Pregnancy is a beautiful experience during which a woman nurtures and grows a baby for a period of 9 months. During this time, the body experiences many changes both internally and externally as it turns into a space of nourishment and protection for the growing foetus.
Hormonal fluctuations, stretching of the skin, greater storage of fats, etc can also lead to significant and apparent changes in the skin. While many women often feel self-conscious and mourn the loss of their pre-pregnancy skin, it is important to know that these changes are completely normal and that many women feel the way you do! These issues can be managed during pregnancy and also minimised post-pregnancy.
Avoid comparing how your body reacts to pregnancy as it largely depends on factors beyond your control such as your genetics. Having said that, below are some of the most common skin issues that women face during and post-pregnancy with some simple steps that one can take to manage them-
Often known as "the mask of pregnancy," is a pigmentation disorder that is caused by a combination of hereditary, hormonal factors, as well as due to sun exposure. It shows up as mottled dark spots on the cheekbones, forehead, nasal bridge, upper lips and rarely, over the jawline.
How to Tackle It:
a) Sun protection is the most important step to avoid and prevent the worsening of melasma. Physical protection like opaque umbrellas, wide-rimmed hats, the scarf should be used while stepping out in the sun
b) Use liberal amounts of sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, in the morning, at least 15 minutes before stepping out and repeat it in the afternoon after 3-4 hours. Sunscreen use should not be restricted to only while stepping outdoors or when it's sunny but also while indoors. Remember to use only physical sunscreen during your pregnancy and breastfeeding period.
c) Using skin lightening products that contain kojic acid, glycolic acid and vitamins C, E, and A in lower concentrations can assist to brighten and rejuvenate your complexion.
Stretch marks affect around 90 percent of women at some point in their life, with pregnancy being one of the most prevalent times when this occurs. These marks, reddish-purple scars become white over time and are produced by the damage to its elastic fibres when it is stretched due to weight increase. These are particularly noticeable on the abdomen after delivery.
How to Tackle It:
a) Prevention is better than cure. Start using moisturising lotions containing cocoa butter and Shea Butter during pregnancy itself and continue to post your delivery.
b) Massages will also enhance the elasticity of the skin, however, do take care to do it gently.
c) In the initial stages, the stretch marks are red in colour (striae rubra) and these respond best to treatment, so do visit your dermatologist early.
d) Various cosmetic procedures like lasers, PRP, micro-needling with a derma roller can be done to lighten the scars.
Acne or pimples is caused by an inflammation of the sebaceous glands of the face. While a few women report clearing of their pre-existing acne during pregnancy, others may experience a severe flare. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
How to Tackle It:
a) Always use cosmetics that are non-comedogenic.
b) Increased fluid intake and staying hydrated may help your acne naturally.
c) Remember to remove makeup before bedtime and avoid frequently touching your face.
d) Products containing benzoyl peroxide may be used to penetrate clogged pores and remove pollutants; it is also safe to use during and after breastfeeding.
e) Although products containing retinol are great for acne treatment, they are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common yet non-infectious skin condition that will not transmit to the infant. It's usually the result of an underlying sensitive skin disease that's been there for a while. Hand eczema has become quite common of late due to frequent hand washing with harsh soaps and hand sanitisers.
How to Tackle It:
a) Use a mild soap with a skin-friendly pH.
b) Gently pat dry the skin after each wash and apply a moisturising cream immediately which helps to lock in the moisture content of the skin.
c) Topical steroid creams are used to treat severe eczemas, however, they should always be prescribed by a dermatologist after careful evaluation and never be taken OTC from pharmacies. They are safe during pregnancy and lactation.
d) Do not wear anything too tight or shape-fitting. Tight clothes may trap the heat and make the skin irritable. Better to pick natural fabrics, like cotton.
The most common pregnancy rash is PUPPPs, or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. These itchy, red spots appear around stretch marks and can spread to the arms, legs, and buttocks. They generally appear at the end of pregnancy, when the tummy is stretched the most.
How to Tackle It:
a) Try applying something cold to your rash to receive some relief. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes or cover the rash with a cold, damp cloth.
b) Have lukewarm water baths as very hot water dries the skin and aggravates the itching
c) Keep the skin moisturised with a good moisturiser or coconut oil.
d) Visit your dermatologist who will further guide you on use of safe treatment options during pregnancy and lactation.(Dr. Swathi Shivakumar, Consultant Dermatologist, Aster RV Hospital, JP Nagar, Bengaluru)
Read More► Skincare Tips for New Mothers and Their Babies
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. With the baby keeping you busy all day and night, your skincare takes a backseat. It's not always changing in skin texture and looks post-pregnancy are a bad thing, but not taking care of your skin may lead to acne, melasma, stretch marks, puffy eyes, and even dark circles.
Here we are sharing simple and easy tips for you to follow, to get a glowing post-pregnancy.
As you sleep, your skin goes through a renewal cycle, by dispensing toxins and debris. So you only need a light-textured cleanser to wash your face with a face wash that is suitable for your skin type.
Take steam for 2-3 days a week, it will help you to open up your clogged pores.
Scrub & Face Pack
Use a face scrub, to remove the dead skin cells, scrub your face for like 5 minutes and wash it with normal tap water. It will help you to make your skin softer and radiant, leave the mask until it dries off.
Toner & Moisturizer
Apply toner to your face, look for clarifying toners that rebalance your pH to maintain the pH value of your skin. In the end, you only have to moisturize your face, to give hydration.
Steal Baby Products
Baby products are always mild in nature so that the baby's sensitive skin doesn't have to compromise. They are created to lock moisture in babies skin. So, you can also use them. Whether it's a body oil, lotion or cream, apply some on your skin every time you're applying them on your baby. If you do this, you can flaunt your skin, this way, you don't have to dedicate a specific time every day for your skincare.
Keep All Skincare Needs in One Place
Organize all your skincare products in one place, this organization will help you way much better than anything. Make use of your "me time" and devote it properly to pamper yourself.
Streaming Your Routine
Make a proper timetable, for your week how many days you are going to deep cleanse your skin in a week. If we talk about the baby skincare routine this is important too. As the baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment pollution, high temperature etc. Don't worry there are some simple and easy enough tips. Here, what you should know, with regards to bath, diapering, selecting items and that's just the beginning.
Babies need two to three baths a week in warm, not hot water to stay clean. The initial step to an extraordinary child shower is to track down the ideal temperature. Tip: Fill the bath without any more than 2 to 3 creeps of water. To keep your child from getting cold while you wash them, routinely pour cupfuls of water over their shoulders.
There are a lot of things you'll have to do for your little one when they're an infant, like changing your baby's diaper regularly, cleaning tenderly however completely each time with child wipes. Make the surface saturated yet dry simultaneously as well. There are countless myths around diaper rashes that it is caused because of the usage of diapers. But no, it is due to a lack of attention and knowledge about the correct time to change the diaper. Else it will get worse for your child.
Awareness of Products
Always read the product label before purchasing products for your infant. It's ideal to avoid chemical and alcohol-based products. Use products that are made explicitly for infants.
Newborn babies are so delicate, requiring a lot of care and attention. A single mistake or slip of mind can make things worse. Keep your infant's skin saturated, as well, so consistently have a stockpile of moisturizers around. But excessive oil can cause cradle caps, and dryness can create painful scenarios. If your child is facing such issues you need to consult a certified dermatologist.
Read More► Turn to The Humble Coconut for Skin Care
A very common tip to improve heart health is to exercise regularly. But what form of exercise is best for the heart and how much exercise is too much? There have been several myths about the impact of exercise on the heart, while some sound reasonable, there are many that are inaccurate. One such myth is that one should avoid exercising after a heart attack.
Avoiding exercise for the first few weeks after a heart attack may be advised. However, studies show that supervised exercise helps in improving the outcome for all patients. It is important to note that after a heart attack, one should begin a regular activity program to reduce the chance of additional heart problems. Most patients are provided with a prescription for cardiac rehabilitation which entails an exercise program, diet instruction, educational classes on lifestyle changes and emotional support through a peer support group.
While everyone recovers at a different pace, here are a few guidelines that one may follow to get started:
Consult your doctor before starting exercise. Based on your heart disease, condition, heart function (ejection fraction), rhythm etc. Your doctor will give you an exercise prescription.
It is best to start slow. Once, you get used to walking regularly, you can increase your pace gradually over time. If shortness of breath is felt, it is best to slow down the walking pace.
Exercise should always be done in 3 phases warm-up, peak exercise and cool down, please.
What helps is walking at a moderate pace for the first 10 minutes the first time and each day tries to a few minutes more. At the end of the month aim to walk for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
It is important to keep in mind that one should cool down after finishing the exercise by gradually walking at a slower pace for the last 3 minutes.
If the patient walks outside the house, as a precaution they should walk with someone or in short distances close to home so they do not get too far away.
One should drink a glass of water to prevent dehydration before you start walking.
Choose an exercise or an activity that you enjoy doing. For example, walking, cycling, aerobics, etc.
Doctors' advice should be taken before lifting heavyweights.
Exercise should be done regularly to ensure benefits. 6 days a week of exercise is advisable.
Exercising at the same time daily is important to establish a habit. It also minimizes any variable that may impact the exercise.
If any symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort, palpitation occur and does not go away, one should stop the exercise and notify the doctor.
There are several changes that take place after a heart attack like energy levels and medications. This affects exercise tolerance. Therefore it is important to keep the exercise expectation day to day as one goes through the healing process.
If a patient does not go through cardiac rehabilitation, they should begin with gentle exercise after a heart attack. The amount of exercise that is advised to each patient will depend on how active the patient was before the cardiac event and how severe the event was. Overall, one must keep in mind that they should start exercising as soon as they can after a heart attack to get the energy and strength back.
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<br>People suffering from cardiovascular diseases have had it worse during the ongoing pandemic. Heart patients have been living in the constant fear of sudden deaths and severe infections. Over the past one year, we have witnessed a spike in the number of deaths due to cardiac arrest, post Covid infections. During the second wave, one of the most common aftereffects was sudden deaths due to cardiac arrest post Covid. Therefore, it was advised that people with a history of heart diseases should get themselves vaccinated. Although people believe in myths and misconceptions around Covid-19 vaccines, it is important, especially for heart patients to take the vaccine shot. Hence, it is now imperative to address the following question: are Covid-19 vaccine safe for people with heart conditions?
Some safety concerns or adverse reactions of Covid-19 vaccinations that have arose are guillan-barre syndrome, increased blood clots, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), or anaphylaxis (acute allergic reaction to an antigen). However, what has been documented is that most of the mentioned side-effects tend to show up weeks following vaccination, and not long after it. It has been further witnessed that the <br>side-effects, which have consequential risks appear, most commonly after a month of inoculation. Hence, they can be managed well if diagnosed in time. There are no <br>side-effects that are severely detrimental to our health and well-being.
Moreover, the severe side-effects associated with vaccines are fewer than reported averages across the general population. For example, the risk of developing gullian-barre syndrome is said to be 17 times more likely with general infections in comparison to vaccines.
Additionally, reports suggest that Covid-19 vaccines are not only safe for people with heart diseases, but they are also very important. We are at a point where there is a growing risk of emerging variants, there heart patient being one of the most vulnerable populations in the society need to get their vaccine shots as soon as possible.
If one is still concerned about the safety, they must note that the vaccines are safe for all age groups. Earlier this year, the American Heart Association released a statement urging everyone fitting the eligibility criteria to get their vaccination shots. The statement had particularly mentioned people with cardiovascular risk factors, heart diseases, and heart attack and stroke survivors to get vaccinated as soon as possible since they are at a greater risk from the virus than the vaccine.
However, some common effects to note post vaccination are fever, fatigue, headache, and joint pain. Additionally, pain in the injection site may also be witnessed. Whether a person is healthy or is someone with a pre-existing heart ailment, these side-effects from the vaccine will be the same in everyone. As a heart patient, the symptoms will not differ from others. It is, however, always recommended to consult your doctor and also keep a constant check post vaccination.
It is most important to note that whether a person is healthy or is someone with a heart ailment, getting vaccinated does not mean that one is safe from contracting the virus. Vaccination reduces the chances for hospitalization; however, cases of breakthrough infections have increased in current times with the emergence of new variants. Therefore, physical distancing, wearing a mask, maintaining hand hygiene, and staying at home is extremely important.
Nishith Chandra -- Director, Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla road, New Delhi
(IANSlife can be contacted at [email protected])
Lucknow, Sep 7 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh administered more than 31.67 lakh doses of the Covid-19 vaccination on Monday and crossed the 8-crore mark.Among the districts, Lucknow topped with 1.03 lakh doses administered on Monday. Sitapur (91,553), Prayagraj (82,907), Bareilly (80,598) and Kushinagar (73,039) followed next.The state now has administered the highest number of the Covid vaccines in the country.Health officials stated that the final figure of the doses administered on Monday would increase further as the data upload is completed by Tuesday.Lucknow, on Monday, became the first district in the state to inoculate over 1 lakh people in a single day, since vaccination began on January 16 this year.M.K. Singh, in-charge of vaccination in Lucknow, said: "By 9 p.m., 1,03,143 doses had been administered in Lucknow. No other district has achieved this figure in a single day."The state capital exceeded its target of 86,400 doses for the day by administering 1,03,143 doses, which was the highest in the division and state, according to a press statement by the district administration.--IANSamita/in
Sao Paulo, Sep 6 (IANS) Brazil's health regulator has temporarily suspended the use of over 12.1 million doses of China's Sinovac Covid vaccine over fears of the vials being contaminated, media reports said.Anvisa, the regulator, suspended Sinovac for a period of three months after learning that vials containing the shots were filled at an unauthorised production base, the Washington Post reported. The matter is being investigated.The Butantan Institute, a Sao Paulo based biomedical centre that has partnered with Sinovac to fill the vaccine for local usage, notified Anvisa about the irregularity, the agency said."The manufacturing unit responsible for the filling was not inspected and was not approved by Anvisa," the report quoted Anvisa as saying in a statement, adding: "Thus it is necessary to adopt a temporary measure to avoid the exposure of the population to a possible imminent risk."Anvisa added that it has halted plans to distribute an additional 9 million doses of Sinovac, as they were also filled at a location that was not inspected by the health officials, the report said.The regulator noted that the suspension is precautionary, and not punitive.They aim to aceavoid use of irregular or suspect products," Anvisa said. The lack of information about the environment at the production bases, combined with the need for vaccine shots to be made in strictly aseptic settings, persuaded officials to take the measure, Anvisa said.Meanwhile, Brazil has cancelled deals from vaccine providers in recent weeks including 10 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V and 20 million doses from India's Bharat Biotech, adding to public worries about timely deliveries of second shots for the broader public, the Post reported.Brazil has been the second worst-hit country by the pandemic after the US, with more than 20 million infections and 580,000 deaths.According to official figures, Brazil has fully vaccinated 65.6 million people. Some cities in the country are also providing booster shots of the Covid vaccine, even though most people are yet to receive their second jabs, media reports said.--IANSrvt/arm
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