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Keep Beauty Regimen Safe During Pregnancy, Doctor Advises
Date:4/30/2013

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- For the many pregnant women who are concerned about how beauty products, such as hair dyes and skin creams, will affect their developing baby, an expert offers some advice on what is safe.

"Women face a lot of uncertainty as their bodies change during pregnancy, and many worry about how to look their best," Dr. Mary Rosser, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health at Montefiore Medical Center, said in a Montefiore news release.

"We work hard to separate truth from fiction to put mothers at ease and help them figure out ways to make this special time in their lives consistent with the way they're used to living and looking," Rosser explained.

Women should try to avoid using hair dyes during pregnancy, she advised. Pregnant women who want to color their hair should do so after the first trimester and in a well-ventilated space. Women should tell their hair stylist that they are pregnant and ask them to try to prevent the chemicals from touching their scalp, Rosser noted.

The main concern with hair dyes is breathing the ammonia fumes that could be harmful to the developing baby in the first three months of pregnancy. The fumes in hair straightening products are also an issue, she said.

Highlights are considered safer because the dye is enclosed in foil and won't be absorbed into the skin. Rosser added that vegetable dyes such as henna are likely the safest choice during pregnancy.

Pregnant women can get a standard manicure after the first trimester, when the risk to the developing baby is lower. Check that the instruments have been sterilized and ask the nail technician not to cut the cuticles. This will prevent exposure to germs, according to Rosser, who is also an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, in New York City.

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