it can lead to severe redness and scarring of the skin. These are temporary, but hey, did you not get a peel to look better and not worse?
So in essence, the chemical peels do not help during pregnancy and appear to do more harm than good.
Are All Peels Unsafe During Pregnancy?
If you can hold it off, we recommend you to avoid all kinds of chemical peels during the period of your pregnancy and breastfeeding. But if you have to get a peel, then there are some peels that are considered safe during pregnancies because they are not harsh or strong. These are hydroxyl acid peels, which includes lactic acid peel, fruit peels and glycolic peels. They will stay on your skin only for five minutes and hence do not cause any harm to your baby. However, it is doubtful if it will help you much as your skin continues to behave erratically (glow one day, dull the next), thanks to the hormones.
Any peel that contains salicylic acid should be a big no. This is a common peel to reduce acne and pigmentation. It is a stronger chemical that can penetrate the skin and cross the amniotic sac and reach the baby. Similarly, other stronger peels and peels that require administration of anesthesia should be avoided.
The best option is to not go for a peel during pregnancy. Your skin should not be your top priority here. It should be your health, your pregnancy’s health and the unborn baby’s health. Even though lighter peels are ok, you should still talk with your doctor before opting for it. Chances are your doctor will also advise you against it as there is no point in taking an unnecessary risk.
Many of you might have signed up and paid for several sittings of chemical peel sessions and this could be what is bothering you. You can always talk to the salon about your pregnancy and chances are they will be ready to continue your session after you complete your child’s birth.
For now, we are hoping your pregnancy glow will make you forget the need for a chemical peel!