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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pregnancy Safe Skin Care: What Are My Criteria?
Yesterday I explained all of the new images that I'll be tacking on to some of my product reviews. One of the requested images was regarding pregnancy safety, not at all surprising since I'm the beauty blogging doctor and that is one of my most popular posts. But, given the comments I sometimes get on that post (just this last weekend I had to be reminded by my hubby to not feed the trolls), I wanted to link to this post first explaining my philosophy on this list.
I highly recommend discussing this topic with your OB/GYN if you are currently pregnant, nursing or considering pregnancy in the near future. The last time I checked, ACOG had no official position on this topic. The AAP doesn't either. Most women get this information from their OB/GYN, and that info is based upon what that physician was taught and what they currently know of the topic. As well, this information can change quite a bit based on your doctor's philosophy toward this topic. I urge you to find a physician who has a practice philosophy you are comfortable with and agree with. I wrote these posts for informational purposes only, this is not meant to take the place of your physician's advice.
I am not an obstetrician. I am a pediatrician. So, I look at things from the stand point of a pediatrician. There are some common ingredients in skin care items that have little to no pregnancy safety data in humans. Generally these are regarded as something to avoid or consider avoiding because we just don't know. I put those things on my list. Some physicians don't put them on their list, such as some of the hydroxy acids. Your physician may be more comfortable with the data about that particular ingredient than I was. I was extremely conservative in my recommendations. Again, I'm a pediatrician, so I think about those things first. My OB/GYN was also very conservative regarding these recommendations during my pregnancy.
So, things that made my list are items that are on many other lists. Some are items that I haven't seen on lists, but have heard mention pregnancy as a no-no.
Laser treatments are the classic example of this. Pregnancy is often listed as a contraindication for phototherapy. However, some dermatologists state that lasers are fine, and I can't think of a reason they would harm the baby (no, the baby doesn't need eye protection. Thanks person that was so rude to me via broken english about this recently). In fact, phototherapy has been documented to work and to be safe when used in treatment of many dermatologic disorders during pregnancy. Including treatments of the cervix and vulva. Which is right there next to the baby. Really, the issue is that they haven't been extensively studied for safety during pregnancy. So, they go on the list. (And practically speaking, very few physicians or medi-spas will treat you during pregnancy. Mostly it is included in the list for those people with at home phototherapy devices. Like me. I had to stop when I found out I was going to be a mom.)
Once again, just remember that my recommendations are conservative. They meshed well with the philosophy of my own OB/GYN when I was pregnant. Your own OB/GYN may or may not agree with these recommendations. That does not mean that your physician is ill informed or that I'm lying about having gone to medical school and being a pediatrician. It just means that we have different philosophies. Your job is to take the info and decided which recommendations you are most comfortable with following. Make sure you have a physician treating you that you can discuss these things with and who has a practice philosophy that meshes well with your own.
Having said all of that, you'll start seeing this on skin care reviews:
That will tell you if the product is ok for pregnancy according to what I followed when I was pregnant, you can read more about it in this post about topical ingredients to avoid during pregnancy. If you're looking for some products that you can use, here is info on skin care to use while pregnant.
I hope that helps!