Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
Pregnancy and dandruff go hand in hand for some women, much to their dismay. Instead of feeling the expected glow of pregnancy, they find their skin has become uncomfortably dry, thanks to the normal hormonal fluctuations brought on by pregnancy. This condition also extends to the scalp, and a dry scalp can cause scales and dandruff. The relationship between pregnancy and dandruff, while normal, need not spoil the pregnancy experience. Certain anti-dandruff shampoos can help, although some anti-dandruff shampoos on the market should be avoided during pregnancy, due to concerns about the effects on the developing fetus.
Anti-dandruff shampoos containing selenium sulfide can be safely used by pregnant women to treat dandruff.
Anti-dandruff shampoos that contain the active ingredient selenium sulfide are considered safe for use on the scalp by pregnant women. The use of selenium sulfide on other parts of the body, however, is discouraged because the body can absorb the ingredient through the skin. Considered generally safe, selenium sulfide has side effects, including oiliness and dryness of the skin, as well as irritation. Use of these types of shampoos can be continued after pregnancy concerns and dandruff have subsided, as there have been no reports of medical concerns regarding breastfeeding.
Pregnant women should avoid any product that contains ketoconazole.
Experts recommend that women who are concerned about pregnancy issues and dandruff avoid coal tar, which is contained in some anti-dandruff shampoos. Pregnant women should also avoid applying a coal tar product or medication to the skin to treat psoriasis. Coal tar and pregnancy studies have not been conducted, but coal tar is known to negatively affect cell turnover.
An ingredient in some soaps and shampoos, zinc pyrithione is considered safe for use by pregnant women.
Zinc pyrithione is a popular dandruff-fighting ingredient in some shampoos. This ingredient is also found in soaps used to treat an inflammatory condition, seborrheic dermatitis. It is considered safe for use by pregnant women, although it can be irritating to the skin.
Some shampoos contain an antifungal ingredient called ketoconazole. Pregnant women should probably stay away from this ingredient because fetal safety may be a concern, but more studies are needed to confirm this. Women who wish to use a shampoo that contains ketoconazole should consult their doctors and together they can determine whether the risk is worth the possible benefit. Ketoconazole adversely affects the membranes of yeast and fungi by trying to kill them.
Hormones during pregnancy can cause skin and body changes, including dandruff.
Hormones during pregnancy can cause many changes to the skin and body. Women don’t have to suffer from these problems and irritations. Often, a conversation with your doctors is all it takes to find an acceptable solution that harms neither the mother nor the baby. Sometimes there are other causes of dandruff that can be investigated or ruled out.