Rosacea During Pregnancy
Generations ago, pregnant women were unaware of the dangerous impact that the foods they ate, the medications they took, and the environment they were exposed to could have on their pregnancies. By contrast, there is an enormous amount of information available today to make sure that women’s bodies are well set-up for pregnancy.
Having this information helps tremendously with protecting the unborn from toxins. Women with Rosacea have special considerations; for those who have already been diagnosed prior to getting pregnant, they have to determine whether any medication they’re taking could have a negative impact on their ability to get pregnant, or could harm the baby they are trying to conceive. For women who develop Rosacea during pregnancy, they are not only faced with learning about a new illness in the midst of their pregnancy, but are also unable to avail themselves of many of the available treatments.
Many women have their first outbreak of Rosacea during their pregnancy. This can be particularly distracting for the mother, who already has enough on her mind, and is now faced with a condition that she learns she may have with her for the rest of her life. It is unclear whether Rosacea appears during pregnancy because of stress, because of a hormonal trigger or if its appearance is coincidental. There is a specific, rare form of Rosacea called rosacea fulminans that has been definitively linked to pregnancy. Rosacea fulminans is the most extreme form of rosacea. Fortunately, this condition can be safely treated with corticosteroids and does tend to disappear within six months of delivery.
If you have already been diagnosed with Rosacea and are planning to have a baby, it is a good idea to discuss treatment options with both your dermatologist and your ob/gyn practitioner before you try to get pregnant so that both can advise you – be sure to give them both some time, as they both may need to do research; although we assume that doctors know everything about every medicine, dermatologists do not specialize in pregnancy, and obstetricians know little about skin medications. Topical treatments such as metronidazole and azelaic acid are generally considered to be safe for continued use because only small amounts are used and they are minimally absorbed, but check with your doctor to be sure. Oral medications require extreme caution, and isotretinoin (Accutane) is definitely known to cause birth defects, so be sure to stop this medication completely before conception and throughout your pregnancy. Treatments that pregnant women turn to as replacements for existing medical regimens include the light and laser therapy and red light therapy.
Many women choose to exercise an abundance of caution during pregnancy and discontinue all medications. For those women, stress-relief techniques such as meditation, pregnancy massage and yoga have proven particularly beneficial. There are also many natural ointments and topical treatments that seem to help, including tea tree oil, cucumbers (both as food and in a crème form that can be applied to the face), golden chrysanthemum cream and an ointment made of licorice. Many women recommend the use of Cetaphil cleanser during pregnancy to provide cooling relief, while others make themselves masks made of oatmeal. Regardless of whether you choose to use any of these, be sure to drink plenty of water, as staying hydrated is good for your skin and for your body, and for your baby too.
The good news is that many women find that the pregnancy hormones coursing through their body provide them with a relief from their symptoms – in fact some women with Rosacea say that their skin has never looked as good as it did when they were pregnant. For others whose symptoms get worse, take comfort in the knowledge that many people assume that the redness in your cheeks is just a ‘pregnancy glow’, and bear in mind that there is an end in sight, and it includes life with your new baby.