Now that you are pregnant, you will begin to notice many changes in your skin. Sometimes there will be a glow and sometimes it will get patchy, dry and filled with pimples. Below is a list of skin changes that are most common during pregnancy.
If you have experienced any of these, then do share with us here what you did about it to reduce your discomfort.
The hormonal activity during your pregnancy will make pimples and acne erupt on your face at any point during the three trimesters. The good part is that they subside shortly after delivery. To reduce the occurrences of acne avoid using any harsh exfoliating scrubs. Instead use homemade scrubs like those made of oatmeal. They are milder and also help keep the oily pores unplugged.
Other than this, pimply eruptions also happen in the inner thighs and buttocks. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (dubbed PUPP). It is most common during the second trimester and disappears after delivery. After consultation with your doctor, you can apply gels and lotions to treat these eruptions.
Darkening of the Skin
If you had tiny freckles, birth marks and moles before you conceived, it is quite liely that these will turn bigger and darker. New moles may also appear. You will also notice that the areola and nipples turn darker. After birth, while others return to their original colour, you will probably have to accept the fact that your areola will remain darker than they were before you were pregnant.
Dry and Itchy Abdomen
As your belly grows and stretches out, it can also become dry and itchy in the later stages of your pregnancy. Keeping the belly moisturized by using anti-itch creams and calamine lotions is the best option. However, if this is accompanied by nausea, fatigue and symptoms of jaundice then do report to your doctor immediately. It could sign of cholestasis – a malfunction of the liver.
Heat rash happens during pregnancy too. The excessive sweating due to the hormones, a overheated body and the constant friction of the skin against clothing causes heat rash to appear. The most common places for this to appear are beneath the breasts and below the bulge of the lower abdomen.
During your pregnancy you may notice a faint white line running from your navel to the centre of your pubic bone. This is called the linea alba. But, in some cases, during the second trimester, some of you may notice that it turns darker. This is called the linea nigra. This will slowly disappear after birth.
Mask of Pregnancy
During your second trimester you may notice brownish or yellowish patches on your different parts of your face like the forehead, upper cheeks, nose, and chin. This is called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy. It happens because of the pregnancy hormones which stimulate the production of melanin by the skin’s cells. However, since this does not happen uniformly across all cells, the face appears to be patchy. While this cannot be completely stopped. It can be reduced by reducing the exposure of your skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
The facial shine that you develop during pregnancy actually has a reason behind it. Your cheeks have many blood vessels just below the skin’s surface. Hence the increased volume of blood in your body during your pregnancy make your cheeks appear reddish and glowing. Also the shine of your skin is due to the increased secretion of oil from the oil glands.
Not only will your palms and soles feel itchy, you might also notice that they appear reddish. This is called palmar erythema.
The increased blood volumes during pregnancy can cause the tiny blood capillaries just below the surface of the skin to branch and become more visible during pregnancy. These resemble spider veins and are called nevi. They mostly appear on the face and also at times on the legs and the torso. These take quite a while to go away even after delivery.
Stretch marks are one of the most common skin changes during pregnancy. They appear as pinkish streaks on your abdomen and your breasts. This can reduced by applying lotions that contain vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids.
Pregnant ladies can develop tiny polyps or skin tags in areas where the skin brushes with clothes. For example the underarms, neck and under the bra lines. These are caused by hyperactive growth of a superficial layer of skin and disappear within a few months after delivery.
Varicose veins are veins that look bluish and appear on the legs during pregnancy. It ca be pretty painful at times and someone who has a family history of it will be more prone to it. To prevent it you should;
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Walk around
- Keep your feet propped u when you sit
- Avoid excessive weight gain
- Wear support stockings