How a Celebrity Dermatologist Avoids Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Dendy Engelmann, MD is the go-to dermatologist for skin health for the stars. So when she had her own pregnancy, women clamored to know—how did you avoid those dreaded stretch marks? Here are her secrets.
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Healthy mom, healthy baby
During pregnancy, moms focus so much on the arrival of their “bundle of joy” that they may neglect themselves. There are many permanent body changes and beauty surprises that happen during pregnancy—and mom may not be prepared. You can take steps along the way to ease the transition and help get your body back to its pre-birth state. Part of this process is taking steps to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. “My pregnant patients are always asking me, ‘How can I prevent stretch marks?’ in the same breath as ‘What are the safest face products to use during pregnancy?’” says Dendy Engelman, MD, an NYC-based celebrity dermatologist. When she was pregnant with her second baby, she said she was just as concerned about what she was putting on her body as her patients were. We can all learn from her “healthy mom, healthy baby” regimen.
Avoid products deemed unsafe during pregnancy
When it comes to your beauty routine, steer clear of vitamin A derivatives, warns Dr. Engelman. These include retinol and retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and skin lighteners like hydroquinone. Be cautious of oral acne and Lyme disease treatments, too. So, keep an eye on things like Accutane, tetracyclines, doxycycline and minocycline, and chemical sunscreens. The American Academy of Dermatology outlines even more specifics about what acne treatments are potentially safe or unsafe during pregnancy. For example, they note that while certain antibiotics for acne seem safe, some women have given birth to a child with birth defects when taking them. To be sure, ask your doctor and learn more about the ways to prevent birth defects before and during pregnancy. “My clients are usually knowledgeable enough that they stop retinoids as soon as they get the positive pregnancy test, but we forget about some toxic ingredients found in everyday beauty products,” Dr. Engelman says. “Nail polish, deodorant, acne creams, and skincare can have ingredients that could potentially be harmful to an unborn baby.”
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Treat any stretch marks immediately
Get some support during pregnancy
Consider support for after pregnancy
- Dendy Engelman, MD, celebrity dermatologist, Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, Manhattan, NY.
- American Academy of Dermatology: "Is any acne treatment safe to use during pregnancy?"
- The Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. "Management of stretch marks (with a focus on striae rubrae)."