Skin changes that plague pregnant women

During pregnancy, the body goes through a number of changes due to changes in hormone levels and immune system. Hyperpigmentation, melasma (mask of pregnancy), stretch marks, visible vascular changes, changes in connective tissue, are some of the phenomena during pregnancy and the postpartum period. If you are in pre-pregnancy, for example, you struggle with psoriasis and eczema, it is likely that those symptoms worsen during pregnancy. However, it is also possible that psoriasis improves in some women during pregnancy. Due to higher blood circulation your body can be warmer which is why you could start to sweat more. Also, red dots appear on the skin, the cheeks in some women. Those are usually yellow in color and can be seen as a 'shine', because of the increased amount of water in the subcutaneous tissue. If you are prone to acne, they might be more likely to occur during pregnancy.

Due to hormone changes and skin pigmentation. The nipples can darken and 'linea negra' - dark line in the middle of the abdomen can appear. The spots or freckles may darken temporarily, increase in size or create new ones. In some cases, the skin on your face may darken, especially around the mouth, which is called the 'mask of pregnancy'.

Hyperpigmentation
The most common problem is hyperpigmentation or dark spots that appear on the forehead and cheeks. It occurs as a result of differences in the density regarding the distribution of melanocytes in epidermis. Pigmentation changes occur in the first trimester of the pregnancy. The skin around the nipple takes on a darker tone. Other areas that may darken during pregnancy are armpits, perineum, anus, inner thighs and neck. The existing moles may change, and it is possible the appearance of new moles.

Melasma or mask of pregnancy

Typical hyperpigmentation on the face can be seen in women who are not pregnant and taking oral contraceptives. Color melasma can vary from light brown over dark brown to gray depending on the placement of the increased number of melanocytes. Epidermal (light brown) melasma is most successfully treated. Sun protection is one of the most important factors in the prevention of melasma. The treatment of melasma requires the combined use of local products (whitening creams, hydroquinone, retinoids, corticosteroids) and chemical peeling.

For spots on the face and body balm recommend carrot that evens skin tone and stimulates circulation.

Linea nigra, or dark lines that often emerges in the middle of the abdomen
The dark line is most common in the second quarter as a result of a change in the balance of hormones. It can be up to 1 cm wide, and sometimes exceed the navel. Abdominal muscles flex to create more space for the baby, which leaves a dark mark on the skin. Most often fades a few weeks after birth.

Acne
Acne is typical for the first quarter. High levels of hormones stimulate the production of sebum which leads to clogged pores, making the skin fatty quite quickly. Too much sebum blocks the pores, and as a result there are acne. Regularly wash with mild soap, such as medical coal soap and warm water or a mild cleanser, and if you use make-up always remove it from the face before sleeping. The good news is that your skin should return to its original state a few weeks after birth.

Stretch marks

They occur due to the stretching of the skin in weight gain. Pregnancy stimulates the stretching of the skin faster and more than usual, making it also easier for the skin to crack. High levels of hormones also affect the balance of the skin barrier and make it thinner than usual. During pregnancy, the intake of vitamins E and C  is recommended, and skin sould regularly be lubricated with oils such as almond oil and body butter, like green tea and ivy body butter. After pregnancy, they should gradually disappear and become silvery white which can takes about six months. The most prominent are in the abdomen, the chest, thighs, or may occur in the lower back, buttocks and upper arms. In the formation of stretch marks, the inheritance and weight gain during pregnancy are the key roles.

There are certain factors that help reducing the risk of stretch marks:

  • Hereditary factor
  • Being carefull how the weight is gained; quickly gaining weight will certainly not help the skin
  • Nutrition is a very important factor. If you are eating well and efficiently, the skin will be elastic and thus will reduce the risk

Intertrigo - redness of the skin at the folds

Intertrigo is a rash, often wet, which occurs in places where there is friction. It often occurs in women under the breasts, armpits, groin and on the edge of the anal opening. In this case it is important to wear cotton clothes and use care products that will help absorb moisture.

Varicose veins
They are the result of increased blood circulation, which is essential to the child's life. Excess blood circuits creates pressure on the capillaries which are therefore easier to break. The condition is usually corrected after birth when the hormone levels becomes stable.

They can affect the legs, vulva or area of the end of the intestine (hemorrhoids). The cause for the occurrence is the increased blood volume and pressure on the veins in the pelvic and thigh region, and due to increased uterus. Heredity plays an important role, and to prevent capillaries recommend lubricating balm of comfrey.

Itching

Itching occurs in about 20 percent of pregnant women. Usually it affects the scalp, anus, vulva, and in the last three months of pregnancy the skin of the abdomen. Skincare oil baths and oily preparations can significantly relieve the symptoms of itching.

During pregnancy, your skin is going through major changes, but the good news is that after delivery most of the skin changes back to normal.

Source: babycentre.co.uk