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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Skin Changes That Come with Motherhood

I have been close friends with Claire since we were in elementary school. She's one of those people who I've always looked up to and who has just the nicest, purest heart. She's guest posting for me today about a topic that we can ALL relate to: OUR SKIN! Whew I know mine has changed in different ways with each pregnancy and I appreciate knowing I'm not alone!

(Since she does mention our teenage friendship I couldn't resist the opportunity to post this little gem of us! ha!)

*****

Congratulations! You're pregnant! You are officially on the way to becoming a mother. 

People will start to notice that special glow, which may or may not be, sweat glistening from your brow after spending the morning hugging the toilet. Don't get me wrong: I loved being pregnant. I had morning sickness well into my second trimester, but I still loved it.


This is me at 38 weeks pregnant with my little boy, Wright. He was born just before Christmas weighing 8lbs. 3oz. Motherhood has been amazing to me.

It is an awesome gift to bring another life into this world, but with it comes definite changes in our bodies. Because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, nothing is quite the same.
One of the most common skin conditions during pregnancy is called Melasma. Did you know that nearly 50% of women show some sign of melasma during pregnancy? This hyper-pigmentation of the skin is caused by hormonal changes: the overproduction of melanin. It appears as brown patches on the cheek, upper lip and forehead and does not always disappear spontaneously after birth.

I did not experience this personally, but I did watch several of my friends deal with it. Strict daily sun protection during pregnancy is your best defense for preventing melasma. If you experience this or know someone who does, a pigment-fading treatment with a medication called hydroquinone is quite effective, but should be delayed until delivery and nursing are behind you.




While I didn't experience Melasma, I did get to feel like I was fourteen again with acne that rivaled my face during puberty. Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin that occurs inside a pore- the passageway from the bottom of the hair follicle to the skin’s surface. Pores become clogged from dead skin cells and oil which then produces bacteria that results in swelling and inflammation.

I struggled most of my life with it. I remember one weekend with Emily at her dad's house in Gainesville... To give you more perspective, we were about thirteen and your typical Dawson Creek-loving, Limited Too wearing girls. We were getting ready for bed and I went to brush my teeth and then go to sleep, but Emily got out a kitchen timer and her skincare regimen. I thought she was a little crazy because she bought face wash off an infomercial. I heard about the products she was using, but always figured products on QVC-type programming were gimmicks that cost more than their worth. Fast forward ten years, my acne still plagued me and my dermatologist told me that my last option was Accutane. I used it and it worked, but it was costly and scary. (Your skin becomes incredibly dry, you have to go in for blood work monthly and side effects include depression and birth defects if you become pregnant taking it- yes, a little scary.) I was cured, but years later when I got pregnant, my hormones went into overdrive because my acne came back with a vengeance. They say a girl steals her mother's beauty, but after two boys I am here to say I beg to disagree. After my son arrived, my skin began to heal. Needless to say, now I fully understand that acne can’t be cured, but it CAN be controlled. Let’s clear up some myths about acne real quick…

MYTH: I have acne because I don’t wash my face enough.
TRUTH: You actually may be washing your face too much causing oil to rebound. Mostly though, acne is caused by internal, not external factors.

MYTH: Sunshine clears up acne.
TRUTH: Yes, a tan may briefly mask some redness and inflammation and dry oily skin; however, sun exposure actually damages the skin and makes your acne likely to leave a pigmented mark.

MYTH: Acne is a rite of passage that everyone experiences.
TRUTH: Regardless of age, acne is very treatable and no one should have to suffer through it.




So after the pregnancy and birth, you have this precious child. They are perfect in their own way and their skin is so soft! Like us, their skin can change quickly as it acclimates to their new, dry climate. Babies can experience acne also, but remember to always resist the urge to squeeze any visible bumps. The good news for them is that baby acne is usually temporary and only lasts for the first few months.

One of the main skin conditions that infants and children suffer from is eczema, aka atopic dermatitis. It is characterized by a sometimes patchy red rash that is itchy, scaly or blistered. Moisture from the skin is lost and skin appears dry and is more prone to infection. It is typically found in the folds of elbows and knees. As a mother, all you want to do is take away any hurt or pain your child feels. Eczema can be mild or miserable for some families. One of the first things you can do for your child is to decrease bathing because water can actually further dry the skin. Also, make sure to use soap-free cleansers on the skin and gently towel off without water. For severe eczema, your physician may recommend antihistamines, steroids or antibiotics.



So back to my friend Emily and her fancy infomercial skincare…at 13 I didn’t understand. In my mind, I thought that the more products I put on my face that the worse it would get because of my oily, acne prone skin. I didn’t understand multi-med therapy; I’m not Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields. These two women entrepreneurs brought the world of dermatology out of a doctor’s office and into our homes with Proactiv®. This product was introduced in 1995 and now everyone has heard of it. Proactiv® DOMINATES the Acne Market (owning over 80%) and is sold in 118 Countries.



So, why would they start another company? Both doctors still serve clients in the San Francisco area, but they were noticing other prominent skin conditions that needed treatment. Why not transform the skincare market to bring anti-aging premium products into the homes of people just like you and me? That’s exactly what they did when they left Nordstrom department stores and partnered with stay at home moms, lawyers, actors, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs all alike.

They created four main regimens to combat anti-aging with Unblemish, Soothe, Reverse and Redefine.


As a mother of two boys and a pediatric ICU nurse, I feel busy, so why on earth would I partner with the doctors to “sell skincare?” First, I believe God was calling me to give more generously of my time and money. I didn’t want another job. I could work overtime at the hospital but that didn’t give me more time with my family.

I didn’t believe that a company like this could be this good. I hate selling things-I get awkward and uncomfortable. So I don’t… It’s like when you read an amazing book or eat at an unbelievable restaurant- you tell people about it because it’s SO good. And, they try it because they trust you and see for themselves what they think. This company gives you 60 days- try it and LOVE it, or don’t and get your money back. Now, I am a part-time nurse and giving back to my family and others.

If you can’t look in the mirror, WITHOUT MAKEUP, and say that you love your skin, we need to talk. I would love to share with you what these products have done for my family and me. If you want to see what the doctors recommend for you, click on this link: Rodan and Fields Skin Solutions

The first four people who check their results by clicking the link above and send the results to themselves through email will get a mini-facial featuring three of our most popular products!

So, why not try? I always wanted to be someone who could feel confident in my own skin and now I can say that I love the way my skin looks and feels WITHOUT make-up on. Just give me 60 days…

Claire



As a disclaimer, I am not a doctor and do not claim to dispense medical advice. My sources for information include Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change by Katie Rodan, MD and Kathy Fields,  MD.


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