Rosacea is not considered serious during pregnancy, and will not harm either the mother or the developing fetus.
However, it can still be very problematic as it often causes a significant loss of self esteem in the sufferer, who may be embarrassed about the effect it has on their appearance.
How Does Pregnancy Effect Rosacea?
Some rosacea sufferers believe that pregnancy can trigger the condition, but at present there is very little scientific evidence to back this up. Instead, most doctors would argue that the first appearance during pregnancy is a mere coincidence.
The most common age for pregnancy also happens to be the peak period for the first onset of rosacea, and women are far more likely to be affected than men. What is more certain is that pregnancy can exacerbate the condition in somebody who already has rosacea. This is predominantly due to three elements, all of which are known to be rosacea triggers:
- Hormonal changes
- Strain on the body
Hormonal changes can make the skin more sensitive. People who are prone to eczema may notice more contact dermatitis, people with acne develop more pustules, and those who suffer from rosacea may find that their skin becomes red, sore and more prone to reactions.
If you are particularly sensitive to hormonal fluctuations then you will most likely find that your rosacea is at its worst in the first trimester.
Even if the pregnancy was planned and very much wanted, it can still be a very stressful time. It is natural to worry about the effect that a new baby will have on the relationship with the baby’s father, the household finances and numerous other aspects of daily life.
In addition to this, the physical strain of pregnancy, particularly if the mother is suffering from morning sickness, can have a detrimental impact on the ability to function normally. All of these factors can combine to make the woman more stressed, which will often cause a severe flare up of the rosacea.
Finally, the physical demands of pregnancy can exacerbate skin conditions. There is a strong correlation between strenuous activity and rosacea flare ups, which mean that women are more likely to notice a deterioration in the condition of their skin in the second and third trimesters when the fetus is putting the greatest demands on the body.
What Treatments Are Safe During Pregnancy?
Instead, bathe your eyelids in the morning and last thing at night with warm water to keep them clean and free of infection. You may need to see an eye specialist throughout your pregnancy.
Ideally, you should also try to avoid creams and gels for at least the first trimester, and you must consult your doctor before continuing with your usual rosacea treatment. Certain medications, such as retinoids, are not safe at all for use during pregnancy because they contain high levels of vitamin A, which has been linked with birth defects. Your doctor will be able to prescribe a safer alternative if you feel that medication is necessary.
Rosacea can cause skin irritation, and this is best treated with natural skin care products such as aloe vera. This is an astringent with proven healing properties, and it is very gentle on the skin.
If the redness is very noticeable then you may also want to try applying tea tree oil twice a day to reduce the inflammation.
Discontinue use of the tea tree oil if the inflammation seems to worsen, as a small number of people find that they are sensitive to the ingredient and it can cause irritation.
Make looking after yourself a priority during pregnancy, as this can reduce the need for rosacea treatments. In particular, it is important to eat well, take regular exercise and look for ways to minimize stress. The healthier you are, the less likely it is that your rosacea will be a problem. Rosacea can seriously affect how you feel about your looks. If it becomes an issue during pregnancy, speak to your doctor for advice.