Looking Your Best During Pregnancy: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Beauty Questions

Can I Get a Tattoo or Piercing While I'm Pregnant?

Tattoo ink isn't likely to pose a threat to your developing baby; however, pregnant women are generally advised to avoid getting inked. The main concern is the possibility of infection from a new tattoo, which could cause several problems for a pregnant woman. If you already have tattoos, they shouldn't be affected by pregnancy, other than becoming distorted if they're on areas that are expanding, such as your stomach or breasts.
You should also hold off on getting any piercings on your belly button, nipples, or genital area. The changes that occur in these body parts during pregnancy could interfere with healing, increasing your risk for infection. You probably won't need to remove existing piercings unless they become uncomfortable. Your healthcare provider might also have you remove any piercings that could get in the way of medical procedures. For example, you may have to take out your belly button ring if you're going to have a C-section.

How Can I Get Rid of Skin Tags?

You might notice little loose growths of skin cropping up in unusual places during the second half of pregnancy. These annoying skin growths are known as skin tags. The most common places for them to develop are the face, neck, underarms, and under the breast.
Skin tags are perfectly harmless, and may or may not go away after pregnancy. If they become irritated, which can happen if they're rubbed by clothing, you can try putting an adhesive bandage over them. If the skin tags don't disappear after delivery and are bothersome, you can talk to your healthcare provider about ways to permanently remove them.

What's With All These Visible Veins?

All that increased blood flow to your baby can cause a couple of different vascular (vein) problems. One of these, known as spider veins, appears as tiny, reddish blood vessels that branch outward. They're most common around the eyes and on the face, neck, upper chest, arms, and hands.
Spider veins usually appear in months two to five of pregnancy. Sorry, fair-skinned women -- your risk of developing spider veins is higher than that of women with darker skin. And it's likely your genes will play a role as well, so if your mom had spider veins when she was pregnant, you are more likely to develop them too. But don't fret too much -- despite their unpleasant name, spider veins are completely harmless and usually fade within three months after giving birth. If not, laser treatment can help get rid of them.
Varicose veins are another common pregnancy concern. These large, swollen, purplish veins usually show up on the legs, and are much more noticeable than spider veins. They happen when the weight of your expanding uterus slows down the blood flow in the lower half of your body, causing your veins to swell. Even though they're unsightly, like spider veins, they're normally completely harmless. Some women do find them uncomfortable, however.
Unfortunately, you're more likely to get varicose veins if you have a family history of them. While you might not be able to prevent them completely, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your symptoms. Some tips for keeping varicose veins to a minimum include:
  • Keeping your blood flowing by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Exercising, such as walking, to keep your blood circulating
  • Keeping your legs elevated when seated
  • Wearing support hose, which can help support the veins in your legs
  • Sleeping on your left side
  • Gaining only the recommended amount of weight.
In many cases, varicose veins will subside after pregnancy. If not, there are ways to have them medically treated. However, you should wait at least three to six months after giving birth to give them a chance to go away on their own.
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