Pregnancy definitely changes your body drastically and your skin is not off limits. Suddenly, your skin is going crazy and you have to avoid many of the ingredients that mask or fix these problems. So what’s a momma-to-be to do? Here are some common skin problems caused by pregnancy and what to do about them.
Have you ever heard someone say that pregnant women have a certain glow? Well it isn’t just an old wives tale. Pregnant women tend to have a little blush which is the same blush we get when we are excited, cry or exercise. This is caused by an increased heart rate. Increased secretions of oil glands also contribute to a type of glow.
Glowing might sound glamorous, but there are many other changes to the skin during pregnancy that isn’t as desirable. In the second trimester you may notice brown or yellow patches on the face. This is called chloasma. This can’t be prevented but you can limit your time in the sun, which will just make it worse. Chloasma is caused by the increased hormones that cause more melanin, but the pigment is not displayed evenly which causes a type of blotchy looking tan.
Another “perk” of pregnancy: back to your teenage days of acne. Fortunately, if you do get more acne while pregnant, it should subside after you deliver. Look for scrubs or acne treatments without many chemicals and that are sensitive to skin. Do not take any acne medication as it could cause birth defects.
Parts of your skin that are normal more pigmented will become even darker. Think: nipples, freckles, moles, birthmarks, brown spots, under eye circles, etc. Most will return to their normal color after delivery. If you do notice any strange moles or severe changes, see a dermatologist for a complete checkup. Skin tags might also pop up. Skin tags are tiny polyps that usually aren’t dangerous. They are caused by a hyperactive growth of a superficial layer of skin. They generally go away on their own but can be removed very easily, too.
Have you ever noticed a faint white line running from your navel to your pubic bone? It’s called the called a linea nigra . Most of us probably don’t notice it until it becomes dark line that is more noticeable during the second trimester. This will also disappear again after delivery.
Your crazy hormones can also cause something less than desirable: spider veins. This is also caused by the increased blood volume. Sometimes they don’t go away, so see a dermatologist if you find you can’t live with them. Or you can try an over the counter solution like Venacura.
Another common skin malady resulting from pregnancy is the dreaded heat rash. Heat rash can be caused by your overheated body, dampness from excessive sweating and friction of skin rubbing against clothing. You may get pimply or simply very itchy and uncomfortable. Sometimes pregnant women can also experience itchy, red, raised patches on their skin specifically the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and other extremities. This can be treated as any other itchy skin irritation and is often called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (dubbed PUPP).
Lastly, a common and mysterious skin symptom is red palms and soles. The insides of your hands and the bottom of your feet may itch and become very red. It is not dangerous and doctors don’t really know why this happens.
If you are pregnant or have been, did you experience any of these common skin problems? What did you do to solve them? Did they resolve very soon after delivery? Share with us your experiences!