Perioral Dermatitis & Pregnancy

Perioral Dermatitis & Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a special experience, however, with your body going through so many changes (and quite quickly), it can also be a confusing and anxious time for some. 

When it comes to pregnancy and your skin, you may experience different skin challenges, but did you know Perioral Dermatitis can be one of the most common?

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

Simply explained, it’s a type of Dermatitis/Eczema rash that generally presents around the mouth area. Although the perioral (mouth) region is the most common area of distribution, it can also affect the periocular (eye) and paranasal (nose) skin. It may also be referred to as periorificial dermatitis. 

What does it look and feel like?

  • A red rash which can be itchy
  • Redness with a feeling of tightness
  • Can look scaly and feel uncomfortable
  • May have some pimple like bumps or tiny pustules
  • Can sometimes have a burning feeling

    What can cause it?

    • In pregnancy - hormonal changes with increases in estrogen
    • Stress
    • Weak epidermal barrier and imbalance in skin microbiome
    • Compromised immune system
    • Heavy creams
    • Prolonged use of steroid creams
    • Toothpaste and chewing gum!

      Did you know?

      It affects more women than men!

      How do you know if it's Perioral Dermatitis?

      Do you have a rash anywhere else on the skin? Perioral Dermatitis or ‘POD’ is contained around the mouth. 

      Basically, your skin has its own little ecosystem and is covered with microorganisms that help to keep your skin balanced and healthy which is called ‘skin microbiome’.  Skin microbiome is different in every person, however the link to Eczema/Dermatitis is possible dysbiosis, meaning an imbalance and too few beneficial bacteria of this important skin flora. Eczema-affected skin may have more bad microorganisms that may take over which affects our all-important skin barrier.

      Skin barrier function is vital to a healthy skin because it keeps our skin protected from pathogens. A skin with a defective skin barrier has small cracks in the ‘bricks and mortar’ foundation of the epidermis, which allows microorganisms to penetrate the epidermis causing an inflammatory response.  

      When pregnant, we recommend;

      • Avoiding the use of heavy thick and occlusive creams and make-up.
      • Putting away steroid creams.
      • Checking ingredient listings for artificial fragrance, perfumes and synthetics
      • Giving harsh exfoliants or “scrubs” or products that contain hydroxy acids a miss.
      • Staying away from Retinoids/Vitamin. 
      • Trying a soap-free gentle cleanser like Bc Refresh Cleanser. This cleanser has natural saponin and phyto-actives to gently but effectively cleanse your skin without stripping or drying, leaving your barrier intact and healthy. 
      • Investing in BL Nourish Lip Serum which is free from any synthetics and helps to soothe and hydrate the lip area.
      • Washing your pillowcase frequently.
      • Putting away any heavy make-up.
      • Making an appointment with your GP or health practitioner for best recommendations whilst pregnant.
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