Your board-certified dermatologists at Skin Associates of South Florida carefully consider all the implications of any cosmetic procedure we perform. One of the factors we take into consideration is the safety of any service we offer our pregnant and lactating patients.
Cosmetic procedures in pregnant women – A new report just out from the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology confirms our own research into the safety of common dermatologic procedures. The report sought to consolidate data on the safety of numerous procedures that women typically seek from their dermatologists.
Here are their conclusions regarding cosmetic procedures in pregnant women:
They found that minor procedures such as shave and punch biopsiesand electrocautery are considered safe. In the area of chemical peels, glycolic and lactic acid peels are safe; however trichloracetic and salicylic acid peels should be used with caution or avoided altogether. The latter do appear safe in small doses, such as when used for wart removal.
While full data on the use of botulinum toxin is lacking, the report’s authors feel it may be safe because absorption of botulinum toxin A is not systemic (i.e., it does not migrate easily from the injection site), nor does it transfer easily through the placenta. Nevertheless, your dermatologists at Skin Associates would recommend you avoid elective cosmetic procedures until more is known.
Sclerotherapy (treatment of varicose veins) is generally regarded as safe during pregnancy, but must be avoided in the first trimester and after week 36. Despite this, our physicians recommend waiting to treat leg veins until patients are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding.
For patients with medical treatments requiring laser and light therapies, these appear to be safe. And although we prefer to err on the side of caution and defer until after pregnancy for cosmetic procedures, they are probably safe, as well.
The authors recommend that epilation procedures (removal of unwanted hair) be limited to waxing, shaving, and topical procedures; permanent procedures should be avoided.
Findings on lactating women differed somewhat:
Per the report, botulinum toxin, chemical peels, and laser and light procedures are all regarded as safe, as none of these can be absorbed by the breast milk.
Women who are breastfeeding should avoid fat transfer, sclerotherapy, and tumescent liposuction.
The authors’ conclusions, with which we concur, is that better evidence is needed to make concrete recommendations on the safety of cosmetic therapy during pregnancy and lactation, but preliminary evidence suggests excellent safety profiles for many of the most commonly requested cosmetic procedures.