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What Facial Treatments are Safe During Pregnancy?

Many women opt to start use of Botox and other anti-aging treatments in early adulthood, as preventative measures. For women of child-bearing age, questions arise during pregnancy and breastfeeding — mainly, are these treatments safe? 

Can I get Botox during pregnancy?

Botox and other dermal fillers have not been tested for safety in pregnant and lactating women. Therefore, general consensus is conservative: avoid if pregnant or nursing.

For Botox in particular, animal studies have been done, and the results were sobering. Botox injected into pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits caused their babies to be born with low birth weight, improperly developed bones, or not at all. But, it is important to note: 1) Rats and humans are quite different and we can’t automatically apply the same results across species; 2) The amounts and frequency of Botox injections that caused harm in the animal studies were far greater and more frequent than what is typically used in humans. 

A limited survey of physicians in 2006 indicated that Botox may be relatively safe in pregnancy. And still today, some physicians will concede that since only a small amount of dermal filler is used, since it tends to stay localized around the injection site, and since it is not injected into a vein, it is unlikely that it can reach an unborn baby through the bloodstream to cause it harm.

So, if you happened to get Botox before you realized you were pregnant, or just before you conceived, don’t panic — the risk of complications is low. But it is not advised to continue during your pregnancy. 

As with all questions about your health, please talk to your doctor to discuss risks and benefits for your particular case, especially if you used Botox for a medical reason prior to becoming pregnant.

Can I get chemical peels or facials while pregnant?

Not all chemical peels are considered safe during pregnancy. You will want to avoid peels containing salicylic acid, which has been shown to cause birth defects or pregnancy complications in high concentrations. 

Since strong chemical peels have the potential to penetrate the deeper levels of your skin and enter the bloodstream, the general consensus is that you should avoid strong peels while pregnant.

It’s also worth noting: your skin becomes a different creature when you’re pregnant! The flood of hormones in your body causes your skin to react differently. The same chemical peel that worked wonders in the past may have unpredictable results at this time in your life. The peel can be completely ineffective, or it could even cause or worsen hyperpigmentation.

Despite this, if you still want to treat your skin while pregnant, opt for a light peel containing glycolic, lactic, or azelaic acid, which are considered safer acids. A basic facial is a nice treat, too! Just be sure to let the aesthetician know that you are pregnant, so you can make sure there are no potentially harmful ingredients used.

Is microneedling safe during pregnancy?

Microneedling is generally considered safe during pregnancy, particularly if using shallow needles, but doesn’t come without risks. Through the process of creating micro-tears in the skin, microneedling introduces an increased risk of infection. Additionally, the skin’s healing process that microneedling stimulates uses nutrients and vitamins that would theoretically take away from the development of the baby. For these reasons, many practitioners will not perform microneedling on pregnant women. 

Some have seen positive results after pregnancy with microneedling helping to get rid of melasma, the buildup of pigmentation in the skin that commonly occurs during pregnancy.

Pregnant? We’d still love to see you!

Here at Hawaii Blue, we do not treat pregnant or lactating women with Botox or dermal fillers. It’s safest not to have any Botox or filler until you have had the baby and are no longer breastfeeding. 

The following procedures at Hawaii Blue are considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women:

  • Nanoneedling
  • Our .6mm Dermastamp (The formula in our dermastamp can be customized to contain no Botox or filler. We’d use a solution safe for pregnant women.)

Our other skincare procedures require the face to be numbed before treatment and that is not safe for the baby. The above treatments go superficially on the dermis, so numbing is not needed.

We also have an amazing amount of medical grade skin care products available in house that can keep your skin looking its best during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. They are completely safe and the results are quite dramatic.

Pregnancy affects every woman’s body differently. For some, the surge of hormones causes frustrating problems with acne and pigmentation. For others, that delightful “pregnancy glow” means you have the best skin of your life during this time! And others fall somewhere in between.

Regardless of your skin condition, if you are pregnant or nursing and have questions about what we can do for your skin, contact us today or just schedule a free consultation at our med spa in Newport News, VA. We’re here for you!