How to properly protect your skin from the sun’s rays during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, protecting the skin from the sun’s rays is crucial not only for the healthy appearance of the skin, but also for the general health of the mother and the unborn child. Excessive sun exposure can lead to problems such as sunburn, hyperpigmentation or even more serious risks such as damage to cellular DNA. Therefore, adopting an adequate sun protection routine is essential.

First of all, choosing a pregnancy-safe solar filter is the basic step. Opt for a product with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 and which offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, make sure the ingredients are safe for use during pregnancy; consulting a doctor or dermatologist can provide clarification in this regard.

The correct application of sun protection cream is equally important. Apply generously to all exposed areas of the skin approximately 15-30 minutes before sun exposure and refresh the application every two hours or more often, especially after swimming or excessive sweating.

Protecting the skin with appropriate clothing and accessories can provide an additional physical barrier against the sun’s rays. Wear wide-brimmed hats and loose clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible.

Avoid direct exposure to the sun during peak hours, i.e. between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, when solar radiation is the most intense. Try to stay in shaded places whenever possible.

Do not forget to pay attention to other aspects of skin health, such as proper hydration and the use of mild cleaning products. Following these simple measures can help you enjoy the sun responsibly and protect the health of your skin and your baby during pregnancy.

Most people enjoy a day at the beach or pool, where the warmth of the sun caresses their cheeks. While a small dose of sunshine provides the vitamin D we need, excess is not beneficial for anyone. And if you are pregnant, the risks increase.

Apart from skin cancer, pregnant women have to consider other risks if they spend too much time in the sun. These include sunburn, dehydration and even depletion of folic acid stores.

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1. The risks of sun exposure
2. Take precautions in the sun
3. Use sunscreen as a last resort
4. Drink enough water
5. Avoid the sun during peak hours
6. Cover your belly
7. Choose a sun protection cream wisely
8. Which sunscreen ingredients are safe?

 

Risks of sun exposure

When you are pregnant, the increased levels of hormones in the body make the skin more sensitive and burn more easily. Your pigment-producing cells are in an accelerated phase, which makes the skin more susceptible to discoloration when exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

Instead of getting a tan, you might have a lot of freckles or even melasma, gray-brown spots often found on the cheeks. Along with the fact that pregnancy changes the immune system, you can understand why the risk of developing skin cancer is increased when you are pregnant, if you do not take precautions.

Exposure to the sun can also lead to the loss of fluids from the body, which can dehydrate you and overheat. This lack of fluids can cause unnecessary stress, which in turn could lead to premature contractions. Moreover, when your body is overheated, your core temperature is increased, which could cause birth defects.

And finally, the sun’s UV rays can break down folic acid in the body, which reduces the chance of birth defects. This is dangerous for the neurological development of your baby, especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Take precautions in the sun

Despite the risks, many people simply cannot avoid exposure to the sun. Do not despair if you are in this situation. As long as you take precautions, you should be fine. Even if you will spend only an hour or two outside, you must be careful and take measures to protect your skin.

Use sunscreen as a last resort

Sunscreen should be the last line of defense against protecting the skin. Instead, cover your body. This includes wearing a hat, sunglasses and light clothing to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Then, apply sunscreen as the last layer of protection.

Drink enough water

Keep your body cool and prevent overheating by drinking plenty of still water. This will also help you stay hydrated.

Remember, you don’t want your core temperature to become elevated. The best way to stay cool if you’re going to be outside is to keep drinking water. You may also want to use a battery powered fan to keep your body cool, especially if it’s an extremely hot day.

Avoid the sun during peak hours

If possible, try to avoid the sun between 11 am and 4 pm. Remember, the sun’s rays are dangerous even for the healthiest people. If you find that you have to be in the sun when the rays are the strongest, try to use an umbrella to protect yourself from the direct rays of the sun.

Cover your belly

Since the protruding belly catches the rays from every angle, there is a greater risk of sunburn. Additionally, if you don’t want the linea nigra, or pregnancy line that runs up and down your belly, to get darker, you may want to cover it up by wearing a one-piece suit or a tankini.

Choose a sun protection cream wisely

The effect of the sun’s UV rays on a person’s skin is well documented. In addition to the potential for skin cancer, these harmful rays can also cause sun spots and premature aging. Therefore, sunscreens are often the best option for blocking these harmful rays.

Typically, sunscreens block UV rays with one of three ingredients – oxybenzone, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Of these, avoid oxybenzone during pregnancy. Unlike zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are on the surface of the skin, oxybenzone is absorbed into the skin and is often used to help other chemicals be absorbed into the skin, and eventually into the bloodstream.

Which sunscreen ingredients are safe?

Treating a sunburn

Just like when choosing sunscreen, be careful what you apply to your skin to treat a sunburn. Many products used to treat sunburn contain lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic that numbs and cools the skin. Unfortunately, it is advisable to avoid products containing this ingredient during pregnancy.

Take a refreshing bath or shower

Remember that your skin hurts because it has been burned and overheated. As a result, you may find short-term relief if you take a cooling bath or take a cold shower. While it won’t eliminate the pain indefinitely, it will provide short-term relief.

Apply aloe vera

Pure aloe vera gel or oil works wonders for sunburn. And if you keep it in the fridge until you need it, it will provide additional relief. You may want to consider purchasing an aloe vera plant and harvesting the oily substance directly from the plant. This plant is not only ideal for treating sunburns, but it is also excellent for any type of burn or skin irritation

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