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Cosmetic procedures during pregnancy – should I?

Cosmetic procedures during pregnancy – should I?
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Cosmetic procedures during pregnancy – should I?It is generally accepted that cosmetic procedures should be postponed until the baby is safely on the other side, since the body of a pregnant woman differs in some key ways, potentially increasing the risks treatments pose.

The skin changes during pregnancy, for example pigmentation can change, varicose veins may appear, hair growth patterns may increase, or you may develop acne. Sometimes, skin growths can develop. These might feel like urgent, ugly nuisances, but treating them may come with its own set of complications. On the bright side, many of these pregnancy-induced conditions clear up on their own once the baby is born.

The risks of many cosmetic procedures such as lasers, microdermabrasion and chemical peels during pregnancy are largely unknown. Inflammation of the skin can increase pigmentation, however slower wound healing can delay skin recuperation, and may cause scarring.

Injectables – dermal fillers and neurotoxins – have no known safety profile in pregnant women, but manufacturers state that the products should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In some animal studies, neurotoxin muscle relaxants have caused problems, however so far, women who have discovered they are pregnant after receiving injections have not reported any abnormalities in their babies. No research has been conducted to see if the prescription-only muscle relaxant is excreted in breast milk, and it is also not know how long before attempting conception these products can be used.

Changes in the body that can increase risks

  • More blood
  • More red blood cells
  • Propensity to flush more easily
  • Increased melanin production (by melanocytes)
  • Longer healing times

How long does it take to get back to normal?

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can elongate the time between treatments by a significant amount. After birth, it can take between three and six months for changes to reverse back to normal, but this doesn’t mean it’s safe to leap in with injections or lasers, since we’re just not sure what the impact of this will be if you are still breastfeeding. Every woman is different in how pregnancy has affected the skin, so you will need a personal consultation to address your changing needs.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, but chomping at the bit to get back to your treatments, have a frank discussion with your dermatologist about your options. There may be safe treatments to tide you over.

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