Pregnancy brings about numerous physical and physiological changes in the woman’s body. If you are pregnant or are planning to conceive, you might be overly cautious about the quantity of food you eat and the types of medications you consume before and after conception.
Although you give excess importance to what goes inside your body, not many women pay enough importance to topical usage of several drugs and ointments that could also hinder the fetal development.
Effect of Gels/ Creams/Ointments
Gels, creams and ointments used on the skin get partially absorbed inside the skin membranes. In some cases, these chemicals have the ability to get absorbed into the blood stream too. When pregnant, these chemicals can directly interfere with the fetal circulatory system, bringing about drastic and dangerous effects on the developing fetus.
Although the placenta acts as a natural barrier and prevents microorganisms like bacteria, virus and other foreign substances to pass from maternal blood to fetal blood, certain chemicals may sneak in through the placenta and enter the fetal circulatory system directly. Therefore, it is absolutely mandatory for you to check the type of ingredients used in such medications and consult your doctor before using them topically or otherwise.
Benzoyl Peroxide for Treating Acne
Benzoyl peroxide is the most common ingredient in acne creams, gels and teeth whiteners. This chemical mainly acts as a bleaching agent and is extremely effective in removing acne, a skin problem experienced by many women during pregnancy.
What causes Acne during Pregnancy?
The cause for developing severe acne during pregnancy is attributed to the numerous hormonal changes that take place within the body after conception. An overproduction of several hormones leads to hyper activity of sebaceous glands, leading to several skin problems, the most common of them being acne.
Action of Benzoyl Peroxide
It is important to understand that benzoyl peroxide does not give instant results and make your skin blemish free in a short period. It is only effective when used for a long period of time. Benzoyl peroxide acts by killing the bacteria present on the skin. It also acts as a bleaching agent, bringing about skin whitening effects. Since there are very limited studies to portray the effect of this chemical on pregnant women, it is not absolutely certain whether this drug gets absorbed into the skin, in turn contaminating breast milk that could pose health risks to the baby. Although considered safe, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using products that have benzoyl peroxide.
Inform Your Doctor
If you are using any type of topical gel or ointment while pregnant, it is always advisable to enlighten your doctor about the same. Certain chemicals pose potential health risks to the developing fetus. In some cases, this can also lead to abortion or permanent fetal damage. Since benzoyl peroxide is not the primary name of any drug or medication, you have to look out for the list of ingredients used in such medications to find out whether benzoyl peroxide is used or not. You must also check out the concentration of benzoyl peroxide used to ensure that it is present within the safe permissible limits. Remember to ask your doctor concerning the safety of the drug even if you are just using topically on your skin.
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